The Language of Abortion

1. Abortion.

Let the word do it's work. Let it take you to the edge of your emotions, whatever those emotions are. Consider it. Contemplate it. Do you have any connection with it? Have you terminated a pregnancy? Has your sister? Your mother? Sit with your emotions and connections for thirty seconds.

Now, let's begin.


Abortion has found it's way into the news cycle again, as abortion always seems to do. This time, it's the #ShoutYourAbortion social media campaign that's causing all the stir. I'll not go into the details of the campaign--you can find more than a few news articles on the hashtaggery--but sufficed to say, my Facebook and Twitter feeds were burning down the internet last night with the topic of abortion. The sides were chosen and the social media war was underway. The pro-choicers were shouting their abortions while the pro-lifers were decrying them, and some were taking potshots at their opposition from behind the safety of their avatars. (Isn't this the way of debate these days--avatar pot shots from the safety of one's own couch?)

Though I'm not one to get too wound up about these sorts of virtual debates, one particular subset of avatars got my goat last night. You might know them betters as the abortion-is-murder subset.


The abortion-is-murder subset comprises many well-meaning, Bible believing (and very genuine) folks who cling to the notion that the taking of life--any life--is murder. They speak of the murder of babies callously, vacuously, as if there were no human eyes behind the decision to terminate a given pregnancy. They wield the language of shame--millions of legal murders a year; murder, murder, murder, and not justice for the unborn. They take a prophetic tone, an icy one.

I understand the point they're hoping to make, and perhaps I even agree with some of their underlying ideology. But how does the language of murder prick the ears of the women who've made the decision to terminate a pregnancy? How do the husbands of women who've terminated pregnancies hear it?

Last night, on my own Facebook page, I put it like this: