By John Bruchalski M.D., FACOG

Just say the word. The abortion industry can’t and won’t because language is critical to propagandized politics of the powerful over the weak. Straightforward simple language of informed consent for moms and women tunes us into the truth deep in our maternal and paternal hearts and that truth helps the weak overcome the powerful. History from the beginning to the end has had these uprisings of truth, despite the constant haughty question “What is truth?”

Those unspoken words of elective abortion were, however loudly, almost yelled so as to be given priority and prominence in our SOTU (State of the Union Address) recently.

Reproductive rights are the core healthcare principle for my “professional organization,” ACOG, The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists. So much so that they have been transformed over the last five plus decades from representing and supporting all OB-GYNs in our country as a legitimate professional organization would do, into a PAC, political action committee. (1)

How do I know? For one, they have never come against a piece of common sense, common ground law regulating abortion on demand. Never. Secondly, like the SOTU, they do not use the word “elective abortion,” despite it being the predominant reason for ending the life of the preborn child in the wombs of their mothers.  And third, they tell us abortion is foundational to women’s healthcare, and yet they do all they can to obfuscate and obliterate the scientific understanding of fetal development; the violent expulsion or dismemberment of what elective or eugenic abortions actually are.

For three decades I have practiced medicine, specifically OB-GYN. Therefore, caring for two patients, but primarily for moms that are interdependent on the new human being inside their uterus. I and my team safely treated them as we accompanied them in their pregnancies. We were also often called to walk alongside women in the pain of miscarriage or to natural death.

During that time, I have been a proud member of ACOG, believing it is a place of discussion and scientific inquiry, with opinions that lead to conversations that lead to better research in the basic sciences and clinically healthier patients. I have noticed that the pressure to change the wording and the language to obfuscate the very real and violent and painful truths about abortion, substituting it for the excellent medicine that has been researched and discovered over the last five decades. Medicine does not harm elective abortion does.

This is what I am addressing here; the political propagandized lengths we go to in my medical profession to not have to say the word “abortion” as the provider of the service while evading the basics of informed consent for our patients. The following comes from the ACOG Guide to Language on Abortion. (2)

ACOG condemns as part of its core plank, any political “anti-choice,” “discussing abortion or health policy that impacts abortion has a basis in anti-choice rhetoric and is inherently biased, inaccurate and not medically appropriate—to say the least.” (2) ACOG stresses they have clinically accurate language when they discuss abortion which is medically appropriate, clinically accurate and without bias.

The examples and recommendations that follow are some of lies told by the politicized American College of OB-GYN for the charade of continuing to try to convince us all of abortion as health care. Be alert to these tactics, their widespread use and guard against them.

Late Term Abortion
According to the ACOG general secretaries, this “phrase has no clinical or medical significance. ‘Term’ historically referred to the three weeks before and two weeks after a pregnancy’s due date. To be even more clinically accurate, ACOG now refers to early term (37 weeks through 38 weeks and six days of gestation), full term (39 weeks through 40 weeks and six days of gestation), late term (41 weeks through 41 weeks and six days of gestation), and post-term (42 weeks of gestation and beyond). Abortion does not happen during this period.”

ACOG recommends to use instead “ ‘Abortion later in pregnancy’ or reference weeks of gestation (for example, ‘abortion at 14 weeks of gestation’).”

Chemical Abortions
According to ACOG general secretaries, “this is a biased term designed to make medication abortion sound scarier than the safe, effective medical intervention it is.”

ACOG urges use of “Medical abortions.”

Surgical Abortions
According to ACOG general secretaries, “the abortion procedure is not a surgery. Referring to it as a procedure is clinically accurate.”

They say to use instead, “Abortion procedure.”


Heartbeat Bill

According to ACOG general secretaries, “it is clinically inaccurate to use the word ‘heartbeat’ to describe the sound that can be heard on ultrasound in very early pregnancy. In fact, there are no chambers of the heart developed at the early stage in pregnancy that these bills are used to target, so there is no recognizable ‘heartbeat.’ What pregnant people may hear is the ultrasound machine translating electronic impulses that signify fetal cardiac activity into the sound that we recognize as a heartbeat.”

Use instead, according to ACOG, “ ‘gestational age bans,’ or identify by gestational age (such as ‘15-week ban’ or ‘six-week ban’)”.

Fetal Heartbeat
According to ACOG general secretaries, “fetal cardiac development, like all gestational development, is a gradual process that continues through a pregnancy. Until the chambers of the heart have been developed, it is not accurate to characterize the embryo or fetus’s cardiac development as a heartbeat.”

