I was having a conversation with a person when they said something that made me really think about how we view the unborn. I suspect that there are those who are pro-choice, pro-life, and “undecideds” who are all guilty of this act I am about to describe.
The language we choose is extremely important. Jesus said “But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:36). I think it is important that we understand the way we communicate, and there must be a level of objectivity by which we determine what is being communicated to us and what is being communicated by us.
I was telling a person I worked with about the baby that God gave my wife and me a couple of years ago. At the end of 2009, the Lord gave us a child who died before ever seeing the light of day. I told my coworker that we had named our child “Lily.” She seemed to find it incredible that we had named the child (Lily died in the first trimester) and said, “you already named it?”
At that point I realized how our attitude toward the unborn is manifested in our speech. No one reading this blog (in the realm of reason) would ever refer to an adult or child of unknown gender as “it.” We use terms like “he” or “she,” (apart from exceptional pervertedness).
Yet we call unborn babies “it” as easily as we refer to inanimate objects in the same manner. Maybe if those of us who DO KNOW that unborn babies possess personhood would eliminate this word from our vocabulary when referring to babies, we might show our due respect for others who are made in God’s image. Maybe this will have an impact on someone who hasn’t worked this out yet in their own mind?
So the next time you refer to a person of any age of unknown gender, say “he” or “she” instead of “it.”