On 'What the Law Calls a Partial Birth Abortion'

April 18th, 2007 6:50 PM

CBS "Public Eye" editor Brian Montopoli explained in an April 18 post that when covering today's Supreme Court ruling upholding an abortion ban, " has decided to go with this phrasing whenever possible: 'what the law calls a partial birth abortion.'"

And the reason?

"Both 'late term abortion' and 'partial birth abortion' are now phrases that signify a position, so we will use this phrasing though it is cumbersome," CBS editorial director Dick Meyer noted in an e-mail to CBS staffers.

Of course, it's cumbersome and ridiculous to imagine that language being used to describe a number of other things defined under federal law, but on a more basic level, "partial-birth abortion" is not political invective, it's descriptive layman's language to describe a medical procedure.

We often use layman's terms that are completely noncontroversial and descriptive and pertain to medical phenomena or procedures. For instance, a "heart attack" is the layman's term for the medically-correct term "myocardial infarction."

Similarly, the term "partial-birth abortion" is an accurate layman's description of the federally-banned "intact dilation and extraction" (D&X) or "intrauterine cranial decompression" (fancy words for sucking out the unborn child's brain matter and deflating the head while still in the womb).

Why is it so difficult for the media to embrace terminology that accurately and vividly describes an abortion procedure that partially births an unborn child in order to abort it?