Abortion proponents’ Jedi mind tricks: It’s “development prevention,” not abortion

… Imagine that you want to buy a horse. You pay for a horse, and what is delivered to you is a fertilized horse egg. You would probably feel cheated. You can’t ride or race a fertilized horse egg. It isn’t a horse. Even in Texas. You need a mare and a lot of development. A single cell isn’t a horse, a cluster of undifferentiated cells (technically, a “blastocyst”) isn’t a horse, a cluster of differentiated cells isn’t a horse, a horse embryo isn’t a horse, and a horse fetus isn’t a horse. You would feel cheated if you were sold any of them….

Here’s what progressives need to do: Never use the Cells Are People metaphor, even in arguing against conservative policy. Never use the term baby or unborn child to refer to a blastocyst, embryo, or fetus….

Stop using the term abortion…. Rather, what is desired is development prevention, keeping any development from happening. That development can be prevented at many stages, from unfertilized cells (via morning-after pills), to blastocyst to embryo, from embryo to fetus, from fetus to a non-fully-formed-human, to an unviable human (one that can’t live outside the womb). The earlier the development prevention, the better for the woman….

The reason not to use the above language is that it can both hide reality and does not adequately communicate the moral values that underlie progressive policy. The right to limit development is a matter of liberty and family freedom.

~ George Lakoff and Elizabeth Wehling, Common Dreams, July 16

53 thoughts on “Abortion proponents’ Jedi mind tricks: It’s “development prevention,” not abortion”

  1. Sigh. Or, yawn. I’m torn between the two.

    It is they who are “undeveloped”, both intellectually and morally.

    Developing celluloid film is becoming a more useful version of itself. But it is not going to become a rock, a hammer, or a car.

    A carbon-based lifeform is developing into an older version of itself. But it is not going to become another species of life. It has already been programmed to “develop” its way continuously.

    Neither a piece of film nor a life will “develop” into something else. The only question is – and here enters morality – will we stop them  before their  time?   


  2. oh gawd. This argument is the dumbest steaming pile I’ve heard yet. By their reasoning, I should be disappointed that I can’t enroll my toddler in high school. >_<


  3. Don’t call them abortion mills call them Family Reduction Facilities


  4. If abortion is development prevention, I now consider myself pro-development-promotion. Both for the developing lives of the preborn people, and, as Hal Johnson said, for the undeveloping morality and intelligence of some born people.


  5. If I was sold a horse with a gimp, or an old horse or a very young horse I would be angry too. Apparently in Lakoff’s world you only count as a human being if you are an ubermensch. The moral values that underlie progressive policy… tearing unborn children apart while heaping mounds of debt on their corpses to win their parents votes.


  6. How dumb do they think the public is anyway? I guess some level that’s even dumber than them. 


  7. It all goes wrong in the first sentence… “Imagine you want to BUY…” Human life is NOT to be treated as if it is a possession. By this logic, I guess we should just refrain from calling people who kill children murderers, because they are just practicing “development prevention” too. I shudder to think… can the blatant disregard for life get any worse??


  8. I’m just….stunned.  What???  “unfertilized cells” ???    What????
    Good grief!


  9. x: By their reasoning, I should be disappointed that I can’t enroll my toddler in high school.”

    Hittin’ the logical nail square on the head. Nice.


  10. Haven’t read any of the comments yet. But what jumped into my head reading this “gem of absurdity” was some loser telling police “But police officer, sir, I didn’t starve my child. I simply engaged in development prevention which is fundamental to my liberty!” 

    GIVE ME A FRIGGIN BREAK. The more these people talk the easier they make it for us. 


  11. Wow, the comments are as “undeveloped” as the doubleplus ungood article.  For example:
    “One thing to come out of this Lakoff/Wehling essay is the drawing of ones attention to the right-wing and OHCAC (One ,Holy. Catholic, and Apostolic Church), is their penchant for an insidious twisting of the English Language in their endeavor to poison the consciousness of your run-of-the-mill gringo.”
    That’s it, folks, using the term “pro-life” is an insidious twisting of the English language. 
    One thing this article signifies: “The war is in measurable distance of its end.”  LOL! Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to hop over to the Ministry of Truth and re-write the chocolate production predictions.


  12. Oh goodness. Half of the brain trust that brings us this nugget of ignorance is  Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. So, that explains A LOT. Berzerkley is crazytown even more so than San Fran.  

    *does the happydance because she doesn’t have to share a state with those wackos anymore* 

    rasqual- such a statement from you I consider a high compliment. Thanks! ^_^


  13. It is fascinating, how long and hard they struggle against scientific knowledge and common sense.

    Let’s face it:  If an owner wants a young race horse, he takes his prize filly to a stud farm.  And if a couple want to have a child, they pour some wine and put on some soft music. 

    The writers are quite wrong-headed to assume that anyone is disappointed or unsatisfied by the natural process!  The pro-aborts are approaching this all wrong. 

    They want to avoid the child and avoid the guilt.  Well, if they have conceived a child and they don’t want the child to develop, then they must kill the child.  There is no other way.  The only way to avoid the guilt is to firmly establish a moral principle that killing children is okay.

