Open Letter to Fox’s Bill O’Reilly

I am a fan.  I have purchased “factor gear” for my husband.  I record your television show and generally see at least half of the program every day. I admire your efforts to stand up for “the folks.”  It is little wonder that your show is the number one program out of all the cable news channels.

I thank you for your coverage on George Tiller and how he made his blood money.

However, in your effort to be fair, balanced and factual you often tie yourself up in knots on the issue of abortion and I beg you to reconsider the language you use in debating this issue in order to be consistent and clear while remaining on solid scientific ground.

I am no stranger to the abortion issue.  Many years ago, I helped my best friend through an abortion and began to writing and reporting on it reluctantly.  Over the years, I have done nine documentaries and countless columns on this subject and now consider myself to be somewhat of an expert.

Please drop the use of the word “fetus.”  It is a medical term for unborn young of any vertebrate animal, particularly of a mammal, after it has attained the basic form and structure typical of its kind.  More specifically, fetus refers to a human being in the womb in the later stages of development.  The use of this term is appropriate in a medical school or operating room.

However, in Journalism 101 reporters are taught to use plain, simple, everyday language.  We do that in covering  every other medical issue.  When talking about someone who suffered a myocardial  infarction, you would say, “He or she had a heart attack.”   When talking about someone who has a fractured distal radius, you would say, “He or she has a broken wrist.”

The term “fetus” was popularized and sold to the mainstream media by those who promote abortion because they do not want to talk about what is being aborted.  This term makes the child in the womb seem less human.  However, “unborn child,” or “preborn baby” or simply “baby” are all accurate terms, and I would argue, more descriptive and appropriate when it comes to reporting the news.  Don’t worry about making your friends who are abortion rights activists comfortable.  That is not your job (even though, deep down, I know you are a warm and fuzzy kind of guy).

On Monday, in your interview with Kansas City Star reporter Mary Sanchez, who unjustly characterized you in a recent column,  you referred to what Tiller was doing as the “ending of a potential life.”  When Sanchez corrected you and said, “It’s the ending of life,” you when on a diatribe about not getting involved in semantics.   Bill, with all due respect, Ms. Sanchez was right.  You owe her an apology and you owe it to your vast audience to make that correction.

The child in the womb is a “living, developing human being.”  However, that statement can be made about any human being until he or she reaches adulthood.  Nothing magical happens at birth except the way a child breathes and receives nourishment.

When forced into a corner, abortion advocates will refer to the child in the womb as a “potential life” or a “potential human being.”  These terms simply are not accurate.

Please bear in mind that, under Roe V. Wade and its companion case Doe V. Bolton, states can ban abortion of a viable baby unless the mother’s life or heath is affected.  Health is further defined as psychological, emotional, physical or familial.  Since three of these four categories are subjective, in effect, if a woman can find a physician like Tiller willing to perform an abortion, she has a legal right to obtain one at any time through the full nine months of pregnancy.  This has given us the most extreme law on abortion of any country in the world.

Roe should be overturned because it is barbaric and based on world-is-flat technology.

In the run up to the confirmation of a Supreme Court justice, we will be hearing a lot about legal precedent.  What about Plessy V. Ferguson which upheld segregation?  Who wants to defend that precedent?

The Supreme Court has reversed itself more than 100 times and, based on the scientific evidence available today, should reverse that decision on abortion.

Bill, you have done a lot to change the culture but there is much more that needs to be done. Language is very important in this debate.  Please don’t acquiesce by adopting the language of the abortion activists.  Keep it simple, factual, fair and balanced.

49 thoughts on “Open Letter to Fox’s Bill O’Reilly

  1. I like to use the term..’developing baby’ rather then anyother since that is actually what is inside of the temporary host. This character also never showed pictures of just what is done during a late term abortion..he was so cowardly on that issue as well. I used to play the song ‘unborn child’ during my anti-abortion presentation back in the 70s a strong message delivered by Seals and Crofts..unborn child tells it all…lets try and bring it goes right along with your fine rebuttal ..Nino


  2. Excellent point. I too have cringed when watching Bill speak about the unborn children. They should not be referred to as fetus. That is used as a term to keep us from calling them babies. Legalized abortion in our nation is the largest slaughter of American citizens in our short history. Thank you for you letter.


