One of the most popular and beloved characterization of the unborn child wasn’t about a child at all nor was it about abortion. It was Theodor Geisel’s [Dr. Seuss’s] powerful message “A person’s a person, no matter how small,” spoken by Horton, the elephant in Dr. Seuss’s classic Horton Hears a Who. It was his explanation of why he was so persistence in attempting to save the inhabitants of Whoville who were “too small to be seen by an elephant’s eyes”: “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
To jump ahead, it drives pro-abortionists nuts—it humanizes and draws our attention to the littlest American—and wasn’t popular with Geisel’s widow either who complained that people were “hijack[ing] Dr. Seuss characters or material to front their own points of view.”
I took a few minutes this afternoon to again re-read Horton Hears a Who. It is not a one-note aside but part of a symphony that is saturated with almost lyrical observations teaching life-affirming lessons about the importance of protecting the voiceless, the centrality of standing up for the powerless, and the absolute necessity of never allowing ridicule to detour you from doing what is right.
My re-reading was prompted by a grouchy column written by Mary Sanchez with a curious headline: “How the language is shifting on abortion.” Her column in turn was prompted by a physician on Fox News who presumably was discussing Heartbeat Laws in the context of the Associated Press’s new politically correct guidelines. Sanchez writes
“I can only quote Dr. Seuss who said, ‘A person is a person no matter how small,”‘ said Dr. Kathleen Berchelmann, founder of MyCatholicDoctor. “And likewise, a heartbeat is a heartbeat, no matter how small.”
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Berchelmann was riffing off Dr. Seuss’ “Horton Hears a Who,” the whimsical story of an elephant with a big heart and acute hearing. He hears the people, an entire community of Who’s in a speck of dust and insistently embarks on protecting them, eventually saving all of Whoville. It’s a great children’s story.
And then she lowers the hammer:
But to cite a line from this story, instead of having an adult conversation about human development, is in line with the idea that a stork delivers babies to parents.
Two things. First, I’ve written about changes to the AP’s Stylebook several times. Its “abortion topical guide” is just stupid. For example
“Do not use the term ‘late-term abortion,’” The AP intoned. “The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists defines late term as 41 weeks through 41 weeks and 6 days of gestation, and abortion does not happen in this period.”
The last week of a pregnancy is the ONLY time you can use “late-term abortion,” and, come to think of it, since “abortion does not happen in this period,” voila, no late-term abortion, right? As I wrote
Does anyone not on the abortion industry’s payroll (or in its thrall, like the AP) believe that nonsense? Who is their source? Planned Parenthood)? Of course, they don’t have a vested interest, right? So when they tell us “There’s no such thing as a ‘late-term abortion,’” we can take that to the bank, correct?
Second, ACOG is very useful to abortion advocates. It acts (and Sanchez happily agrees) as it has the final word: “The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says it is not accurate to call that a heartbeat. Experts at the college recommend using ‘cardiac activity’ instead.”
Not so. Christina Francis, CEO for the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists (AAPLOG), told Fox News Digital that AP’s reliance on the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is flawed:
“ACOG only denies the existence of the embryonic heart when it inconveniences the pro-abortion agenda.”
“By six weeks’ gestation, the human embryo has developed an organ that contracts rhythmically to pump blood through its body, aiding in the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the blood — in other words, a heart.”
Sanchez finishes with a flourish:
Some of the suggested word choices might feel too clinical and devoid of emotion to be used effectively by either anti-abortion or abortion rights groups.
But if fairness and accuracy are the goals, as they should be for news reporters, that’s a very good place to start.
Fairness and accuracy would be a great place to begin and end. Too bad neither ACOG nor Sanchez are anywhere near the starting block, let alone the finishing line.
LifeNews.com Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. This post originally appeared in at National Right to Life News Today —- an online column on pro-life issues.