    They could do this.  We lived for centuries in the comfort of knowing that enslaving black Africans was okay.  Hitler established for a time that killing Jews was okay.  China has established that having only one living child is okay. Planned Parenthood agrees that killing girls is okay.  The euthanasia movement encourages us to accept that killing old folks is okay.

    When the pro-aborts start wrapping fuzzy warm words around the direct idea that killing children is okay, then pro-lifers should be scared.


  14. “For many women the issue of preventing a pregnancy is a matter of liberty, of the freedom to live your life as you want. You can think of it as a pro-liberty issue. It is also a matter of having the family that makes sense to you, and so it is a pro-family issue, a matter of Family Freedom, the freedom to plan your own family.”
    LOL!  Comedy gold.



  15. Wow, JDC!

    Thanks for that article! The last part is particularly disturbing, as I’ve encountered those tactics often. When eventually it just seems as though you’re being completely ignored, and no question you ask regardless of how respectfully it is presented is answered directly…now I know why! 


  16. You’re welcome x. I have to say, if Orwell was alive today, he would be jealous of PP. His fiction contained nothing quite so Orwellian as that one document. I mean, seriously, “The decision is about parenting, not abortion”? Uh, no we’re talking about abortion, that’s what the decision is about. 


  17. “When the pro-aborts start wrapping fuzzy warm words around the direct idea that killing children is okay, then pro-lifers should be scared. ”

    Remember when Planned Parenthood began urging women to choose abortion because it was a “good parenting decision” for this child?  Gently suggesting that ending this pregnancy could be the best thing for this child and for any current and future children?  That having this abortion is what a good, loving mother should do?

    This is scary, scary talk.  This is the lie that a scared mother really wants to hear.  This is the lie that our selfish culture wants to hear.  It’s the lie that says, “Killing really is the very best solution for your problem.”

    We can be glad that liberal elitists still cling to the old meme of “this child is not really a child.”  Real women aren’t that stupid.

    But the real killer, the abortion industry, has abandoned that meme already.  That’s why we need to focus on building a culture that respects life.  It not enough to establish that the child is alive…. Women already know this.


  18. Lakoff and Wehling’s comments remind me of the advice to keep one’s mouth shut to keep people guessing as to whether or not you’re an idiot, rather than open your mouth and make it obvious.


  19. Well first of all, after buying a horse, if someone sends  you a horse embryo…. you have a problem with the seller and possibly a communication breakdown. Typically, you look at the specific horse you want to buy, see it, sometimes actually ride it, before you pay.
    As soon as those loons climb down from their ivory tower, I’d be pleased to let them know that babies aren’t purchased, but rather, they’re made. You know, by two people? The birds and the bees thing? Yeah, it’s entirely different. And by the time a woman knows she’s pregnant, the child has already far passed the “blastocyte” phase… so… *snicker* I’m not sure where they got this horse-buying and baby making analogy, but it really doesn’t work. Not in the real world, anyway. Who knows? Maybe they passed a Babies R Us once and thought, “Hey, so that’s where they’re procured. Well. When I’m ready to pass my infinite wisdom onto offspring, I shall head to the store and purchase a fully formed baby. NO need to mess with those little troublesome zygotes.”

    Oh this is comedy gold! And the fact that they’re serious is just more hilarious. Thanks, nutters, for brightening my day! :)
    Development prevention? Ohhhhhh kaaayyyy. Right. Development prevention. Welp. We’ve got a new term for murder, folks! All criminals can now just claim, “But I was merely preventing their further development!!!” Seriously, comedians should take lessons from pro-abort, mACADEMIA nuts like these. Hahaha


  20. And I have to say the nerd inside of me got super excited about the picture of the Jedi mind trick.

    Guess pro-lifers are the ones with the strong minds, huh? ; )


  21. LMAO – who needs late night comedians?!

    Development prevention – that’s what Obama is up to with the US economy.

    “A single cell isn’t a horse”  – heheheh  Actually, if it’s a equine blastocyst, it is.

    Someone has been sitting in the ivory tower too long.  Picture a cartoon-like development period – insert blastocyst and poohm! 9 months, instantly. Nope – wouldn’t want that development.

    The right to limit development is a matter of liberty and family freedom.

    A penalty is a tax, isn’t a tax, an abortion is a limiting of development, a human is not a person until I say it is….

    Words have been deconstructed to gibberish.

    Okay, I’m no longer laughing.

    Quite sad really, what we’ve become.


  22. The right to limit development is a matter of liberty and family freedom.
    This just is so hilariously double-minded.  How is limiting someone’s development, of any kind, ever pro-liberty in any way whatsoever?  One human stepping in to stop another human’s development, whether that development be biological or whatever other kind (honestly this mentality pretty much applies to everything, right across the board), is not liberty, it’s oppression.


  23. But they actually DO  sell horse embryos, or I assume they do.  They sell cattle embryos with specific genetic lines, to be implanted in some generic surrogate.
    I think you would be disappointed if you ordered a trained racing horse and got a foal, or if you ordered a foal and you got an embryo.  Doesn’t mean that the foal and the embryo aren’t horses, though.


