Words: ‘Fetus’ vs. ‘Unborn Child’

This isn’t about abortion per se; it’s about how the U.S. media and the legal system use certain words to frame their agendas.

News agencies report: “Police say three adults, two children and an unborn child were killed in the crash,” or “Authorities investigating the discovery of two fetuses found dumped along the side the road.” Yet according to Merriam-Webster, a fetus is a human being in the later stages of development before it’s born.

Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies from coast-to-coast will charge a person with murder in the death of an unborn child: “The trial for a man charged in the 2012 deaths of his girlfriend and an unborn child…”  or “Woman  charged with the feticide and fetal murder of her unborn child.  After all, they never charge anyone with a crime following the lawful termination of a pregnancy.

It would seem that neither has considered the dichotomy between a fetus’ and ‘unborn child,’ other than one sounds cold and clinical — while the other is cause an emotional response.

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