A Royal Language Conundrum

Prince William and Duchess Kate leaving the hospital after she was treated for dehydration.

There’s been a palpable sense of excitement around the house lately. It is not quite as big as the excitement that surrounded the days leading up to the wedding of Prince William and Kate but it is pretty close. This excitement is mostly from my wife who will periodically check the news or read a blog post related to the status of the newest member of the Royal Family that the young Prince and Duchess are expecting.

All this excitement got me thinking (and I’m not the first to make this observation) about the language that is surrounding the pregnancy and coming birth of this child. A quick type of “royal baby” into Bing News reveals headlines such as: “Royal Baby Names,” “Royal Baby Souvenirs in Production,” “Kate leaves hospital as world hangs on Royal Baby news,” and “Royal Baby and The Press.” Did you catch the what little phrase kept recurring throughout all those headlines? That’s right this little child growing inside the Duchess has been, without any debate, decided to be a baby.

This child is not a royal fetus or a royal parasite. No, the child is not even a royal blob of cells. This child who is in the very earliest stages of development is a baby. The media, usually so quick to advocate for abortion with language such as fetus, parasite, or blob of cells has dubbed Prince William and Duchess Kate’s new addition a baby long before that child has been born or even reached the earliest stages of viability.

This reveals something of a crisis of language. It seems that our willingness as a culture to label babies is related not to the inherent humanity of the child but rather is tied entirely to the convenience and desires of the parents. Don’t want the child? Call it a fetus, parasite, or blob of cells. You want the child, well then it is obviously a baby. This makes absolutely no sense and reveals a staggering inconsistency. The child is a baby if it is wanted but if it is not wanted it gets euphemized in order to assuage the conscience of those who would end the pregnancy.

The point is, it seems that even in a culture where many (especially those in the media) will embrace abortion and are quick to claim that an unborn human has no human rights and thus refuse to call the child a “child,” we still know the truth. The issue is not really about whether or not those cells growing inside the mother are a baby. We know they are. The language surrounding the royal baby shows this clearly. I wonder if anyone in the media grasps their inconsistency?

Image source

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