Shawn Mitchell

Reproductive health sure sounds like an unqualified good thing. Being cast against reproductive health is bad. You’re against healthy reproduction. You probably go out evenings and weekends and accost people to break up their wholesome efforts to reproduce.

Vocabulary in the abortion debate is a stacked deck. Abortion advocates and their media protectors can’t talk plainly about the facts. That would expose their chilling cause. Whether someone opposes or supports legal abortion, honesty—meaning clarity—is being lost in the debate.

Philadelphia butcher Kermit Gosnell’s murder accomplice, Steven Massof, coldly told investigators of a baby, who, about to have his spinal cord scissored in the back of the neck, exhibited a “respiratory excursion.” “The baby was breathing” might have sounded too much like murder even to the murderer. But euphemisms mask everything about abortion.

Abortion activists do better than put makeup on ugly facts. They seize the verbal high ground, shaping the debate with words that obscure, change, even reverse the meaning of important things. Reproductive health, choice, privacy. Nothing could be more wholesome…or deceptive.

“Reproductive health” almost always means abortion or contraception, two subjects of different import and different merit. But the phrase conceals both subjects. A giveaway for deception is when advocates have to use appealing, reassuring words very different from the things they’re discussing. In this case, the euphemism turns a 180.

Contraception does not help cause reproduction--quite the opposite. Neither is abortion an aid to reproduction. Advocates aren’t talking about reproduction; they’re talking about anti –reproduction, preventing or terminating pregnancy. Calling it reproduction is a neat switch that turns the head in a comforting but false direction. Activist demands for reproductive health don’t seek fertility treatment, respite care for troubled pregnancies, or nursing coaches. Truth in labeling would require them to call it anti-reproductive health.


Shawn Mitchell

Shawn Mitchell was elected to Senate District 23 in the Colorado General Assembly in November of 2004. Shawn is an attorney at private practice in Denver and Adams County.
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