  3. well said, well written, respectful, and dead on.

    i love bill’s show, and his heart, but i think most do not see bill as listening to criticism when it is from just the citizenry. thanks for giving voice, informed, and fair, for all of us. thanks too, for all the work you do.


  4. I would submit that Bill O’reilly is left of center anyway. I don’t know why anyone watches his show. Thank you for attempting to correct his terminology. He is such an ego maniac, I doubt he will listen.


  5. Bill O’Reilly is one of the most influential voices on TV. His arguments are generally well thought out. I would encourage you to send him a copy of this column. His e-mail is There is a link at the bottom of the column on WorldNetDaily that will allow you to do that. O’Reilly gets tons of e-mails but perhaps if enough of you send this to him it may get his attention. I used some of those same terms when first covering the issue but when thoughtful people brought it to my attention because I wanted to be factual. However, I soon realized that what I was doing was misleading so I changed some of my wording. Most thoughtful people in the media will listen to criticism when it is legitimate and makes sense.


  6. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I was thinking the EXACT same thing when I watched the segment with Mary Sanchez. I hope and pray he changes his language. It matters.


  7. I have never given it one thought, the term fetus. I will be careful when speaking the word in the market place of ideas. Thank you for schooling me.


  8. I to noted the “Potential Life” comment. I was taken aback due to Bill’s upbringing in the Catholic Church and their teaching of the “Live at Conception”. I really believed that Bill’s belief was that of Conception when a “Baby” was present. I am a fan of the “Factor” but have noticed lately that Bill seems to stop short on “common sense” issues and appears to be trying the “political correct” way out. Now Bill will say, where is the proof, and I will say, just look back at your statements starting with “Potential Life” and beyond. Again, Jane, thank you for the letter. I believe what you wrote is definitely the right on. Thanks Mac


  9. I agree with Shelly above: Thank you, thank you, thank you for rebuking Bill on his use of “fetus” vis-a-vis “unborn baby,” or even just plain old “baby”!! I felt certain he wouldn’t read my rebuke on air, and he didn’t disappoint. None of his on-air comments about the Tiller episode even hinted at his word choices. Hopefully, he got swamped with other emails like mine to make him feel some shame for cowtowing to the politically correct pukes!


  10. I like your column but I would also add that O’Reilly has NOT shown the American People the pictures of these so-called aborted “Fetuses”. There are plenty out there ranging in all stages of pregnancy. Why does he say he is there to inform the public and yet he participates in the same liberal media censorship of these photos. He has shown some of the Abu Ghraib pics and other “graphic” news images, show the pictures of aborted babies.

    O’Reilly says he has a “No Spin Zone” , well if that is true Bill, why not show the aborted images over and over again and “Report and let us decide.” ?


  11. Hi Jane–

    You may wish to remind people that “fetus” or “foetus” is the Greek word for baby.

    Also, Colonel Sanders at age 65 had a potential life, and he used it to start Kentucky Fried Chicken.

    And for those who defend abortion because it is legal should remember that slavery was once legal. Just because it is legal doesn’t make it moral.

    From Mother Theresa:

    “But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?

    By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And, by abortion, that father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. The father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion.

    Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.

    Many people are very, very concerned with the children of India, with the children of Africa where quite a few die of hunger, and so on. Many people are also concerned about all the violence in this great country of the United States. These concerns are very good. But often these same people are not concerned with the millions who are being killed by the deliberate decision of their own mothers. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today — abortion which brings people to such blindness.”


  12. I saw the interview and I was amazed that the
    interviewed person was actually schooling Bill
    O on the reality of ending a life or in it’s
    plainest term: “murder”. We are such a graphic
    driven culture, yet we don’t want to see the
    images of a massacred baby that was literally
    crushed and vacuumed out of his or
    her peacefull refuge. Those images don’t match
    our cravings to look and feel good. It is similar to
    the German prople that were ignorant or unwilling to acknowlege that their brother and sister human beings were being tortured and gassed nearby while they were
    busy establishing themselves as the elite race or
    they were too afraid to confront the machine that was mowing
    down it’s opposition. I believe that one day our nation will look back and liken the millions killed
    in the abortion mills to all the other massacres
    and enslavements throughout history and we will be
    horrified. And Jane, I used the words I just did
    on purpose. I think this issue cannot be softened
    or should not be softened with any polite speech.


