Abortion induces moral relativism


Two elderly priests I know have offered complementary insights into our current cultural crisis: “Social engineering is preceded by verbal engineering,” and “Those who win the language wars win the culture wars.”

Language carefully hones, shapes—or distorts—our culture.

And, since language is our medium for comprehension, our use of language directly impacts our ability to know the truth.

Today abortion supporters are using language in unprecedented ways that sickens our culture with ever new doses of moral relativism.

Linguistic gymnastics have long been used to disguise the gruesome reality of abortion.

In the early years after Roe v. Wade, abortion supporters embraced the term “pro-choice” as an enticing euphemism: “pro” is positive sounding, and everyone likes choice.

Yet this term failed to move public opinion on the morality and on the legality of abortion.

Hence, as the decades passed and the culture wars evolved, abortion supporters sought new terminology to bolster their social engineering project.

“Pro-choice” slipped out of usage and “abortion rights” took its place.

Rights are fundamental to our being and to our nation, as we find in our Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights.

Surely this linguistic cocktail would tip the scales.

It did not.

It still carried that one word in touch with reality—abortion—which some people still abhor.

So the language again shifted, to “reproductive rights” and “reproductive freedom.”

But “reproductive” is not a strong buzz word, so abortion supporters created the misleading phrase of “women’s health.”

This was a shrewd move, since it concealed abortion in the penumbras of women’s rights and of health care.

No reasonable person would oppose women’s rights, and surely all people deserve healthcare.

As evidence of these shifts, consider the naming odyssey of the US’ oldest abortion advocacy organization: what

  • was once the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws rebranded itself as the National Abortion Rights Action League;
  • it renamed itself again as National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League before settling on its current appellation: NARAL

Pro-Choice America, where the opening acronym conceals the action it advocates.

It’s bad enough to play linguistic games with induced abortion, the deliberate destruction of an innocent child before she is able to draw her first breath.

Recently abortion supporters have made a more insidious turn by playing linguistic games with the child inside the womb.

This move, prompted by new state laws severely restricting abortion, has gone beyond the usual dehumanisation of the child in the womb that has been going on for decades—the “it’s just a clump of cells” line—to the pulse of human life itself: the human heart.

The New York Times, doyen of abortion supporters, is a case in point: In drilling into state laws that prohibit abortion upon detection of the baby’s heartbeat, the Times appeals to “the experts” for help in manipulating what most would consider a straightforward phenomenon: the human heartbeat.

“[I]t isn’t medically correct to call that pulsing a heartbeat. Rather, they say, it is the vibration or ‘embryonic cardiac activity’ of the fetal pole, a tubelike structure that will become the heart.”

The Times’s wordsmiths kept up the attack just a few weeks later: “Louisiana lawmakers voted on Wednesday to ban the procedure after the pulsing of what becomes the fetus’s heart can be detected.”

Beyond this the Times has taken aim at granting the child inside the womb legal protection from harm that children outside it have. Continue reading

  • David G. Bonagura, Jr. teaches classical languages at St. Joseph’s Seminary, New York. He is the author of Steadfast in Faith: Catholicism and the Challenges of Secularism (Cluny Media).
  • Image: CDU
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