The Power of Language

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There weren’t many things on which I agreed with U.S. President Barack Obama, but his statement that “words matter” in a 2008 plagiarized speech is one. Language is a powerful tool for shaping public opinion, and abortion advocates have done a far better job over the years of using its power to advance their agenda than we have to advance ours.

Like a beautiful Christmas stocking containing a lump of coal, words and labels can hide an ugly reality. History has shown that positive, appealing terms can mask even the most egregious injustices. The atrocities committed at Auschwitz and Dachau were obscured by talk of “work camps” and “relocation centres.” Slavery remained legal for centuries largely because the public bought the notion that Americans had the “right” to own slaves (who were “not fully human” anyway).

In much the same way, abortion has been sold to the public as “freedom of choice,” a “woman’s right,” and “reproductive healthcare.” These and many other euphemisms sound much better than “unborn child-killing,” or “feticide,” terms that would not go over nearly as well for the purveyors of abortion.

For those who see past the high-sounding rhetoric and recognize abortion for what it really is, exposing its reality and the deceptive rhetoric used to disguise it is crucial if we are ever going to change public opinion. That is why we are pleased to announce that the above image is now on a billboard along Highway 97 near West Kelowna!

That’s right, thanks to the generosity of our monthly, annual, and occasional donors, members, and grassroots supporters, we have secured a 12-month contract with BC Billboards to display pro-life messages to tens of thousands of motorists each month.

Our Board of Directors hopes this particular message will prompt people to think about the language used in the public discourse about abortion and see the faults in it. Pointing out the commonly used “abortion is healthcare” misnomer also alludes to the fact that we the tax-payer should not be forced to fund abortion with our medicare dollars.

The Canada Health Act is clear in that only medical necessities ought to be covered by provincial healthcare programs, although no definition of “medically necessary” is provided. Surely, if something that is a “choice,” does not help cure any “disease” and in fact ends a human life can be considered “medically necessary,” anything can.

Any debater will tell you that the terms and language used to frame an issue are absolutely crucial to winning or losing the debate. Our movement needs to get more serious and more unified with our use of language to fight abortion. Lives literally depend on us being more consistent on how we frame the debate. We must reject the use of their terms and use more truthful and direct language that accurately conveys the truth of abortion.

See the rest of Summer 2021 newsletter here!

Photo by Fuu J on Unsplash