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Unborn child rights and language in US


CHARLES KNIGHTON

Unborn child rights and language in US

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WHEN IT COMES to discussing a pregnant woman’s “uterine contents,” pro-choice liberals in the US seem to be having a language problem. Hillary Clinton recently illustrated this difficulty when she asserted on Meet the Press that “an unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights”.

Unborn person? Clinton’s use of that word violates the pro-choice side’s prime directive, which is never to refer to the unborn as a “child” or a “person.” Instead, he or she – that is, “it”– must be called a foetus or, when it is being vacuumed out, “uterine contents”.

When the White House asked recently for $1.8 billion to combat Zika, spokesman Josh Earnest said the funding would make sure that “unborn children in this country can be properly protected”. Ooops. TV and movies often exhibit the same unconscious use of pro-life terms, with characters talking about women’s unborn “babies”, not foetuses and certainly not “uterine contents”. Emotionally, this is totally natural. If a woman wants her baby, it becomes a baby long before it’s born. If not, pro-choice absolutists insist, it’s just a blob of cells right up to nine months.

No wonder they have such a problem in talking about the unborn. And it’s not just a problem of language.

– CHARLES KNIGHTON

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