Planned Parenthood's Politics and the English Language

By Collin Garbarino - Posted at Reformation 21:

In 1946, George Orwell wrote "Politics and the English Language," an essay in which he complains that people had begun to speak and write without clarity. Laziness is sometimes the culprit, but too often people use pretentious diction and meaningless words to intentionally hide the truth. Orwell wrote, "In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible." The same seems true in our time as well.

People try to shape political reality with their words, and nowhere is this more true than our debates about abortion--er, excuse me, reproductive rights. The two camps self-identify with "Pro-Choice" and "Pro-Life." No one wants to be seen as being anti-anything. Political language becomes a kind of legerdemain which pretends at conjuring reality through illusion and misdirection.

A week ago the political battle over words erupted again. A group called The Center for Medical Progress released a video provocatively entitled "Planned Parenthood Uses Partial-Birth Abortions to Sell Baby Parts." Pro-life outrage began trending on social media almost immediately, but the rebuttals were not long in coming.

Planned Parenthood released a statement maintaining that their clinics engaged in no wrongdoing: "There is no financial benefit for tissue donation for either the patient or for Planned Parenthood. In some instances, actual costs, such as the cost to transport tissue to leading research centers, are reimbursed, which is standard across the medical field."

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