  13. Ms Chastain, I started to read your article with some trepidation, considering the interview with the pro-abortion female, but finished with a sincere “thank-you” , as have others. I suggest that the bloggers who are attacking O’Reilly, be careful that they don’t negate what he is saying. Words are important, yes, and for those who struggle to be “fair” are sometimes striving to “be all things to all people”. end up being “nuttin’ to nobody”. That is the dangerous path in the “fetus” vrs “baby” debate. As the former director of a facility for unwed mothers, it is important that it be known, the term “fetus” is the way in which denial is promoted among the PP advocates. However, to use the term “baby” is most often a complete turn off to reality, because of the gut-level need for self-preservation. Wrong” yes, in my opinion also, but just think about it: O’Reilly is trying, perhaps too diligently,to be “objective”. Let’s not “throw the baby out with the bathwater”>


  14. Dear Jane,
    I just read with great interest your column posted on WorldNetDaily.
    I completely agree with you.
    You have publicly voiced what I have been audibly correcting Bill O’Reilly about for months:
    It is a BABY!
    It is not a “potential life”–it IS a life!
    This man has a large audience, and his influence can be powerful. Therefore he must speak correctly about these human lives–these little babies created in God’s image.

    Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
    and before you were born I consecrated you;…….Jeremiah 1:5


  15. Thank you for speaking up for something that has angered me for years. I cringe every time I hear someone use the term “fetus” to refer to a baby in its mothers womb.


  16. Thank you for giving words to my feelings. I believe that calling a child a “fetus” is simply a way to detach compassion and love from the beautiful and sacred creation of a child in the womb. For the sake of a few, who may get their feelings hurt by of a judgment from others on their choice to abort, we, as a society, “must” all be sensitive to them and politically correct for them. Let the MSM continue to do that! My husband and I are Bill O’Reilly fans because he usually has the courage to stand for truth. It bothered me to hear him argue his point(?) with Ms. Sanchez. Objective? I think he leaned a little too far over to be fair and balanced. It was disappointing.


  17. Miss Chastain, I just read your article on WND and thank you for clearing up the semantics. I agree that we should be calling a baby, a baby.
    I never watch ‘The View’ as I don’t like to purposely raise my blood pressure, but I saw a blurb on YouTube where Joy Behar said that 99.9% of abortions performed were for the safety of the mother, or because the baby would have been physically or mentally handicapped. I’d sure like to know where she got that figure, especially considering that there have been more than 40,000,000 abortions. I’d like to see a few ethical nurses come forward and debunk that.


  18. Out of think air.

    Wikipedia has a good synopsis of the available data.

    Bear in mind that there is no law that says you have to report abortions. However, the Alan Gutthmacher Institute (an arm of Planned Parenthood collects abortion statistics. They speak for themselves. After all, who would argue that a pro-abortion organization is giving out bad information.

    Here’s the latest from AG
    “The reasons women give for having an abortion underscore their understanding of the responsibilities of parenthood and family life. Three-fourths of women cite concern for or responsibility to other individuals; three-fourths say they cannot afford a child; three-fourths say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or the ability to care for dependents; and half say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner.”


  19. THANK YOU! I can’t tell you how many times I’m yelling at the TV while watching Mr. O’Reilly. “BABY, Bill, just say it – BABY, not fetus!” And the “potential life” phrase drives me absolutely crazy. Sperm is a potential life, an egg is a potential life. When they are joined together and start dividing – it’s LIFE. He is good on so many issues, but really falls short on this one.

    I sure wish he would read your letter and pay heed, but I’m not expecting any changes.


  20. Great open letter to Bill O’Reilly – my wife and I watch his show every night and we too felt his language was liberal p.c.. Hopefully you will get a response and inform us via your weekly article on WND.

    Keep saving babies,

    Rick & Laura


  21. Miss Chastain, you’re absolutely right- language is important, and a fetus is exactly what we’re talking about when we refer to the developing infant in the womb. Some species lay eggs, and we call them eggs until they hatch. We do not call them “chickens” or “ducks”, and to do so would be wrong. By your logic we should just refer to the fetus as a corpse, because ultimately that is what it will become.

    If it’s a baby, then it should be able to live outside the womb. This is what the Supreme Court ultimately decided defined the difference. Words and titles are important, and not something you pick and choose from for emotional impact.

    Besides, do you really think Roe v Wade is going to be overturned because we change the term fetus to baby? How about “Precious little child who just wants his/her mommy not to kill him/her”? Will this satisfy your agenda, to win by deceit?

