THURSDAY
April 5, 2001
volume 12, no. 95

Abortion: there's a word for it - there are many words for it!



    Recently I gave my oldest son, Timothy, the following assignment: I told him to pretend that he was required to explain abortion to someone who is completely unfamiliar with the term. I explained that though this individual can speak the English language, he does not have a thorough understanding of the English language and would need a complete explanation in order to understand exactly what is meant by the term abortion. I reminded him to be as concise and simple in his explanation as possible and to avoid using the description of the medical procedures involved in performing an abortion.

    Tim quickly realized that the assignment was not as simple as he originally anticipated it would be. After much thought and discussion, he decided to use the New Merriam-Webster Dictionary, copyright 1989 by Merriam-Webster Inc. as a resource to begin his research.

    Here is his completed assignment:

ABORTION: a premature birth occurring before the fetus can survive;

    premature: untimely or early
    birth: the act of being born
    fetus: a developing human being in the uterus from usually 3 months after pregnancy occurs to birth

      born: brought into life by birth
      human: having human form or attributes
      being: a living thing; PERSON
    survive: to remain alive
      alive: having life
        life: the quality that distinguishes a vital and function being from a dead body

    His second revision:

ABORTION: An untimely act of being born occurring before the developing human being, a living thing, a PERSON in the uterus (3 months after pregnancy occurs to birth) can remain alive.

Comments: This is not an accurate definition of an abortion as we use and understand the term abortion today. Abortions may be performed from conception until just prior to birth. The fetus is capable of independent life as early as 20 weeks gestation depending on each individual situation. This is however, an accurate definition of a miscarriage.
Ergo:

    miscarriage: expulsion of a fetus before it is capable of independent life.
    abortion: also: an induced expulsion of a fetus after, accompanied by or followed by its death
      induced: to bring about
      expulsion: being expelled
        expelled: to drive or force out
          drive: to direct the movement or course of; to urge, push, or force
          force: an influence (as a push or pull) that causes an unnatural or unwilling motion
        fetus: a developing human being in the uterus from usually 3 months after pregnancy occurs to birth
          human: having human form or attributes
          being: a living thing; PERSON
          death: the end of life.

    Tim revised it a third time:

ABORTION: to use force (or pull) thereby directing the movement that causes the unnatural or unwilling motion of expelling the developing human being, a living thing, a PERSON (3 months after pregnancy occurs to birth) to be forced out of the uterus after the end of its life, accompanied by the end of its life, or followed by the end of its life.

    Comments: This is not a truly accurate definition of an abortion as we use and understand the term abortion in our society. Even though there have been recorded cases of babies left to die after being aborted alive, and documents proving these reports to be true, in our society, it is a commonly believed and excepted fact that death occurs sometime before birth of the fetus. In fact, it is illegal to deny medical attention to an infant born alive under any circumstances. Even if that infant was intended to be aborted. Admittedly, this neglect of infants born alive then left to die has gone unpunished and seemingly unnoticed by our society. Moreover, abortion is a legal act, therefore; abortion could not include an infant born forced out of the uterus followed by its death.

ABORTIONIST: one who induces abortions

REVISED - ABORTIONIST: one who uses force (or pull) thereby directing the movement that causes the unnatural or unwilling motion of expelling the developing human being, a living thing, a PERSON (3 months after pregnancy occurs to birth) to be forced out of the uterus after the end of its life, accompanied by the end of its life, or followed by the end of its life.

    Comments: This is not an accurate definition of an abortionist. Based on the very same reasoning given above. It should also be noted that there is no mention of the fact that this person must be a licensed physician.

    Furthermore; I have come to the unwavering conclusion that we, as a society are, misusing the term abortion. The term that accurately describes what we now understand and accept, as an abortion is, in fact, infanticide.

INFANTICIDE: the killing of an infant; also: one who kills an infant.

    kill: to deprive of life
      deprived: to take something away from; to stop from having something
      life: the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body
      infant: baby
        baby: a very young child
          child: an unborn or recently born person

    Tim then revised the the meaning of
INFANTICIDE: to take away the life an unborn or recently born person

    Comments: This is an accurate definition of the term abortion as we use and perceive it. So why doesn't our society recognize INFANTICIDE as the proper definition for the procedure we now call abortion? Could it be because infanticide is illegal in our country and abortion is not? Or could it be because the term infanticide brings chills to our hearts - the mere thought of the killing an infant overwhelms us with pain. Such an act outrages us! How could anyone, especially a mother, dump her baby into a garbage can, smoother her baby or simply leave her baby to die? But what about a mother who seeks out and then makes a sizeable payment to a licensed physician to have her baby removed from her uterus? When I use the term "removed" - I mean the method is to insert an tong type instrument into the uterus to grasp one of the infant's limbs, then twist and pull his arm or leg from his body and remove it from the uterus. This is repeated until piece by piece the entire body of the infant is removed from his mother's uterus. This is not abortion by definition of an abortion. This is, by definition, INFANTICIDE. Clearly the definition of infanticide includes not only the life of a born person but also the life of an unborn person.

    Conclusion: Americans misuse the term abortion to describe what is truly infanticide. Infanticide is illegal and punishable by federal law. It seems simple - we need only recognize and identify the act by what truly defines it and refer to it as such - thereby making it illegal to perform an abortion which is truly infanticide.

    I was somewhat surprised by Timothy's findings. Murdering an infant, no matter what you call it, is just wrong! It is time for us, as Catholics, to speak out. We represent 21% of the total population in the United States. That is significant! What could happen if every Catholic committed to protect our most vulnerable brothers and sisters? What could happen if only 1/2 of us began protecting the unborn? Through out history, great accomplishments have resulted by the efforts of a few. Catholics enjoy an advantage over the pro-death population in that we have the power of numbers and most importantly, the power of God on our side. Let's join together and utilize both! If you are uncertain where to start, give me a call toll-free at Pro Life Communications 877-878-5433 ext. 11.

Joe and Jane Dalton


For past columns by Joe and Jane Dalton, see FAITH IN THE FAMILY Archives





April 5, 2001
volume 12, no. 95
FAITH IN THE FAMILY
www.DailyCatholic.org
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