Euphemisms for abortion abound: “a woman’s right to choose,” “reproductive freedom,” and “a private decision between a woman and her doctor.” The latest euphemism, one being increasingly used in political discourse, is “access to essential healthcare.”
Recently, a listener sent us Planned Parenthood’s latest fundraising letter. Between pleas to fund their organization and fight the Trump Administration, abortion was referred to as either “healthcare” or “care” a dizzying fifteen times.
The American Civil Liberties Union has also embraced the phrase, particularly on the signs they provide for their protesters, including at the Supreme Court. Also, in a recent blog post savaging the pro-life policies of the Trump Administration by the ACLU of Northern California, the author insisted “Abortion is basic healthcare” again and again.
It’s almost as if there was a pro-abortion PR meeting which was even attended by the two leading Democratic candidates for President.
Another listener recently wrote in to let us know that Doctors Without Borders, one of the largest non-government providers of aid to victims of conflict and famine around the world, is now openly pushing do-it-yourself abortions in their work around the world.
Alerted by a report from the Center for Family and Human Rights, this listener called Doctors Without Borders to find out if it was true. “Yes,” the representative said, abortion is part of the, you guessed it, “health care services” that Doctors without Borders provides in numerous countries.
I wonder how many of their donors know about the partnership Doctors without Borders established earlier this year with HowToUseAbortionPill.org, an online community whose purpose is to educate and encourage people to use chemical abortions around the world.
In an article explaining why they are so aggressively promoting chemical abortions worldwide, Doctors without Borders, slammed the Trump Administration’s Global Gag Rule and insisted that “Despite the stigma, abortion is a part of people’s lives and a key component of”—here it is again—“reproductive health care.”
Our listener isn’t the first person I’ve spoken with who’s pulled support from Doctors Without Borders. One alternative for anyone wishing to support a group that provides only actual healthcare and medical expertise is the Christian Medical and Dental Association, which currently has affiliates in over 60 countries.
Labeling abortion as “healthcare” subverts the very essence of medicine, and it uses words to dodge the reality of what abortion is and does.
If you find yourself in a conversation about this, needing to explain the problem with the “abortion is healthcare” euphemism, our latest “What Would You Say?” video is phenomenal. Featuring my colleague Brooke Boriack, the video explains three critical things to remember whenever someone calls abortion “healthcare.”
First, the purpose of healthcare is to heal and preserve life, not to end life. For centuries, doctors promised in the Hippocratic Oath to “do no harm.” Abortion fails that test. Unlike real healthcare, even including those procedures performed to save the life of the mother but that endanger the life of an unborn baby, elective abortion is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being. That’s not only wrong, it’s certainly not healthcare.
Second, pregnancy is not a disease to be cured. When a woman is pregnant, her body is working as intended. She’s not sick. Violently terminating pregnancy works against the body’s natural, healthy functioning. That’s not what healthcare does.
Finally, slapping the healthcare label on abortion not only obscures the meaning of the word “healthcare,” it obscures the meaning of the word “abortion.” Anyone wishing to defend abortion should be forced to defend what it is and should not be allowed to cloak the violence using buzzwords.
One step in making abortion illegal and unthinkable is unmasking the verbal tricks that obscure reality. It’s time to make abortion advocates tell the truth, and that begins with refusing to play the language game. Our latest “What Would You Say Video?” can help with that.
Publication date: March 17, 2020
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Devonyu
BreakPoint is a program of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. BreakPoint commentaries offer incisive content people can't find anywhere else; content that cuts through the fog of relativism and the news cycle with truth and compassion. Founded by Chuck Colson (1931 – 2012) in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends. Today, you can get it in written and a variety of audio formats: on the web, the radio, or your favorite podcast app on the go.
John Stonestreet is President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and radio host of BreakPoint, a daily national radio program providing thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview.