Peter Kreeft’s book The Snakebite Letters has Snakebite’s demonic uncle giving him this advice on abortion:
Get your patient to think he’s being “compassionate” when he worries with her about the “unthinkable” consequences of carrying the pregnancy to term, either keeping the baby or giving him up for adoption. Keep their eyes focused on the burdens involved with alternatives to abortion, but never on abortion itself…Never let them call it a “baby”. How, you may wonder? Surely they know it is a baby? Yes, but make them think that calling it a baby would settle the issue (as it would) and close off all “escape” paths (abortion) and thus close their minds…If you can’t keep that loathsome word “baby” out of their minds, don’t let them think of it as their baby, only hers. Stir up as much fear and strife between them as you can.
A simple but very serious mistake that we often make is to call our unborn children it. When a woman gets pregnant, she is often asked questions like, when is it due? is it a boy or a girl? what will you name it? and etc. These are the questions that my wife and I received when she was pregnant with Madison, our little baby girl.
While the questions seem innocent and friendly enough, I would argue that they indicate a very serious subconscious level of value we’ve placed upon these unborn human beings. It is never more valuable than he or she. I could easily replace it, but I never replace him or her.
So, my friends, why not change the way we speak? Why not ask questions like: when is the baby due? is your baby a boy or a girl? or what will you name your baby? When it is replaced by baby, and therefore the question are you keeping it? is replaced by are you keeping the baby?, we are forced to deal with a more serious question: am I going to kill my own baby? Such questions are never easy to answer, but at least now we’re answering them honestly.