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The Euphemisms of 'Pro-Choice' Evil

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
This week marked the 39th anniversary of the greatest American moral tragedy of the 20th century: Roe v. Wade. And yet the left cheered this anniversary with the enthusiasm of an intoxicated teenager stumbling on a free copy of Penthouse. Planned Parenthood, which rakes in millions each year by performing abortions, asked via Twitter, "How has #Roe changed your life?"

The sample answers were horrifically fascinating. "Because of Roe, I have grown up knowing that my girlfriends won't die from back-alley abortions," one young man wrote. The young man might as well have written, "Because of Roe, I don't have to use condoms." It's certainly easier to sleep after a night of unprotected sex knowing that the girl you just impregnated can always have her uterus scraped. One young woman wrote, "Because of Roe, I get to go to college, instead of bearing a child who wouldn't." And, as we all know, a child who won't go to college isn't worthy of life. The true value of human life can only be justified by attending a Modern Dance in Lesbian Thought course taught by an otherwise unemployable 45-year-old harpy.

Most of the posts, though, were not quite as foolish. Most employed the hackneyed expressions of the abortion crowd.

They spoke about women's choice -- a powerful euphemism never deployed when discussing a woman's choice to refrain from having sex. When it comes to the choice to have sex, women are simply slaves to passion; when it comes to killing the unborn, then they suddenly have the ability to exercise choice.

They spoke about women's health -- another euphemism implying that pregnancy is a disease of some sort, a cancer eating away at the mother's vitals. (President Obama himself used this analogy.) Women rarely have therapeutic abortions -- they almost always have abortions because they simply don't want the responsibility of bringing up a child, and they don't want the guilt of having to give up a child to adoption.

They spoke about the right to control their body -- but neglected to mention the living, breathing being inside it. Until that being was there, pro-lifers were perfectly happy to leave these women and their uteruses to their own devices. Nobody was clamoring to examine these women's reproductive organs until they decided to begin sucking the living contents into a waste can.

The great moral evil that is abortion-on-demand -- and it is a moral evil -- has been papered over in the public mind by euphemisms. That's why it's considered impolitic to show actual photographs of abortion -- we mustn't offend the sensibilities of those who think of it as a clean, quick "termination." No more biologically involved than a polyp removal. That's why pro-lifers are derided as benighted apes when they have the temerity to call fetuses babies -- we should never remind mothers that they themselves call the being in their wombs babies. No mother I have ever met -- or have ever heard of -- has ever referred to her child as either a fetus or an embryo, except by conscious militant choice.

The euphemistic thinking of liberals on the abortion issue ends in logic so twisted it should be sold by Wetzels.

Liberals scream "right to privacy," but seem to throw that euphemism out the window when they demand that taxpayers pay for their birth control (Obama announced this week that we'd all been drafted into the War on Unprotected Sex) and abortion (Planned Parenthood is government-funded), and sanctify any sexual relationship they choose to engage in that day.

Liberals suggest that they aren't pro-abortion -- they just want it to be "safe, legal and rare." If they want it to be safe and legal, they clearly don't want it to be rare, and the numbers show it: nearly 55 million abortions since Roe. If liberals hadn't been quite so concerned about keeping abortion safe and legal, they'd have an entire generation of youngsters ready to support their enormous entitlement state. Instead, they have millions of morally-scarred young women justifying the mass murder of the unborn.

The real liberal argument for abortion is simple and requires no euphemism. It states that babies are not babies until some unspecified time when they become babies -- and until that time, they are entirely disposable.

The only problem with the argument is that it requires that we ignore both science (a fetus' heart begins to beat within three and a half weeks of embryonic fertilization) and basic human decency in favor of a callous selfishness that sears our collective soul.

The left's Orwellian recasting of abortion as an issue about "freedom" is only its latest attempt to defend the indefensible. And it has worked. Clarity of language is important. Those who defend life must not be afraid to use the language of truth -- and life -- to fight the emanations and penumbras of ethical falsehood.

Ben Shapiro, 28, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School. He is the four-time bestselling author of "Primetime Propaganda." To find out more about Ben Shapiro and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.


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