A Prolife Semantics Guide
February 2006By Ron Galloy
Ron Galloy is the Director for Life: God's Sacred Gift in New York City.
Those who govern the culture's language govern the culture. Why? Because words shape ideas and affect the way people think. Put simply, words teach. Unfortunately, those who govern the language in America today are the mass media, and are Enemy #1 of vulnerable human life. Their semantics are why so many have come to think that killing itself is a human "right."
At least six different linguistic concoctions exist in the media's lexicon for killing: abortion "rights"; the "right" to a woman's body; the "right" to choose; women's "rights"; privacy "rights"; and reproductive "rights." At the same time, the most fundamental right of all, the right to life, is censored by the media, effectively erasing it from public discourse and thus from public thought. Pope John Paul II spoke on this grave moral evil in his encyclical The Gospel of Life: "The moral conscience, both individual and social, is today subjected, also as a result of the penetrating influence of the media, to an extremely serious and mortal danger: that of confusion between good and evil, precisely in relation to the fundamental right to life " (#24).
The culture war is largely a war of words, and no one fights it better than the media. They know better than anyone that if you want to change the way people think, just change the words. As verbal engineering has preceded today's abortion culture, honest vocabulary is vital to restore life's protection. The following analysis explains a few of their deceptions and how they market the Culture of Death. Honest phrasing is given to restore life's dignity.
Deceptive Vocabulary / Honest Vocabulary
Abortion "clinic" / Abortion siteClinics are for health care -- and health care excludes killing. Calling the place where someone is killed a "clinic" assaults the dignity of the one who is killed. Instead, the places where unborn people are killed are abortion sites, child-killing sites, abortion chambers, abortion mills, and abortuaries. Proper phrasing disconnects killing from health care and instills sensitivity for the lives of unborn people.
Abortion "debate" / Abortion problemMurder is not an issue or debate because life is a human right. As a human right, a moral duty exists to defend it, even by those who advocate its destruction. The term abortion problem is the correct wording because it is the problem of murder itself.
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