REAL CLEAR HEALTH – In September, the Ohio Supreme Court caused an uproar among pro-abortion activists when it allowed the term “unborn child” to remain in the summary of an upcoming ballot measure on abortion.
Pro-abortion activists objected, stating the language was misleading, preferring instead to use the term “fetus.”
Why would they fight so ardently over that word? Because they know that the key to getting people to vote for abortion is to obscure that there’s a human being growing in the womb.
Abortion supporters systematically engage in linguistic tricks, misinformation and lies. And the animating principle of this campaign has always been the dehumanization of unborn children and their mothers. Indeed, the shifting of their terminology has been and always will be one of their most powerful tools.
“The use of dehumanizing language to obscure the reality of abortion is a longstanding pattern among abortion activists.”
This is evident in the choice of words that pro-abortion activists try to force on society: positive-sounding terms like “bodily autonomy” (whose body, exactly?), medical-sounding terms like “termination,” and the frequent refusal to use terms like “baby” or “child.”
Nick Haslam of the University of Melbourne defines dehumanization in a 2006 article for Personality and Social Psychology Review as “[t]he denial of full humanness to others.” He further explains that one of the most common tactics for dehumanizing a class or group of people is the “likening of people to animals.”
Among the examples he lists is a comparison between parasites and insects. That “parasite” comparison should sound familiar. Referring to or comparing the unborn to parasites has been a common tactic of those who support the violence of abortion.
Another now-infamous case of dehumanizing science denial came in a 2022 article from The Guardian.
This article claimed to show “what pregnancy actually looks in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.” The pictures included in the article, however, showed only residual tissue from the gestational sac that surrounds the child, shamelessly omitting to show the remains of the actual human child … READ MORE.
Amanda Mansfield, J.D., is an associate scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute.