A radio host in Detroit told me he was shocked one day when a caller referred to his child as a "carbon unit." Yes, a carbon unit. That's how a dad talked about his own kid.
But this is not much different than referring to a baby in the womb as a "mass of cells" or comparing it to a tumor that needs to be removed.
In fact, this is the very mentality that underlies the pro-abortion movement: That child in the womb, growing and developing and moving and kicking, looking more and more like mom or dad (or both) by the day, is not a human being. It is a thing, an appendage to be expelled if not wanted. As expressed by pro-abortion feminist Florence Thomas (speaking of her abortion in France in the mid-1960s), she felt "a relief. An immense relief. This tumor went away, disappeared. I could go back to living."
Really now, if the fetus is nothing more than a mass of cells, a tumor, then the baby (or even the adult) is nothing more than a carbon unit.
In keeping with this mentality, NARAL (the National Abortion Rights Action League), took strong exception to a silly Doritos commercial during Super Bowl 50 (2016) in which a pregnant woman is getting an ultrasound of her baby with her husband present. As he mindlessly munches on his Doritos – to his wife's consternation – he then dangles one near her belly, after which we're led to assume that the baby made a premature exit from the womb, eager to grab that Doritos chip.
What was so offensive to NARAL?
According to NARAL (via Twitter), Doritos was guilty of gender stereotyping (using "sexist tropes of dads as clueless & moms as uptight").
Worse still, Doritos was guilty of using "#antichoice tactic of humanizing fetuses." How dare anyone humanize a developing human being in the womb! Not surprisingly, NARAL took a lot of heat for its absurd, even heartless, tweet.
But NARAL didn't back down. If the fetus can be humanized, then abortion cannot be justified.
As I wrote in response to the NARAL tweet, there's a reason that the vast majority of women who see their ultrasound choose not to abort their babies.
There's a reason that expectant moms send out pictures of that ultrasound with the exciting news, "It's a boy!" (or, "It's a girl!"), pointing out the little hands and feet and nose and ears.
There's a reason the wife grabs her husband's hand and puts it on her stomach as the baby jumps inside so he can experience a little of what she's feeling as that bundle of new life moves around.
There's a reason many parents pick a name for their child as soon as they hear whether they're having a boy or girl, even though there are a few months to go before the little one makes its appearance.
There's a reason some women will mourn for years over a miscarriage, even if took place in the early months of a pregnancy.
And there's a reason that pro-abortionists fight so strenuously against laws requiring abortion clinics to show the mother an ultrasound before going ahead with the murderous act.
It's because that fetus is a human being, carefully formed and made, full of life and potential, the unique creation of God and that mother and father.
And "humanizing fetuses" is no more an "antichoice tactic" than wanting to humanize Jews during the Holocaust in Germany or wanting to humanize Africans during the slave trade in America.
In the 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton ignited a firestorm of controversy by stating that "the unborn person does not have constitutional rights."
Pro-lifers were critical because Clinton acknowledged the personhood of the fetus yet claimed it had no rights; pro-abortionists were critical because she dared to humanize the fetus (shades of NARAL and Doritos!).
In the words of Diana Arellano, community engagement manager for Planned Parenthood of Illinois, "Hillary Clinton further stigmatizes abortion. She calls a fetus an 'unborn child' and calls for later term restrictions." Indeed, "Guidelines issued by the International Planned Parenthood Federation, for instance, discourage the use of terms such as 'baby,' 'dead fetus,' 'unborn baby' and 'unborn child' when discussing abortion, instead recommending 'embryo,' 'fetus' and 'the pregnancy.'"
At all costs, avoid recognizing the humanity of that child in the womb.
Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a strong pro-life advocate who chairs the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, rightly stated that, "The analytical coldness with which [Clinton] dismissed rights of unborn children reveals a type of hardened core that shocks the conscience."
Further evidence of this "hardened core that shocks the conscience" is the "Shout Your Abortion" movement, where women are encouraged to get on social media and proclaim without shame, "I had an abortion and I'm proud of it!"
It would be one thing if women shared the agony they went through over their decision to abort their babies. It would be one thing if they said, "Don't be so quick to condemn me. You don't know the challenges I faced and the trauma I endured." It is another thing entirely when they celebrate their decision to abort. Surely that represents the deadening of the soul and the searing of the conscience.
What, then, is the simple truth that can end abortion? It is found in Genesis chapter 1, where we learn that human beings are created in the image of God. That says it all.
We are different than the animals. We are made to rule. We have the ability to create. We are moral and rational. We can love good and hate evil. We have a sense of justice. We have purpose and destiny.
None of this makes sense if we are simply the end-products of a random, unguided evolutionary process, the fittest of the fit to survive so far.
None of this makes sense if we are simply "carbon units."
None of this makes sense if we are merely material beings and our brains are nothing more than millions of neurons firing.
Carbon units cannot grasp the concept of justice, nor can they self-analyze, reflect, or dream of a better world.
Carbon units simply exist without consciousness, and carbon units have no purpose or destiny or meaning.
But if we are made in God's image, then He is the ultimate Creator and we are all creatures, dependent on Him, not the reverse.
If we are made in God's image, then our sense of justice and fairness and purity and mercy comes from Him, along with our hatred of evil and love for good.
And if we are made in God's image, then every human life is sacred, however fragile that life may be and however unimportant or irrelevant or unneeded or insignificant or unattractive that life may appear to be.
Embracing this simple truth – that all of us, beginning with that baby in the woman, are created in the image of God with purpose and destiny – will help put an end to abortion.
(Excerpted and adapted from Saving a Sick America: A Prescription for Moral and Cultural Reformation.)