    My wife, and I have had five children, and I’ve been in the room with each birth. I’ve seen the look of excruciating pain, on my wife’s face, change to absolute joy, as each newborn was laid in her arms after birth. So, I’d say something very magical happens at birth, far more than just breathing, and feeding arrangements. If you believe the later, then you are cold and heartless, and in no position to argue for the life of any fetus.


  22. Dear Jane,
    My wife and I just finished reading your column, “An open letter to Bill O’Reilly,” and we were very pleased to learn that we aren’t the only ones who feel as you do. We, too, are O’Reilly fans. Yet, we, too, often find ourselves wondering why he doesn’t call a spade a spade, as it were. I think it is because he feels he has to play the “devil’s advocate.” He doesn’t seem to realize that by doing this, he will never gain the respect of the far-left, and he will additionally LOSE the respect of many fair-minded, conservative people.
    Your column was right on. It made me weep with sadness for the lack of compassion so many people have toward the unborn. It is exactly how we feel about the horrible killing of babies. “Safe as a babe in its mother’s womb” is a joke in this day and age! We just wanted to say thank you for putting it so PERFECTLY! Your words will definitely help us in any future discussions we might have with those who kill or promote and encourage the killing of innocent, defenseless babies.
    Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, and God bless you. Sincerely,
    Fred & Debbie Mueller
    Kingman, AZ


  23. Subject: The term, Fetus.

    Your recent article was a good one. I have mentioned, too many times to
    count, that so many folks make an unborn baby seem less than human by using
    the term fetus. Much like a racial slur, I think it really does make it
    easier on the conscience of the offender to offend .. or worse.
    Another thing that came into my mind years ago was that men used a phrase in
    regard to a pregnant woman, back in my youth, as they would refer to her as
    being “with child”. No one ever referred to the pregnant woman as being
    “with fetus”.

    As they say, words do matter.

    Blessings and best wishes,

    Pastor David J. Kress, Sr.


  24. Way to go Jane. Great letter. I heard the same show and had the exact same reaction. I leaped out of the chair and yelled “It’s a baby, O’Reilly!”


  25. Thank you Jane. I sent an email that same day, and waited to see if he would read mine the next day. He did not, and I am sure it was because I urged him not to refer to these B A B I E S as fetuses. That is the language of the Left, and they use fetus to lessen the impact of the murder of so many innocent lives. I pray that Mr. O will heed your thoughtful and eloquent letter, and make some adjustments to his rhetoric.


  26. Jane,
    You and I agree on two things, it is a baby and abortion is WRONG. However, I appreciate that Bill O’Reilly exposed Dr. Tiller as the vile person he was.


  27. Thank you, Jane, for this letter. I am pro life, but I find myself using the term ‘fetus’ because it is accepted. We get so hung up on words, and the debate becomes which words we use, instead of protecting women and the unborn from the abortion industry.
    While many think they dehumanize an unborn child by calling it a fetus; the term literally means little one, or offspring. Perhaps we need to better educated.
    It is not a potential life, it is a life.
    It is telling to listen to the choice of verbage by major media outlets. I haven’t heard them use pro life, but I do hear anti abortion, or anti choice, while the other side is always pro choice.
    The media is framing the debate on same sex marriage the same way. Those pushing to change the definition of marriage are always portrayed as fighting for civil or human rights. Their relationships are always portrayed in a very positive light, while the side seeking to protect traditional marriage is portrayed as anti-rights, or banning same sex marriage.
    Positive vs negative language.
    It’s so pervasive that most of us get swept up in it. I admit to using the term fetus when debating with pro abortionists, in order to get past some knee jerk defenses, and down to the heart of the matter.
    Abortion stops a beating human heart.


  28. Jane

    Thank you, thank you for trying to set Bill O. straight on his language. I cringe every time he says “fetus” and “potential human being” and am so glad someone wrote to correct his language. I felt that because of his staff of “liberals” (he has admitted that he has liberals on his staff) any email I sent him would not be given to him. Your open letter was the perfect venue (that is, if he reads it).

    I think that the term “potential human being” is an insult to women. What are we carrying when we’re pregnant if not a human being. Maybe pigs? dogs? cats? or some other animal? or just some thing? Every woman should rise up and denounce those words because of what it implies about us.