ACOG recommends to use instead “ ‘embryonic cardiac activity’ before eight weeks of gestation and ‘fetal cardiac activity’ after eight weeks of gestation.”

Dismemberment Ban
According to ACOG general secretaries, “a recommended approach for an abortion procedure after 12–15 weeks of gestation is dilation and evacuation, in which the clinician dilates the cervix and then removes the fetus using a combination of vacuum aspiration and forceps, which can lead to disarticulation. Referring to this medical procedure as ‘dismemberment’ is intentional use of inflammatory, emotional language and centers the procedure on the fetus rather than on the pregnant person who is the clinician’s patient.”

They use instead, “dilation and evacuation ban.”

Abortionist
According to ACOG general secretaries, “clinicians who provide abortion care are highly trained medical experts who provide patients with a wide range of medical care, of which abortion is a part. Using this derogatory phrase perpetuates the myth that they are not medical experts and that abortion care is the extent of their expertise and does not reflect the full range of the patient-centered care that they provide.”

ACOG’s suggestion is to use instead, “ ‘physician(s) who provide abortion’ if you are referring specifically to doctors, ‘clinician(s) who provide abortion’ if you are knowingly or potentially referring to advance practice clinicians trained in abortion care as well.”

Baby, Unborn or Preborn Child
According to ACOG general secretaries, “centering the language on a future state of a pregnancy is medically inaccurate. As long as the pregnancy continues, the language should reflect the current state of the pregnancy.”

They use instead, “ ‘through eight weeks after last menstrual period’, ‘embryo.’ After that point until delivery, ‘fetus’.”

Self-Induced Abortion
According to ACOG general secretaries, “with the landscape of medication abortion access changing, more pregnant people are safely managing their abortions using medication abortion.”

Use instead, ACOG says, “self-managed abortion.”

Elective Abortion
According to ACOG general secretaries, “the unnecessary descriptor of ‘elective’ can be used to differentiate between reasons for abortion care and diminish the value of the abortion care that many patients need. The motivation behind the decision to get an abortion should not be judged as ‘elective’ or ‘not elective’ by an external party.”

Use instead “ ‘Abortion’ or, if necessary, ‘induced abortion’. ”

Partial Birth Abortion
According to ACOG general secretaries, “this graphic, inflammatory language is not a medical term and exists to distort the clinical reality. It is vaguely defined in law but is generally interpreted as referring to one method of abortion which occurs later in pregnancy.”

Use instead, “intact dilation & evacuation should be used.”

Post Birth Abortion
According to ACOG general secretaries, “no such procedure exists. Because abortion ends a pregnancy, it can only be performed during a pregnancy. Abortion cannot be performed after a pregnancy has ended. Use of this term dismisses the pain and suffering experienced by families in need of perinatal palliative care.”

Use instead, “perinatal palliative care.”

Womb
According to ACOG general secretaries, “this is a non-medical term that can be used to apply an emotional value to a human organ.”

Use instead, “uterus.”

Abortion on Demand
According to ACOG general secretaries, “abortion is a medical intervention provided to individuals who need to end the medical condition of pregnancy. Referring to it in this way is dismissive of the medical needs of pregnant people.”

“Abortion should be used.”

There you have it. Patronizing and political propaganda language to promote abortion on demand. We think ACOG you doth protest and protect too much. The experience of five decades on the memory of women, the harm of the violence done to women’s bodies, psyches, and souls, added to the killing of their preborn child can no longer be hidden via absurd language, lousy logic, and a brutal action couched as appropriate and excellent healthcare.

John Bruchalski M.D., FACOG
Dr. Bruchalski received his M.D. from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Eastern Virginia Medical Center and the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine. During his medical training, Dr. Bruchalski performed abortions believing he was helping women. After a spiritual awakening, he realized abortion was not achieving freedom, health, and happiness for women and started his own pro-life medical practice.

 

References
(1) Chapter Four, “Abortion Harms Medicine”, in Tearing Us Apart: How Abortion Harms Everything and Solves Nothing. Ryan T. Anderson and Alexandra DeSanctis, Regency Publishing, Washington, DC, 2022; pp.121-150
(2) ACOG Guide to Language and Abortion: this guide is designed to help inform language choice for those writing about reproductive health to use language that is medically appropriate, clinically accurate, and without bias. https://www.acog.org/contact/media-center/abortion-language-guide