Monday, May 20, 2019

The "fetus"

In the debate over abortion, both sides have preferred language and labels. Prolifers prefer more personal, informal language like "mother" and "baby" while abortionists prefer more impersonal terminology like "woman" and "fetus". 

Now, there's nothing wrong with using medical terminology in its place. "Zygote, embryo, fetus" chart different stages in gestation. However, the medical jargon doesn't mean it isn't a baby. 

To take a comparison, a hand doctor or heart surgeon has technical, discriminating jargon for parts of the heart or hand. But the fact that he can use more specialized terminology doesn't mean he's not operating on the hand or heart. It's not contrary to science to say the organ or body part is a heart or hand, even though more exacting nomenclature is available. 

To take another comparison, I could call a woman my "wife" or I could use gynecological terminology to describe her. But it's not as if "wife" is an inaccurate and unscientific designation. 

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