Weekend Reading: choosing life in a challenging time

From  Texas Right to Life by way of lifenews.com:

Doctors Pressured Them to Abort Their Son, Who Had a Fatal Disease. They Said No and a Miracle Happened

“Last week Woodlands Church senior pastors and best-selling authors, Kerry and Chris Shook, shared an urgent prayer request on their Facebook page.  Their son Josh and his wife Kelli had learned that their preborn son suffers from a fatal kidney disease.  Doctors pressured Josh and Kelli to abort their son, whom they named Jude…As church members and friends read and shared the post thousands of times, prayers spread.  That’s when Kerry and Chris say a miracle occurred.  Doctors were able to offer hope for baby Jude.  The family was connected with specialists in Cincinatti, Ohio, who are developing research to treat Jude’s rare kidney disorder.”

Read the rest of the post.

“Preborn”: a language barrier?

How do you refer to children existing but not yet born? Does it depend on your audience? Do you find that some terms alienate the people around you? What works?

I just answered an email from a reader about my use of the word “preborn.” As I typed my answer, I thought that this is the perfect crowd-sourcing question. So please, share your answer in the comments section below. I have things to learn here.

I’m keeping my correspondent’s name anonymous except to say that she’s from New Hampshire’s North Country. Her inquiry:

Hello Ellen,

I just read your piece at your blog on Griffin’s Law.  I noticed that you and many anti-abortion rights advocates call unborn children “preborn.”  Why is that?

The Oxford English dictionary entry for “preborn” said

orig. and chiefly U.S. (esp. in the language of anti-abortion campaigners). A.adj.  Of or designating a fetus.

My answer:

Dear Ms. xxx, I use “preborn” because it’s inclusive, referring to all stages of prenatal human development. I’ve used the term for more than thirty years, and I gently dispute the OED’s editors who limit the definition. As you know, “fetus” is the clinically accurate term for a not-yet-born human being more than 56 days post-fertilization.

And now, for your own answers. Go.

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