DOUBLE TALK & DOUBLE STANDARDS
You're an "Unborn Baby" if She Wants You, a "Terminated Fetus" if She Doesn't

October 1997By Brian Kurzhal

Brian Kurzhal, a member of the Assemblies of God, works in the criminal justice field in Minnesota. Copyright © 1997 by Brian Kurzhal.

In a recent issue of the Minnesota Christian Chronicle, Doug Trouten documented the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper’s inconsistent use of its stylebook. The stylebook instructs writers and editors to “always use” the terms “fetus” and “embryo” in place of unborn child or unborn baby. A straightforward directive. Trouten showed, however, that while Star Tribune articles use “embryo” and “fetus” when treating abortion-related issues, they tend to employ “unborn child,” “unborn children,” “unborn baby,” and “unborn babies” when addressing the health, nutrition, safety, or parental rights of little persons growing in a uterus. Trouten cited 10 examples of the latter in the Star Tribune. Here are three:

· “A story about noise pollution...explained that loud noise ‘may harm unborn children.’”

· A “story about a homosexual couple...said they were going to adopt a child from a woman who was ‘eager to find a good home for her unborn child.’”

· “Stories about the murder of a pregnant woman indicated that the killers ‘removed her unborn child’ because they ‘wanted a baby.’”

What is the difference between a fetus and an unborn baby? Hint: Which one do you wish to visualize? Which term brings to mind the unforgettable photo of the little human sucking her thumb inside her mother’s womb? Whether she is a fetus or an unborn baby seems to depend on how the mother (or the doctor, the judge, the newspaper writer) wants (and wants us) to see the baby.


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