A recent article in the British publication, “The Guardian,” has generated some interesting conversations on the Internet lately.
In that article, long time abortion doctor Curtis Boyd is quoted as saying “Am I killing? Yes, I am. I know that.” Apparently, he later said he was taken out of context but many in the anti-abortion movement are crowing to the rooftops, declaring victory, citing how this doctor has finally blown the whistle.
What a bunch of hooey!
Curtis Boyd is just one in a long line of doctors and activists who have “admitted” the same. Indeed, in 1997, when I was the Executive Director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, I was quoted in the New York Times – a rather well known paper – as saying that “abortion is a form of killing.” The next day I did get a number of calls from my pro-choice colleagues who were not too happy, but when I asked them if I had said anything inaccurate, they stumbled.
So, let’s get this straight. A woman comes into an abortion clinic with a fetus/a baby or whatever the heck you wanna call it and it is a living organism. She goes to the clinic because she does not want it to grow which is what would normally happen left unattended. She wants to stop the growth and start with a clean slate, both physically and mentally. Her goal is simple: when she leaves the clinic, she does not want to be carrying that fetus/baby.
So, what word would you use to describe exactly what the doctor does? When the doctor took the affirmative medical steps to prevent the pregnancy from growing, did he/she “terminate” the organism or did he “kill” it? Obviously, the word “kill” is a bit harsher that then more acceptable “terminate.” In the end, I’m not sure if there is a right or wrong answer.
But to me, there is a bigger issue here. And that is that whatever Doctor Boyd, the anti-abortion movement or I call the procedure, it probably makes no difference to the woman. I’ve been in a clinic where I’ve heard women use many different words to describe what they are doing of their own volition and, yes, I’ve heard women use the word “kill.” As an aside, they also use the word “baby”.
The battle over what we call this medical procedure doesn’t mean diddly squat to the average women. When I made my rather public admission in 1997, I can guarantee you that there was not one woman in this country who was shocked to hear how I described the procedure. Women who have abortions know exactly what they are doing, they know what they want/need to accomplish and the terminology is just something that those with an investment in the “abortion wars” love to perpetuate for PR reasons.
What a waste of time.