Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dr. Fetus, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Abortion

A few months ago, in lecture, the lecturer used the word "baby" to refer to a fetus, then quickly corrected himself and uttered the word "fetus."

In medical school, we are taught to refer to a fetus as a fetus rather than a baby when speaking to an expectant mother, unless the mother refers to it as a baby and says that she plans to keep it. Last year we had a "communications workshop" where we had to practice giving genetic counseling to a standardized patient (i.e., an actor) about the risk of her baby having Down syndrome. Fortunately, my "patient" told me right off the bat that she planned to keep the baby no matter what, so I was spared from having to use the word "fetus" over and over again for the rest of the session, instead being able to do what most people naturally do: use the word "baby."

This is yet another area where the left claims to be merely trying to encourage neutrality, but instead winds up pushing the leftist vision. The insistence on "fetus" encourages people to think of a baby as an inanimate object. If a pregnant woman who is genuinely undecided about whether to give birth or have an abortion hears her baby referred to as a "fetus," she is implicitly and ever-so-subtly being counseled in the direction of abortion. More broadly, and more importantly in the grand scheme of things, the cumulative effect on society at large of hearing physicians refer to "fetuses" by default, and "babies" only when given permission to use that word by the mother, is to encourage us to think of fetuses as objects which can easily be disposed of if they prove inconvenient. There really is no such thing as neutrality here. It's common sense & human nature to think of a fetus as a baby, but of course the left is against this, because they would never want to encourage a woman who might want to have an abortion to give birth instead. So they go in the opposite direction and wind up implicitly encouraging abortion.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Firstly, what the hell does Left-wing or Right-wing have to do with it? The differentiation between Left wing and Right wing is purely governmental, where Left-wing has the nation governing it's self and right-wing has an exclusive elite or single despot ruling.

Secondly, a baby is only a baby once it's born; until it's born, it's a fetus. The very definition of a fetus is form a human takes before it's born.