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American culture is being manipulated by the abortion industry.
From the abortion industry’s origins in Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger, to the multi-billion-dollar industry it is today, American culture has time and time again been convinced that killing preborn children should be legal
And all you have to do is look at the statistics…
According to one Gallup poll, nearly 80% of Americans said that they believed abortion should be legal in at least some circumstances.
That’s despite the fact that 47% of Americans said they believed abortion is morally wrong. Which means many Americans have been persuaded to support abortion even when abortion goes against their own moral beliefs.
The question is… how did we get here? How did we end up in a place where Americans believe that it is morally wrong to kill a preborn child – but still support the legalization of abortion?
The short answer is this: Americans have been fooled by marketing.
Masking the Atrocity of Abortion
Most people think of marketing as creating advertisements to sell something – whether they are TV ads, radio ads, print ads, or online ads. But the more important part of marketing is not the advertisements themselves. It’s the messaging within them.
Messaging is about how an organization says something to get a particular response.
Messaging can be extremely powerful. At a very basic level, messaging can convince someone to buy a product or service that they didn’t even know they wanted or needed. But messaging can go far beyond a single purchase. It has the power to convince large groups of people of a particular idea or worldview. If enough people are convinced, messaging can literally change culture.
Before I go on, I want to be completely transparent – Human Coalition uses marketing and strategic messaging in our communications. As the Director of Communications, I lead the team that executes this strategy.
An example of messaging that Human Coalition uses in our communications is “preborn child” to replace “unborn child.” We believe that referring to children in the womb as “unborn” implies that they may never be born and they are not fully alive. But we know the truth – from the moment of conception, life begins and a wholly new human being is formed. The term “preborn” appropriately acknowledges that the child is alive inside the womb.
This messaging doesn’t mislead anyone or mask a truth; it simply communicates a more accurate description of a child in the womb.
But for messaging about potentially offensive or controversial topics, marketers sometimes turn to euphemisms to soften the language.
Euphemisms are substitutes for words, phrases, or expressions that could be considered crude, hurtful, or offensive. Often, euphemisms are used to make something appear more pleasant or appropriate.
There is nothing inherently wrong with marketing or euphemisms. Ultimately, if the communicator’s goals are moral, euphemisms can help soften a particular message. But in the hands of the abortion industry, euphemisms are used to manipulate the public into thinking that killing another human is no worse than taking out the trash.
One common example of a euphemism is the phrase “passing away” to describe a person who has died. This isn’t used to lie or mislead anyone. But it is much softer and gentler.
On the other end of the spectrum are phrases that are meant to hide the truth. One example is the use of the phrase “ethnic cleansing” to describe the mass killing of a particular religious or ethnic group in a country or society. Mass killing is clearly objectionable. But the phrase “ethnic cleansing” is much softer, vague, and avoids the truth of the situation.
This is exactly how the abortion industry has fooled the American people.
By creatively using euphemisms in their messaging, the abortion industry has successfully masked the atrocity of abortion and convinced our culture that killing preborn children really isn’t so bad. Their messaging has become so engrained into our culture that the courts, elected officials, church leaders, and average citizens repeat their messaging points – at times, believing they are their own ideas.
In the following sections, I’ll break down some of the most common euphemisms we see from the abortion industry and the wide-reaching impact they’ve had. If you read through these and find yourself agreeing with them, I have a harsh truth for you… you’ve been fooled.
You aren’t “ahead of your time.” You don’t have a “profound” point of view on the issue. You’ve simply fallen for a marketing strategy.
Let me show you…
“I’m Not Pro-Abortion, I’m Pro-Choice.”
The abortion industry LOVES the term choice. In fact, the National Abortion Federation’s website is prochoice.org.
And who doesn’t want to have choice? Choice gives you options. Choice gives you different possible outcomes. Choice gives you power over your situation.
This euphemism is so successful because in many scenarios, having choice is indeed positive. A choice can be as inconsequential as deciding what to have to eat or as life-altering as selecting a career path.
Additionally, by using the term pro-choice, the abortion industry conveniently avoids discussing what the choice is that they support. That keeps the message positive, less controversial, and focused on something everyone wants.
The next part of their argument is that women should have the right to CHOOSE what they do with their own bodies.
In Planned Parenthood’s most recent annual report, they put it this way: “At Planned Parenthood, especially this year, we choose hope: hope for a future where all our bodies are our own.”
The problem with this logic is that there are countless scenarios where you DON’T have the right to make a choice with your own body and suffer no consequences.
You DON’T have the right to choose to use your own body to rob a bank. You DON’T have the right to choose to use your own body to vandalize someone’s property. You DON’T have the right to choose to use your own body to kill another human being outside the womb.
