The Languages of Life and Death

 “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have placed before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants,” Deuteronomy 30:19, ESV~

“For too many of us, freedom no longer means the ability to know, to choose, and to do what’s morally right; rather, it means what the scholar D. C. Schindler described as ‘freedom from reality. . . . As a result, we relentlessly try to reimagine the world to suit our desires, and then coerce others into believing our delusions.” Charles J. Chaput

In 1974 along with some fellow students, I toured a residential facility for the mentally disabled in a nearby county. Patients’ conditions ranged from functional to bedridden.

In those years, seeing someone with challenges was more common. Aborting those with limited capacities or physical challenges had been neither legal nor acceptable when these patients resided in the womb.

A few years later, the center made news. A male employee had raped incapacitated female patients, two of whom had become pregnant as a result.

The parents of the two women took different paths as I recall from news reports of the day.

One family decided on abortion. Their daughter had a genetic disorder they feared would damage the fetus.

The other family’s daughter had been injured in an accident. Her “disorder” couldn’t be passed on. Her baby would be born. Her baby had a mother.

The newspaper reporter further distinguished between the two children. The fetus had tissue, but the baby had blood. Medical personnel would test both to solve the crime.

There was one language for death and another for life.

The language of death is designed to disguise its subject. Fetus is a Latin word meaning young one. Tissue isn’t as graphic as blood–the substance that sustains life. Fetuses don’t have mothers. Only babies do.

Unstated in the reporter’s account, one family would be relieved of a potential new burden the state was already carrying for their daughter since her child would die. The other family claimed an unexpected grandchild. That child got to have a birthday.

Law enforcement used the acquired tissue and blood to identify the perpetrator who paid the price of a prison sentence.

Nearly five decades have passed since SCOTUS handed down Roe v. Wade and companion case Doe v. Bolton eliminating every law limiting abortion (effectively allowing abortion until birth for any reason) across the US. The language regarding the subject continues to distinguish between fetuses to be aborted and children to be born.

Think of hospitals doing late abortions while medical personnel down the hall work around the clock in the NICU to save babies of the same gestational age.

Think of those working where life and death depend on human decisions.

Think of the people making these decisions–irrevocable moments that will resound in eternity.

And think of the babies, as all whose lives hang in the balance are.

Photo Credit: Pexels

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22 Replies to “The Languages of Life and Death”

  1. I struggle to understand how people can be determinedly blind to such obvious contradictions in logic. The only conclusion I can reach is that they are obsessed with being in such blatant rebellion to God that they must destroy those made in His image while they are still helpless. My heart aches for women have believed the lies woven into these vocabulary choices.

    1. Some people are in blatant rebellion. Some comfort themselves within a decision they believe is the only door open. Sometimes someone pushes them through that door. My heart aches too. Thanks, Ava. God bless!

  2. I admire your courage and dedication in continuing to focus on these hard issues–the ones we don’t want to talk about. You remind me of John the Baptist–“a voice crying in the wilderness.” Thank you, Nancy.

  3. It doesnt make sense how some can work so hard to save those babies in the NICU while others work just as hard to kill those they dont want. It is a reflection of the heart.

  4. Those who choose not to identify the baby in the womb as a human being with a body exactly like the one we had when we were in the womb are delusional. Of course it’s a human. Two human beings conceive a human baby. Refusing to call a baby what it is, a baby, rather than a fetus is a coping tactic giving themselves space to kill their own child. To do so is the least human behavior we could ever possibly exhibit.

    1. It is a coping tactic, and a tactic of deception. The deception takes advantage of desperate women and perhaps some desperate men too. It’s so sad to see people blindly believing there is only one solution. Thank you, Melinda. God bless!

  5. It is heartbreaking to hear about such situations. Thank you for speaking out for these babies in the womb. May God protect them.

  6. Nancy, as usual, your observations are spot-on. We tend to use language illogically to justify getting our way. As a mom of a child with special needs, I am particularly sensitive to these issues and appreciate how you draw attention to the truth.

  7. “For too many of us, freedom no longer means the ability to know, to choose, and to do what’s morally right; rather, it means what the scholar D. C. Schindler described as ‘freedom from reality. . . . As a result, we relentlessly try to reimagine the world to suit our desires, and then coerce others into believing our delusions.” Charles J. Chaput What a chilling and accurate view of our times. Nancy, I appreciate your writing on this.

  8. It’s sad how we so quickly start thinking like clinical scientists and not like humans. Babies (born or unborn) are precious.

  9. Wow, Nancy, what a story. Sobering how the definitions of tissue and blood, fetus and baby, and life and death seem to be relative to some people and for contradictory issues. And the innocent are the ones who suffer the most at the hand of those making the decisions

  10. God’s blessings Ms. Nancy for standing up for truth ma’am. It might not be popular, but abortion is perhaps the most selfish form of murder I can imagine. It’s a terrible blight on mankind, and it’s a slap to God’s face that we treat His most prized creation (human life) in that way. I’ll always remember what my favorite Commander-in-Chief said, “Isn’t it interesting how all the people who claim to be pro-choice have already been born?” – Ronald Regan.

    Keep speaking truth my friend!

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