    His acquiescence to allowing abortion for a handicapped baby is another issue he needs work on (along with allowing for rape and incest). I imagine every handicapped person, or adopted child who hears that cringes as well as the parents who have and love these children. I once pointed out to a judge candidate that every time he allows abortion for those types of babies he does not know how many adults who fit that category are standing in his audience. I could tell by the look on his face that it was a new thought to him. (My daughter had an adopted friend who had been conceived by rape and knew it and was hurt and made to feel unworthy of life every time she heard that from people/politicians.)

    Anyway, thank you again.



  29. The innocents being slaughtered every day by the likes of Dr. Tiller suffer torments worse than the worst tortures of ancient Rome or the Dark Ages of Europe. Their treatment is beyond brutal and their pain unimaginable. Further, even though they are the most vulnerable of all humanity, their excruciating demise comes by betrayal their own mothers!

    To the “truly compassionate” people of this world there is no greater crime, not even from the banalities of National Socialism or Communism.

    But just like the purveyors of those dreadful “isms,” who would justify heartless acts against other human beings, pro-abortionists must start by objectifying their victims. They must define them as mere fetuses, lest their atrocities begin to look obvious.

    The words used to describe ripe victims must always deceive, otherwise justice will interfere with political convenience.


  30. Dear Ms. Chastain,

    Like you, I was a fan of Bill O’Reilly for many years; I have all his books until the last two.

    Over the years, I’ve e-mailed him about the very thing you discuss in your open letter.

    The O’Reilly faction has black-balled me; they no longer accept my e-mails. And I’ve never been abusive or rude. They just don’t want to hear what I tried to say.

    O’Reilly supports the Wounded Warriors charity. If you do some checking, you will see the sponsoring organization is a firm that wants to use aborted
    babies in stem cell research for regenerating spinal nerves. I pointed that out to him, and until I was cut off, kept asking why he would do that,
    support an outfit that exploits horribly injured soldiers as cover for getting government approval and funding for embryonic stem cell research.

    He has a talented team of researchers. He nor any of them ever replied to any of my queries, no matter how much background/supporting material I linked to in my messages — and I did, A LOT.

    He knows what he’s doing, and he does it deliberately.

    He — and his team — know the differences between adult, umbilical cord, and embryonic stem cells, and which ones have ALREADY produced positive results, and which ones HAVE NEVER.

    He — and his team — KNOW that according not just to the Catholic Church but to SCIENCE, human life starts at conception, and the result will NEVER be anything but a human being. It does NOT have the “potential” to have life; it IS life, which you tried to point out. It does NOT have the “potential” to be ANYTHING other than a HUMAN BEING: it’s NEVER going to be a dog or a slug or a fish or a tree.

    And there’s a clause in the Roe v. Wade decision that states something to the effect that when and if science determines when human life actually begins, the case will have to be revisited and even overturned if science determines that human life really does start at conception. Well, science did determine that a couple of decades ago. Why doesn’t
    O’Reilly ever point this out?

    He’s a former high school teacher and reporter. HE KNOWS WORDS AND THEIR MEANINGS. He knows the particulars of Roe v. Wade.

    He is simply not honest; he DOES believe in “a woman’s right to choose.” THAT’s why he quibbles about semantics.

    He will NEVER come right out and say that abortion is MURDER. He thinks that is an extreme and unreasonable slander, and that it’s “poor taste” to show what happens to babies in abortions.

    If you’ve read any of his books, you know this.

    I hope your open letter touches him. But I don’t hold my breath.

    I’ve become so disillusioned with him I can’t watch him anymore. It’s a shame. I feel totally betrayed. And it is such a JOY to know I’m not the only one who’s noticed his disingenuous word play.

    But he’s the only one even pretending to represent you and I. And THAT is the foundation of his success.

    Do you know of anyone with such charisma who really is the REAL DEAL who could be promoted and we could finally get some TRUE TRUTH to support?

    Thank you for your great letter! I hope he listens to you and responds.
    Waipahu, HI


  31. Well now, actually, if you don’t use the word “fetus” when discussing a fetus, then when would it be used? Should the word “fetus” be struck from the language? Or should it only be used when abortion is NOT being discussed?

    The word “fetus” may not conform to your agenda but when O’Reilly uses it to discuss a FETUS he is doing nothing wrong. Nice attempt at making a point and creating a controversy, Jane.