Could you imagine someone saying, “I’m not pro-killing toddlers, but I support parents having the choice to use their own bodies to kill their toddler if they don’t want it”?
That would be horrifying! But that’s exactly what people are saying when they argue that they are not pro-abortion but are simply pro-choice.
Don’t fall for the abortion industry’s marketing. Abortion isn’t about choice; abortion is about killing a preborn child.
“Reproductive Health Care and Reproductive Rights.”
Another way the abortion industry sidesteps the reality of abortion in their messaging is by using the phrase reproductive health care.
Health care is seen by everyone as something positive and essential. But much like talking about abortion as a “choice,” referring to abortion as health care avoids discussing what actually happens during the procedure.
Other euphemisms that tend to be used along with reproductive health careinclude reproductive rights, women’s health, and reproductive justice.
This messaging has become highly successful for the abortion industry, bleeding into everyday government talking points. All you have to do is look at our nation’s highest office.
During the signing of an order earlier this year to expand abortion access domestically and abroad, President Joe Biden said that it “relates to protecting women’s health at home and abroad, and it reinstates the changes that were made to Title X and other things making it hard for women to have access to affordable health care as it relates to their reproductive rights.”
If you’ve fallen for this one, let me remind you of a simple fact: Abortion is not health care.
The whole point of abortion is to kill a human child, so abortion contradicts the very definition of health care. And no matter how often the abortion industry uses these euphemisms, every abortion means the life of a preborn child is still lost.
“It’s Just a Clump of Cells.”
Not only does the abortion industry use euphemisms to avoid the word “abortion,” they also use them to avoid the words “child” and “baby.”
Instead, they use words like “tissue,” “pregnancy,” “fetus,” and “clump of cells” to dehumanize preborn children and soften the realities of abortion.
For example, on Planned Parenthood’s website, they describe a suction abortion as a procedure where a “suction device” removes the “pregnancy tissue” from the uterus.
On the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ website, they describe a second trimester surgical abortion as a procedure where the “fetus is removed” from the woman and suction is used to “remove any remaining tissue.”
These euphemisms were even used in the Roe v. Wade decision. In the majority opinion, preborn children are frequently referred to as a “fetus.” And ultimately, the Court ruled that a “fetus” is not a “person” under the Constitution.
Are the euphemisms true? Is a preborn child really just “pregnancy tissue” or a “fetus”?
Science proves that from the moment of fertilization a human being with DNA and chromosomes is formed – a human being who is uniquely different from the mom. In one study, 95% of biologists agreed that a human’s life begins at fertilization.
Yes, a “fetus” is a medical term to describe a preborn child. Yes, “pregnancy tissue” can include a preborn child. Yes, a preborn child is made up of a “clump of cells” – just like all humans are.
But none of these terms change the scientific fact that a preborn child is a human being. And each of these euphemisms softens the reality that a human being is violently killed during an abortion procedure.
Change the Culture
These words and phrases are just a few of the euphemisms used by the abortion industry to fool the American public every day. And if pro-lifers like you and me don’t take action, these euphemisms will continue to expand in our culture and convince more Americans that abortion should be legal.
So how can you help change the culture and stop the abortion industry’s influence?
The first step to solving any problem is acknowledging that there is one. That’s why you must start recognizing the euphemisms that exist and stop using them.
Call abortion what it is. It’s not a choice. It’s not health care that removes pregnancy tissue. It’s not a reproductive health measure that removes a clump of cells. It’s the killing of a preborn child.
Using the abortion industry’s euphemisms only further contributes to the problem and spreads the lie that abortion is not a big deal.
But once you acknowledge the problem, you need to speak up.
As I mentioned at the beginning, the abortion industry’s messaging is so widely repeated that many may not even realize what they are saying and why it is problematic.
When you hear these euphemisms used, you need to be prepared to challenge these views in grace and love and share the truth about the realities of abortion.
Finally, you need to get involved.
The abortion industry has loads of cash and is headed up by Planned Parenthood, who receives millions in taxpayer dollars. The abortion industry vastly outspends the pro-life movement and has thousands of volunteers nationwide.
The pro-life movement needs your help! Getting involved doesn’t have to just be financial support. You can get involved in local pro-life organizations. You can volunteer at a life-affirming clinic that serves moms with unexpected pregnancies. You can host prayer groups to talk about and pray that abortion will be ended in America.
In whatever way you can get involved, the pro-life movement needs you.
There’s no doubt that the abortion industry won’t stop using euphemisms to expand their influence. But the next time you hear something that softens abortion… the next time you hear something that dehumanizes a preborn child… the next time you hear something that attempts to justify abortion… don’t be fooled.
To learn how you can get involved with Human Coalition and the pro-life movement, visit https://www.humancoalition.org/get-involved/