On the Eve of Dobbs, Remember That out of the Mouth Speaks Life
As the world awaits the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, pro-lifers across the country are preparing for what they hope will be a post-Roe world. Sadly, the pro-abortion industry has been working just as hard pushing a culture of death.
In addition to protesting outside the Supreme Court justices’ private homes, encouraging women to have a “plan C — or abortion pills — in their cabinet,” declaring their state sanctuaries for abortion, stealing tabernacles, vandalizing pregnancy resource centers, lighting pro-family organizations on fire, and promising a “summer of rage,” the pro-abortion industry has put out severallanguage guides to ensure that everyone talking about abortion stays on message.
Since 1973, pro-abortionists have used the language of “women’s rights,” “safe and legal” a “clump of cells,” and “like an early miscarriage,” to shift the connation of abortion from evil and unthinkable to good and commonplace.
What was originally legalized for the exception cases, morphed into “safe, legal, and rare,” and now has fully developed into “on demand, until birth.” Pro-life has been rephrased as “anti-abortion” and “anti-choice,” and mothers as first “pregnant woman” and now “pregnant person.”
These seemingly small shifts in wording have had tragic results, proving that sticks and stones aren’t the only things that break bones. Today, the phrase “ban abortion” strikes many Americans as more akin to banning women than banning the killing of an innocent child. The pro-abortion industry has meticulously chosen their words to spin their narrative and obfuscate the truth of what abortion actually is — the killing of an unborn baby.
But those fighting for the unborn have no need to spin a story or skew the truth. The work of the pro-life movement speaks for itself. Countless hours spent praying outside abortion businesses, volunteering at the over 2,700 pregnancy resource centers across the country, offering hope and healing for post-abortive women and men, and campaigning for pro-life legislators have not been an effort to “ban” a “right” — they have been a labor of love to save lives, support moms and dads in need, and heal broken hearts.
The language of the pro-life movement should always reflect this truth because along with our actions, our words have the power to change hearts and minds.
In recent FRC polling, when asked, “Do you support protecting unborn children when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is usually around the sixth week of pregnancy,” 47% of respondents supported the statement and just 33% opposed.
Words matter — they change hearts — and pro-lifers need to choose words that clearly communicate truth.
When asked about “women’s rights,” those in the pro-life movement should respond with the ways they are working to support mothers in need. Doing so shares resources for pregnant moms and affirms the truth that every woman who conceives automatically is — and always will be — a mother.
When pro-life laws are referred to as “heartbeat bans” and “gestational age bans” pro-lifers should point out that these laws are not banning a person’s heart from beating or banning a person after a certain gestational age. In fact, they do quite the opposite. They protect beating hearts and persons after a certain age.
Instead of allowing the pro-abortion industry to set the narrative, the pro-life movement should boldly and confidently state what we are for — challenging others to recognize what they are supporting and consider stronger pro-life positions instead.
The pro-life movement has nothing to hide. There is no need for euphemisms, medically inaccurate language, or straight-up lies. For more than 49 years, pro-lifers have worked to protect life. Now, more than ever, we must say exactly what we are fighting for.
Mary Szoch is the Director of the Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council.