The words we choose

27 Nov

Once, I was able to be at an ultrasound that a pregnant friend was having. The ultrasound showed some markers for Down’s Syndrome (I’m finding that this is incredibly common) so the doctor advised the new mom on her options. Here is a quote that I’m 99.44% certain is verbatim from that consultation.

“If you’d like to know for sure, we can do an amniocentesis (that’s a procedure where they take a sample from the amniotic fluid). With that procedure, there is the possibility that it could end the pregnancy.”

At this point, my friend indicated that wouldn’t be something she was interested in.

“It’s probably not necessary if you wouldn’t do anything differently either way.”

Look at the language this doctor used. Now, this is the same language my doctor used when I had my consultation (apparently everything is a possible indicator of Down’s). Both doctors are very nice people. Both may even be personally against abortion, I don’t know. I’m not criticizing them, but I am trying to draw attention to the way we approach things we know are wrong in today’s society. We use softer, smoother words to keep the harsh truth  from feeling so harsh. And if everyone talks about it like that, it really makes it seem not so bad.

When that doctor said “end the pregnancy,” he meant “kill the baby.” When he said “do anything differently,” he meant “have an abortion.” He wasn’t direct. The direct language is ugly. It’s not fun to say. The indirect language makes it easier.

This is a quote pulled directly from the fee section of a website of an abortion clinic in Norman, Okla (sorry there’s a weird box around it).

“Surgical Abortion $550
12 weeks pregnant or less as determined by our exam or ultrasound. The fee includes; Uterine aspiration and D & C, light sleep IV anesthesia, lab work, pregnancy test, pelvic exam or ultrasound, antibiotics, analgesics and a 1 or 2 week post-op exam with help for future birth control.”Uterine aspiration. If you look up that term, you will find definitions that call it a “method to remove uterine contents by vacuum.” Hmmm, uterine contents. Wouldn’t it be more direct to call it a method of sucking the baby out?

By the way, that website also offers these instructions:

“Do not bring infants or children. Do not bring a boyfriend or husband who is against your decision to have an abortion.”

Why can’t you bring infants or children? I am guessing it’s because it might make the other women at the clinic upset (and possibly change their minds) to see them. If it makes them upset, then doesn’t that tell you something is wrong? If the simple sight of a child makes a woman question her decision, then isn’t that a decision you would want her to rethink? Shouldn’t she be at peace with something like this? They also tell you not to bring the baby’s father unless he wants you to get an abortion. Excuse me, but why is this their business at all? Why are they interested in shutting the father out of the decision? They aren’t for men’s rights, apparently. And this is where the term “pro-choice” falls flat. These people aren’t pro-choice. They are pro-abortion, but pro-choice sounds nicer. It makes it seem empowering. It’s not empowering. These people are obviously trying to influence women into having abortions. Why? Because they get $550 a pop.  If they were pro-choice, they wouldn’t have been at the Capitol protesting the bill to require doctors to offer an ultrasound to every woman prior to her abortion. The bill didn’t require the women to get an ultrasound, just to be offered one. If they were truly pro-choice, wouldn’t they want the woman to have the opportunity to make as informed a decision as possible? Yeah, they would. They’re not pro-choice. That’s a misleading term.

I know some of you are disappointed with the blog lately because I haven’t tried to be funny. You are going to stop reading because it’s such a downer. That’s taking the easy way. That’s avoiding thinking. If it’s a downer, you need to ask yourself why it is. Everything in life isn’t about fun. You will live a wasted life if all you care about is fun. God did not put you on Earth to have fun. Christians are not called to be comfortable.

I encourage you to notice the language we use to talk about hard things as a society. We want to avoid thinking about how wrong things are because then we feel guilty about it. It’s easier to do that if we use indirect, soft language. Often, friends, the easy thing is not the right thing. I pray you are compelled to care more about doing right than doing easy.

“Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”  –Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


4 Responses to “The words we choose”

  1. Matt M. November 27, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    I am “pro-choice” and to me this is what it means: I do not want my personal opinion (against abortion) to infringe on the personal choice (right or wrong) of those who may have to face that scenario.

    • Heather @ CrawdadsInMySink November 27, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

      Why is your personal opinion against abortion?

    • Matt M. November 27, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

      I do not think that I could ever feel 100% at peace being involved in the decision for a person to have an abortion. At the same time, there are many scenarios surrounding the decision to have an abortion I have never experienced personally.

  2. Heather @ CrawdadsInMySink November 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    Right, so I’m asking you why you don’t feel you could be at peace with it. I’m guessing it’s because you find it wrong to end a life? If that’s the case, then isn’t it wrong for anyone to end a life? If you had lived 150 years ago, would you have said “I don’t agree with slavery. I would never own a slave. But, I’m not going to tell someone else that they can’t. I mean, if they have a huge plantation to run and that’s the only way to feed their family, it might be their only option.” How is it different? If you believe the baby is a person, shouldn’t that person’s right to life be protected? You wouldn’t want it to be legal for someone to kill their 1 year old because of many scenarios that you have never experienced personally.I could list every reason why that argument isn’t logical here, but it would be easier if you would go read the blog that I titled “Hard things,” and then argue anything you disagree with in there. Or, go to and read the FAQ section if you want to hear the issue from their perspective. My perspective pretty much aligns with all their answers, though I generally word things differently. BTW, sorry I didn’t call you back last night. Jack and I have a cold and he got shots yesterday so it was basically a cry fest that didn’t really allow for conversation. I will call you someday when he gets his life together.

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