  24. Anyone who is fool enough to buy a horse sight unseen…they almost deserve to get ripped off.


  25. @LibertyBelle
    “babies aren’t purchased, but rather, they’re made.”
    I like to joke that pro choicers still believe in the stork but i never actually meant it literally, but now i just don’t know anymore.


  26. To borrow an idea from Truthseeker:

    Don’t call them Planned Parenthood centers,  call them Development Prevention centers.

    I am all for truth in advertising.   Sooner or later they will have to ask what is developing? 

    Unless they want to say that it is the parent’s sense of morality that is being prevented from developing, they will have to acknowledge that is a human baby that is being prevented from developing.


  27. U-104, it sure does make  you wonder, doesn’t it? I mean, I hate to recap on the whole “how babies are made” talk, but… Hm. 
    You know, for people who scream about “reproductive justice,” they sure don’t seem to know all that much about reproduction. Which also might explain why they always seem so darn grumpy…. ;)

    Alice and Chris, It is actually very depressing if you think about it. But I laugh because if I don’t, I’ll either cry or go insane. How did we ever let these loons take the reins? (Since they started the horse metaphors… thought I’d show them how an appropriate one is done).


  28. “Freethinkers” who seem to live to ridicule the belief that God created the world also seem to think that babies magically poof out of nowhere.  


  29. ” (Since they started the horse metaphors… thought I’d show them how an appropriate one is done)”

    LibertyBelle, you are going to love this. According to Wikipedia, George Lakoff  is “most famous for his ideas about the centrality of metaphor to human thinking, political behavior and society.” So, in a sense you just schooled the Professor in his own area of study. 


  30. Just when you think these so-called “intellectuals” couldn’t possibly get their heads any further up “there”, they go and prove you wrong!
    No WONDER their thinking is so full of  C**P!   ;)


  31. I never much like Mao Tse Tung’s tactics, but suddenly I’m beginning to think that sending these two authors to a farm way out in the country somewhere might clear up their cluttered little heads.   Because it sure seems like your average horse rancher could come up with better metaphors and would also probably be better versed in the reproductive cycles of mammals.


  32. Dear Hans Johnson – So sorry for calling you Hal! I was trying to give you cred and look what I did! ; )


  33. LifeJoy,

    No prob. It’s not quite as catchy as your moniker, anyway.  :) 


  34. Ugh.  I was hungry but now I think I just want to ralph instead.  Well, good for my diet!  :D

    Off topic… but LOLOLOLOLOL at the Obi-Wan quote/picture.  I *love* the original Star Wars trilogy.  Perfect!  Only weak mids fall prey to Jedi Mind Tricks… *cough*ProChoicers*cough* XD  


  35. *Jabba the Hutt voice*  You weak-minded fool!  He’s using an old Jedi mind trick!

    *Admiral Akbar voice*  IT’S A TRAP!!!

    LOL.  OK, I’m done.  Needed a laugh tonight.  :)     


  36. After realizing that I had read some of Lakoff’s actual research, I had to check him out.
    I particularly appreciated the criticism of his more political writing from Steven Pinker, another linguist, as reported by wickedpedia:

    “He wrote that Lakoff was condescending and deplored Lakoff’s “shameless caricaturing of beliefs” and his “faith in the power of euphemism.””
    It goes on. Had to share. You all had him pegged well.

    Certainly Georgy knows exactly what he is doing with manipulating words, but he thinks he’s the only one who knows. How profoundly academic.


  37. JDC! SCORE!!! That’s so awesome. I’m cracking up right now. I make no pretenses about being good at metaphors, but, I think I’m a tad more in touch with my common sense than these loons. I do know horses, at least, and also about how babies are made. Which appears to be more than these folks…

    NERD POWER!! Rachael, clearly, by your picture you like Star Wars… hehe. Not too much of a Star Wars gal (more LotR personally), but they are classics.


  38. Has someone made a comment about how the force is not with these two? It seems like a comment that needs to be made. 


  39. @JDC: Well, logic certainly isn’t with them, whatever else may be.  Also, why do they seem to think anyone is saying “a fertilized egg is a person” metaphorically?  It’s not a metaphor, it’s a fact.
    …Well, insofar as there is no such thing as a “fertilized egg” since the egg ceases to exist after fertilization and instead there is a blastocyst.  And that “person” is a stand-in for “human being,” which…doesn’t actually need any more explaining.  So, really it’s “a blastocyst is a human” which is kind of unassailably correct.  But it is not even slightly metaphorical and never has been.
    How do you communicate with people who so deliberately miss the blatantly obvious?


  40.   “Also, why do they seem to think anyone is saying “a fertilized egg is a person” metaphorically?”

    By best guess is that it’s simply a case of projection. This guy’s career revolves around the use of metaphors in politics, so he just assumes that everyone participating in politics is using metaphors.  


  41. Just try to post a factual comment on their message board, too. They don’t seem to keen on that. They’ll delete it (while keeping the attempted “rebuttal” up). Cowards.


  42. Maybe the solution should be to try and ‘force’ the pro-aborts to Face the Truth.


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