Last week I wrote about the crackdown on the First Amendment rights of people who work in reproductive health clinics. Basically, many states have passed laws mandating that medical staff read a script to women considering having abortions. The script is usually riddled with factual errors (like that abortions cause breast cancer) and the religious beliefs of select groups. That pretty much robs clinic staff and patients of their First Amendment rights to free speech and freedom of religion. However, when NYC passed a consumer protection law mandating that organizations posing as reproductive health clinics (aka "crisis pregnancy centers") reveal whether or not they have licensed medical staff and provide referrals for abortions or other birth control services, these people went batshit, saying that the ability to deceive people is crucial to their First Amendment rights. Interesting. Anyway, someone left a comment on the post about how women who get pregnant and chose not to carry pregnancies to term are irresponsible because pregnancy is a potential consequence of sex and if you can't handle that, you should not open your legs. The term killing a baby was also used. To which I replied that technically, we should call it a zygote, embryo, or fetus, depending on its actual developmental stage. It is not actually a baby from a scientific view.

Well, that opened up a whole other field of shit storm. However, I stand by the need to use developmentally appropriate terms. Why does a fetus get to be called something that inaccurately reflects its capabilities? (She said it is because it will eventually become a baby.) A toddler will eventually become an adult, but we don't randomly refer to two-year-olds as adults because they aren't adults. How ludicrous would that be? I just imagine what the news would look like: "Yesterday an adult was lured into a white van as she played with her tricycle on her front lawn, police officials say."

How we treat individuals is very linked to what they are physically, emotionally, and developmentally capable of doing. A seven-year-old is for good reason not held to the same standards as a twenty-seven-year-old. It only makes sense to me that zygotes, embryos, and fetuses are acknowledged similarly. When we don't we take away what is special and meaningful about people in general. It makes a difference.

Comment