Me neither. But, luckily, ThinkProgress.org’s Tara Culp-Ressler fills us in with a Jan. 31 article posted to the aforementioned website.
The “lurking strategy”—did you know strategies could lurk?—is a new wave of model legislation known as “Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Act” bills.
Yet, even in the stormy context of the political side of abortion and the dignity of human life, Culp-Ressler’s article is a jarring example of Big Abortion’s unflinching loyalty to itself, and to its ghastly indifference to the most helpless members of the human family.
In the article, there is plenty to learn, both about the abortion lobby’s approach to conversation in general, and for pregnancy help organizations, who stand alongside a mother and father with the emotional support and practical resources she needs during her pregnancy.
What do we learn about the abortion lobby’s approach to the conversation in general? We learn, once again, of its chilling hatred for anything and everything that threatens its system of death.
And we learn, through Culp-Ressler’s words that even the English language itself will be butchered if it dares stand in the way of the ideology and dollars of Big Abortion.
Let’s have a look at a few examples, shall we? (Emphasis below is ours.)
1. “Protections” and “Attack”
“In what could represent their next major effort to dismantle the protections under Roe v. Wade, abortion opponents are laying the groundwork for a new attack on reproductive rights that borrows a page out of their old playbook.”
Did you notice what Culp-Ressler is being dismantled in the above paragraph, which begins her article? Protection. Protection itself is being dismantled.
Protection for whom? For a child? Certainly not. The “protection” to which Culp-Ressler refers is synonymous with the actual dismantling of a child. (Notice, no quotes around dismantling—I’m speaking literally).
If not for a child, then what about for a mother facing an unexpected pregnancy? Is she herself protected under Roe v. Wade?
Of course not. Notice here, what—not whom—we are talking about protecting: Abortion.
And what should we make of this language of “attack?” Are we to ignore the actual attacks that bring death to children and rob mothers of motherhood while we decry an “attack” on the very ideology that brings this death in the first place?
I didn’t attend West Point, but I believe the term you’re searching for, Ms. Culp-Ressler, is “counter-attack.”
Tweet This: I didn’t attend West Point, but I believe the term you’re searching for, Ms. Culp-Ressler, is “counter-attack.”
2. Emotional language
Ostensibly, the basis upon which Ms. Culp-Ressler dismisses the new (and old) wave of pro-life legislation is its consistently emotional, “evocative” language.
The implication is that pro-life legislators are overstating their case, or are incapable of speaking sensibly without Sarah McLachlan playing in the background.
“The measures,” she writes, “are cloaked in emotional language about “fetal dismemberment”
Let’s look at a couple of examples she trots out to make her point:
Exhibit A: The first bill to use “dismemberment” language was introduced in South Dakota last year. Seeking to “prohibit the dismemberment or decapitation of certain living unborn children,” the measure was just a few paragraphs long and didn’t make it out of committee…
Exhibit B: “[Naming a bill such as “Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act”] is a familiar tactic, similar to the other types of bans we’ve seen. It seems the strategy is to take language that provokes emotional responses and then to argue that, because there’s an emotional reaction to something, it should be illegal.” (Dr. Anne Davis, consulting medical director for Physicians for Reproductive Health and an OB-GYN who provides abortions)
Do you see Culp-Ressler’s point here? Use of words like “dismemberment” or “decapitation” just muddy the waters of what we’re really talking about. Which is…
Back to our discussion about proper use of the English language: What substitute do you propose, Ms. Culp-Ressler, to the terms “dismemberment” and “decapitation?”
Are these words horrific and unfit for the dinner table? Of course they are, but only because of the reality they accurately depict. If the most technical terms available are simply too appalling, then what are we to say of the reality they address?
3. The fabled “Hot Pocket” argument
Have you ever burned your mouth on a microwaved Hot Pocket only to, seconds later, bite squarely into the ice-berg at the middle of it?
There is a form of discourse Ms. Culp-Ressler invents and deploys within her article that may best be referred to as a “Hot Pocket” argument.
Behold, the argument that combines two entirely contradictory claims into one stomach-turning bite.
Exhibit A: [Dismemberment abortion] apparently refers to “knowingly dismembering a living unborn child and extracting such unborn child one piece at a time from the uterus through the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments that, through the convergence of two rigid levers, slice, crush or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body in order to cut or rip it off.”
Exhibit B: “The language is so vague that this would be impossible to enforce,” Dr. David Grimes, a clinical professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and an abortion provider who has been practicing for four decades, told ThinkProgress. “It reveals a lack of knowledge of the procedures that the bill proposes to outlaw.”
Which is it, Ms. Culp-Ressler? Too evocative or too vague? This is the Hot Pocket of arguments: molten lava on the outside, ice-cold in the middle.
Tweet This: This is the Hot Pocket of arguments: molten lava on the outside, ice-cold in the middle.
On one hand, Culp-Ressler dismisses the language of “dismemberment” as overly “evocative details,” and literally in the next paragraph, she’s quoting a doctor—who stands to lose his intentional killing business—to point out that such language is far too “vague.”
It would be a laughable argument if it weren’t so monstrous and frankly, demonic.
So, where do we go from here?
What do we learn, as pregnancy help organizations and networks committed to serving women and families in the midst of, perhaps, their most difficult hour?
First and foremost, we learn that language is powerful. Words have meaning. A simple phrase can change a person’s world.
Consider this, the Associated Press Stylebook says the following about the use of “Death”: Use death, die. Don't use euphemisms like passed on or passed away except in a direct quote.
In the face of plain language, the best that Culp-Ressler can do is grasp for euphemisms, and since none exist for the topic of removing arms, legs and heads from human bodies, her only recourse is to draw the shade and hide behind a protective veil of doublespeak.
This is why it’s so critical for a pregnancy help organization to lovingly explain to a woman and her family what abortion is. She needs to know. He needs to know.
The conversation needs no dramatic lighting or heart-wrenching soundtrack. The plain truth, spoken calmly and prayerfully, is enough to change a heart and rescue a life.
Ms. Culp-Ressler does have us on one point: The truth, plainly spoken, is our winning “strategy.” There’s just nothing hidden or “lurking” about it.
How have you seen a heart change by the truth, plainly spoken? Let us know in the comments or send us an email here.