A baby by any other name

The conviction of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell has drawn renewed attention to the misleading language that surrounds the abortion debate. If infanticide – killing a live baby moments after birth – is an appalling and atrocious crime, why is it acceptable to kill that same baby just minutes before, when he or she is about to emerge from the womb? The logical inconsistency is leading some people to shy away from confronting the topic, when they should be open to reconsidering their views on it. In their initial coverage, the New York Times even referred to the newborn babies that Gosnell killed as post-birth “fetuses,” which is a contradiction in terms, since a fetus by definition is pre-born.

Abortion advocates garner support by telling pregnant women that the unborn child in their womb is simply a clump of tissue. But even those who support abortion know deep down that when women become pregnant, they are carrying a baby. We can see this in the language that is universally used in talking about the experiences of a pregnant woman. Our society acknowledges the humanity of the unborn, even if it doesn’t want to admit it. 

To demonstrate this, let’s examine some of the common phrases we hear from a pregnant woman and see how her reactions would change if she were really experiencing a generic blob of tissue growing in her body:

 

Baby:                                                          Blob of Tissue:

“I’m pregnant! I’m having a baby!” 

My body is doing some unusual things. I have no idea why.

Doctor: “Congratulations! The ultrasound shows that your baby is healthy!”  

Doctor: The blob of tissue growing in your uterus seems to be developing at an average rate for such clumps of tissue.

“What a cute baby bump!” 

That blob of tissue in her womb sure is starting to expand.

“I saw the baby’s heartbeat on the ultrasound!”

The clump of tissue in my body has a heartbeat! Gross! Is it…alive?

“I’ve been eating for two lately – my baby sure is hungry!”

I have been eating constantly while the blob of tissue growing in me takes much of my nourishment.

“I just found out I’m having a boy!”  

The blob of tissue in my body seems to be developing male reproductive organs – Ewwww!

“I felt the baby kick!”  

The blob of tissue is….kicking me?!

“Nine months! We reached the due date – our baby should be born any time now!”  

This blob of tissue has been in me for nine months. I have no reason to think it’s coming out any time soon.

See? Pregnancy just doesn’t make sense if the baby is actually just a blog of tissue.

If there really were just a clump of tissue growing in a pregnant woman’s womb….yikes! Every pregnancy would end in abortion. No one wants a blob of tissue with its own heartbeat and reproductive organs living inside of them, kicking them and taking their nourishment. In fact, a blob of tissue that met that description would be a parasite, and every woman would want to have it killed and removed.

But that’s not what happens. When a woman becomes pregnant, a doctor does not automatically react as if she had a parasite. Because unborn babies are not parasites. By definition, they can’t be, because they are the same species as the woman in whose womb they are growing.

And unlike a parasite, babies grow for about nine months, and then they are born. The entire process is natural – their mother’s body has amazing mechanisms that naturally kick in to keep the growing baby warm, safe and well-nourished. There would be no need to feed a blob of tissue, or keep it warm. There would no need for the umbilical cord and the heartbeat that develop within just weeks after conception. These things don’t happen to a blob of cells that randomly starts growing inside of a woman’s body. They happen when there is a baby in her womb.