It's instructive to listen to the language some use when discussing life issues. The perversion of words to control the language is stunning.
People who advocate the creation of human life for spare parts and research subjects hide behind scientific terms like "blastocyst", "fetus", "procedure", and "therapeutic cloning" as if using precise scientific words in place of more common terminology can somehow change the meaning of the words themselves.
The truth of the matter is that English is a very precise language, and using it precisely illuminates the meaning rather than obscuring it. For example, "fetus" is the modern English word that comes from a Middle English word that means "bringing forth of young, hence that which is born." The Middle English word is itself derived from the Latin word "fecundus" which means "fruitful". Pro-abortion advocates use the word "fetus" rather than "baby" to hide what the "procedure" of abortion does: it ends a human life. "Terminating a pregnancy" sounds like a benign, and very private issue, rather than the taking a human life in which society has an interest.
Another example is the continued insistence by the proponents of embryonic stem cell research that such research is an act of mercy for people suffering from terrible diseases. They use terms like "blastocyst" or "embryo", and tout medical developments that haven't occurred. A "blastocyst" is the "blastula" of an embryo, a very early stage of human development. Put more plainly, a blastocyst is a very tiny human being.
When we use the bland, albeit precise, medical terms, we can easily obscure the subject of the discussion. On one website I reviewed for this article, the embryo was discussed as if it were some sort of "spare parts kit" rather than a human life. The author defended the use of embryos for research by referring to, "using embryos created at fertility clinics and donated by couples who no longer needed them." As if there was such a thing as a "throw-away human being".
To add insult to injury, there is not a single embryonic stem cell "therapy" actually working right now to end suffering from disease. There is, however, significant progress with therapies that have shown actual results in clinical trials with adult stem cells and umbilical cord blood stem cells. I say this merely to expose the language manipulation rampant in the media, but of course whether or not there were or ever will be effective medical treatments created from embryonic stem cells does not change the fact that such use of tiny human beings is purely objectively evil.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church expresses the Church's unwavering commitment to the dignity of each person:
Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person — among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life (CCC 2270).
Sacred Scripture is clear regarding the humanity of the infant in the womb:
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you (Jer 1:5; cf. Job 10:8-12; Ps 22:10-11).
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth (Ps 139:15).
This means that human life is human life. Period. An embryo is a tiny human being… not a "potential life", not a sub-human species, not a "collection of cells". The tiny human life, be it blastula, diploid, zygote, or embryo is a complete, albeit small, human being and every reader of this article was once that small. The moment we begin to decide which human life has value and which one does not, or which one may be "harvested" for parts, is the moment we loose our own humanity.
It's not hyperbole to say that the person who maintains the viewpoint that an embryo is "just a collection of cells" possesses the same monstrous inhumanity that spawned the Holocaust in Europe during Second World War. It is the same evil depravity that fuels the jihadis in their quest to destroy the West. Once a person loses his conception of the human person, all sorts of atrocities are possible. The starvation of the sick and the elderly is portrayed as an act of mercy. Parents discard dozens of their own offspring as they select the "best" embryos, and babies are murdered in their own mother's wombs.
Our late beloved pontiff, Pope John Paul the Great commented on this baffling loss of our human dignity and the consequences in his 1995 encyclical, Evangelium Vitae:
All this is causing a profound change in the way in which life and relationships between people are considered. The fact that legislation in many countries, perhaps even departing from basic principles of their Constitutions, has determined not to punish these practices against life, and even to make them altogether legal, is both a disturbing symptom and a significant cause of grave moral decline. Choices once unanimously considered criminal and rejected by the common moral sense are gradually becoming socially acceptable. Even certain sectors of the medical profession, which by its calling is directed to the defense and care of human life, are increasingly willing to carry out these acts against the person. In this way the very nature of the medical profession is distorted and contradicted, and the dignity of those who practice it is degraded. In such a cultural and legislative situation, the serious demographic, social and family problems which weigh upon many of the world's peoples and which require responsible and effective attention from national and international bodies, are left open to false and deceptive solutions, opposed to the truth and the good of persons and nations (EV #4).
Those who spoke of the "final solution to the Jewish problem" share a legacy with those who discard human life as "no longer needed". Just as the slave traders used the language of animal husbandry to disguise their abuse of human beings, the current "slave traders" (abortionists) use the language of science to hide their destruction of human life. The "father of lies" has somehow convinced people to accept euphemism instead of the language of love.
But we need not accept discourse on Satan's terms; we have the truth, and therefore we are free to speak the truth. And as Father John Corapi has famously declared "Truth is not a something, truth is a Somebody, Jesus, the Christ." We need only speak the truth to stand up for the most defenseless in our society.
In the end, the Gospel is a call to action, so we are bound to speak out… just don't let the culture of death choose the language!