None Dare Call It Killing
January 25, 2001
new president has angered feminists, liberal editorialists,
civil libertarians, and other abortion advocates by cutting
off federal aid to groups that promote abortion abroad. The
Washington Post says his act was not
bipartisan, but divisive, with
As I read the denunciations, I noticed,
for the hundredth time, a curious aversion shared by all advocates of
abortion: they shun the word kill. As in, An abortion kills a
human fetus. Thats what were talking about, right?
Killing a fetus? Its alive, growing, moving by its own impulses
(not its mothers will), until an abortionist I mean
abortion provider cuts it apart or vacuums it out or
applies a lethal chemical, and it dies.
Why be squeamish? We use the word
kill freely in other contexts. We kill crabgrass, germs,
moths, cockroaches, hornets, mice, and rats. We have to kill
mammals, birds, and fish before we eat them. You got a problem with
George W. Bush is often criticized, by
the same progressive-minded folks who favor abortion, for killing
murderers who have actually been convicted and sentenced to die by
others, merely for refusing to intervene to prevent their scheduled deaths.
He has never killed a murderer with his own hands, but his critics
dont mind extending the word to apply it to his acquiescence.
But in keeping with the general code
of ideologically prescribed etiquette often ridiculed under the heading of
political correctness, there is a strong taboo in the media
against describing abortion as what it unquestionably is: killing. If a
woman pays for an abortion and the fetus isnt killed, she
hasnt gotten her moneys worth. She wants that thing
The taboo goes
beyond words. The media show lots of grisly pictures, from Rwanda,
Serbia, and the Middle East, often with prior warnings that you may not
want to watch or let your children see. But they never show dead fetuses.
pro-lifer would make you look at such a thing. When you see
a picture of the result of an abortion, you know instantly that some
pro-lifer has violated the liberal code of decency.
Abortion advocates hate those
pictures. They complain a lot more about the people who show them than
about the people who make them possible. As the poet says: Their
best conscience is not to leave it undone, but keep it unknown.
The abortion advocates dont
want us to know, see, or think about what abortion is. They are now
complaining that Bush has imposed a gag rule on
pro-abortion groups. But this is nothing compared with their own
self-imposed gag rule that forbids frank public discussion of fetal
Notice that Im not calling it
murder. Thats a moral and legal term. Killing is a
simple, undeniable physical description. But if you call abortion
killing, you are already perilously close to admitting that
its a form of murder.
Everyone knows that thats
what it amounts to. Why else would they shrink from simple candor about
the physical facts? If a fetus were a mere piece of tissue, with no more
moral significance than an inflamed appendix, why would anyone feel
discomfort about destroying it?
And why, if the fetus were really felt
to be worthless, would abortion advocates insist on being called
pro-choice rather than pro-abortion? The people who were
(so to speak) pro-choice about slavery were called pro-slavery,
though they didnt want to force anyone to own slaves. They merely
wanted the state to protect the right of some people to own others.
The abortion advocates like the smart
slogan Against abortion? Dont have one. Imagine the
pro-slavery equivalent: Against slavery? Dont own
Sometimes we are hypocrites in what
we say. But we can also be hypocrites in our silence, including evasions of
the terribly obvious. Millions of human beings are being killed in their
mothers wombs, where, of all places, they should be safest.
And this is all right by millions of
other people, who, however, refuse to say so in plain English. They claim
to protect womens rights, freedom, the Constitution, even the
children who are being killed who, if allowed to live, they
triumphantly point out, would have to be fed.
Why, theres not a single
advocate of killing among them!
Read a remarkable story and see the remarkable
picture that goes with it.
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