“Fetus” vs “Child”
We often hear from pro-lifers who question our use of the word “fetus” on our GAP signs, Choice signs, and RCC truth trucks. “Fetus” is the word used by pro-aborts to dehumanize the preborn child, so why would we want to use their word?
First, it is critical to restore meaning to the words that pro-aborts are fond of using, so that when they use their words in public, our side gets the benefit. The other side is quite fond of the word “fetus,” because it conjures up something subhuman in the minds of so many people. They will never agree to use our word, so we must restore meaning to their word. When pro-aborts say the word “fetus,” people who have seen our signs won’t think of a formless lump of cells; they will remember the picture of a human being with arms and legs and fingers and toes. If we restore meaning to the word, the other side can’t use it to confuse people.
Second, we only have a few seconds with people as we pass them with our trucks. When they see the truck, we want them to say something like, “Wow, I didn’t know killing a fetus meant killing a being with arms and legs and fingers and toes.” If we flash the word “child” instead, people might think of infanticide, not abortion. It won’t make sense to them. By using the word that they are most familiar with, we reduce the amount of time necessary to convey the message.
Third, we want to reinforce in people that the word “fetus” is just another stage of life … as in embryo, fetus, infant, toddler, adolescent, teenager, young adult, middle aged adult, senior citizen, geezer, etc.
Fourth, we can’t force them to use our word, so perhaps a form of jujutsu might be more effective. The other side has all the worldly power behind it (the media, the education system, the news media, the entertainment industry, etc.). Jujutsu is a martial art in which one seeks to manipulate the opponent’s force against himself rather than confronting him with one’s own force. We want to take over their words so that when pro-aborts try to use them, it turns to our benefit.
Bottom line: The other side dehumanized the word “fetus;” we are restoring its humanity.
Can we ever use the word, “child?” Yes, of course! Suppose I am talking to a pro-abort who asserts that abortion may be justified based on poverty, personal choice, etc. I would first show him a photo of a 1st-trimester abortion. We have to define that word “abortion.” Then I would trot out the toddler, i.e., ask if it would be OK to kill a 2-year old child for the same reason. That way, I can focus his attention on the real issue, which is not poverty, choice, etc. The real issue is “What is the unborn?”
But later in the conversation, when he goes back to “choice” and “rights,” I might force him back to the main point by saying something like, “A parent does not have a right to kill his own child.” When I use the word “child,” he cannot dispute the statement, so he has to dispute the notion that the fetus is a child. But our signs use the word “fetus” because this word, juxstaposed with the photos, helps us make our case that the fetus is, in fact, a human child.
In this way, I am using the word “child” in conversation to do the same thing that we used the word “fetus” to do on our signs. In both cases, we are refocusing our audience on the key point, “What is the unborn?”
This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012 at 1:10 pm and is filed under Pro Life Apologetics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.