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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Dictatorship of Euphemism.

Robert Araujo heard the oral arguments in the Supreme Court on the partial-birth abortion ban.

Short summary: if you don't name it, you don't have to claim it:

It was ear and eye opening to listen to how highly intelligent people relied on euphemism (e.g., “fetal demise”) to escape coping with the reality of what is at the core of the case and, therefore, at the heart of abortion itself—human life. I hasten to add that some of the participants would periodically indicate or otherwise suggest that two human lives are involved in every abortion case that is litigated; however, others could not or would not make this concession.

Very early on in the oral argument the listener hears a discussion about dismemberment, but what is being dismembered is not mentioned. The object/subject of this procedure is left to the imagination of the listener to identify. But, with patient listening, the identity of the object/subject becomes clear; however, with the increase in this clarity, the efforts by some to fortify the conclusion that it is not human, or at least outside the scope of Constitutional protection, intensify. Some of the presentations are concrete when they focus on “the health of the woman (mother?)”; however, they become more abstract when the “other entity” is mentioned.

Read it all. The power of definition is critical, and this is Exhibit A.

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