Terms; the words we choose; the definitions we use—they matter! Within the context of the pro-life issue, so many terms are used incorrectly. In fact, the pro-abortion side has purposefully changed terms to make their atrocities more palatable to the average person.
Take, for example, the term “conception”. Years ago, this term medically included the moment of fertilization…the very second when a new human life begins. However, in 1959, an American doctor named Bent Boving started pushing the idea that this term should instead be associated with implantation (which usually occurs 6-12 days after fertilization). He wrote “Implantation Mechanisms” and stated that “the social advantage of being considered to prevent conception rather than to destroy an established pregnancy could depend on something so simple as a prudent habit of speech.”
Clearly, Dr. Boving wanted to allow certain birth control methods to be marketed to the public as merely “preventing conception”, when in reality, they can end the life of an unborn baby. Dr. Boving and people like him intentionally change the definition of terms so that the truth is hidden from the unsuspecting public.
Six years later, in 1965, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology decided to use Dr. Boving’s inaccurate and deceptive definition of conception. This is why some birth control methods today claim to not end a pregnancy even though they actually do end the life of an unborn child after fertilization.
Here’s another term, relating to the end of life instead of the beginning: “futile care.” The recent supplement put out by the Human Life Alliance, entitled “Imposed Death” brought out the controversy surrounding this term. In the past, “futile care” was defined as care or treatment that would not benefit a patient. Of course, if a patient receives no help, benefit, or healing from a treatment, it is futile—pointless and unnecessary. This is the public understanding of this term.
Now, however, a new understanding of “futile care” is being adopted. HLA reports, “…a physician is entitled to refuse to provide treatment based on his/her opinion that the quality of a patient’s life is too low or the cost is too high to warrant continued treatment. In other words, the treatment is deemed ‘futile’ not because it doesn’t work, but precisely because it does.”
This is terribly frightening for our society and for the world at large. Who is one physician—or any one person—to determine that another human life is too low in quality? Who is one person to decide that you are not worth the cost to keep you alive? This new definition of “futile care” is enabling doctors to determine that you are of no benefit to society alive; that you deserve to die; that your life is absolutely pointless; that the “cost-effectiveness” has turned against you.
“Conception” and “futile care” are only two of several terms that the anti-life agenda is changing to their advantage. Of course, the media, pharmaceutical companies, medical organizations, and others with power tend towards the immoral definitions of terms. What can we in the pro-life movement do? How can we stop our society from going down this dangerous path?
We can speak up. We do have a voice. Anyone who tells us otherwise is dead wrong. Every voice makes a difference. Every voice can save a life. We should take opportunities—and make opportunities—to talk with our family and friends about what’s really going on. We can tell the people that we know and care about what these terms really mean. We can give them ideas on how to protect themselves and others.
We can also study these issues and tell the truth about what certain forms of birth control really do. Many unsuspecting women take the chance of ending their babies’ lives because they don’t know what their method of birth control is actually doing. We can write online articles, a blog, letters to the editor, emails to friends, speak in church, write for a magazine.
If you look for ways to help and spread the truth, you will find them! Let’s give life with the terms we use, and not death!