  32. Jane and others,
    As everyone is entitled to their opinion, the use of baby instead of fetus is simply that – an opinion. Fetus is used because it is scientific. Referring to a fetus as a baby is psychological. When a woman is pregnant, doctors and nurses refer to “the baby” or “baby” to help the mother (or parents) begin to create a psychological bond to the fetus. The fetus as a “baby” has an end result – which is to be born and begin living on its own. Scientifically, a fetus cannot live outside the womb without medical assistance; neither can a baby.

    Furthermore, I can’t say I agree with your reasoning that “baby” is as elementary as “broken wrist”. It’s obvious when using the word baby, you wish listeners and readers to associate feelings to the word. Broken wrist has no such connotations.


  33. Mike and Kelly,

    Seriously, did either of you really read my column? What don’t you understand about the fact that reporters are supposed to use plain, everyday language?

    Also, doctors don’t throw out medical jargon to their patients.

    And, yes, O’Reilly, as a journalist and show host is wrong to rely on that term!


  34. Jane Chastain,

    A fetus is not a baby, it is a fetus. Calling a fetus a fetus isn’t using “medical jargon”. It’s accurately identifying the discussed subject.

    Per Meriam Webster, a fetus is “a developing human from usually two months after conception to birth.” Since aborted fetuses fall in between the two months and birth, “fetus” is the more accurate term.

    Medical jargon is indeed unhelpful in public discourse unless it’s needed for accuracy and remains generally comprehensible. “Fetus” no more meets the requirement of “jargon” than “cancer” or “fracture.”

    Insisting that O’Reilly say “baby” instead of “fetus” unveils YOUR agenda, not his. What don’t you understand about that, Jane Chastain?


  35. Fetus is the medical definition for a baby in the womb in the later stages of development. In that sense, baby and fetus are interchangeable.

      /ˈbeɪbi/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [bey-bee] Show IPA noun, plural -bies, adjective, verb, -bied, -by⋅ing.
    Use Baby in a Sentence
    1. an infant or very young child.
    2. a newborn or very young animal.
    3. the youngest member of a family, group, etc.
    4. an immature or childish person.
    5. a human fetus.


  36. Jane Chastain,

    “Baby” and “fetus” are obviously not synonymous. Hopefully you haven’t walked up to someone and said “what an adorable fetus”! To claim that they are “one and the same” makes no sense…like so much of your “reasoning”. But if they were synonymous there would be no reason to use one over the other, thus negating the whole point of your article.


  37. “Baby” and “fetus” ARE the same thing; they ARE synonymous.

    “Fetus” is merely a technical term used by medical science to describe a specific stage of development of a new human being still in its mother’s womb.

    (“Fetus” is used ALSO to describe the analogous stage of development of all mammals; its Latin meaning is young one, child, BABY. In the case of human beings, it means in the English vernacular, BABY.

    What’s so hard about that concept? If your argument must depend on such disingenuous semantic weaknesses, your argument isn’t really worth laying on the table. It’s a deliberate attempt at deception and misdirection.

    And THAT’s the ONLY argument the “pro-choice” faction can muster; the use of the medical term is deliberate to mislead the ignorant and distance the REALITY from the discussion.

    “Fetus” is unfamiliar to most people who aren’t trained in medical science or biology, largely unknown in definition and application by the non-scientific masses, and because of this and the fact it is Latin and a medical term, used deliberately to hide, sanitize, and objectify the subject of discussion — the murdering of a helpless baby — and make it more palatable because the term is “cold” and “scientific.” That’s why the pro-choice faction fights for its use versus using the vernacular term “baby” with all its moral and emotional — and TRUTHFUL — “baggage.”)

    It matters what terms people in visible positions of influence use. It colors ALL arguments and conclusions. Words do matter, and that Mr. O’Reilly knows right well. Look up some of the words he gratuitously tosses out to the ignorant masses at the end of his show.

    How many ways can he find to warn writers not to express dissatisfaction with him and his positions in anything but polite terms, and keep their comments preferably to under 50 words?

    Yes, there is an agenda. It’s called leading the ignorant and easily aroused around by the nose to the prevailing PC views.

    The tiniest correction, from fetus to baby, would instantly turn all his specious arguments and positions on their heads and reveal that agenda for all the world to see.

    Yeah. Don’t hold your breath.


  38. Cathy, words are WORDS, not “mere technical terms.” “Fetus” is word with a specific meaning, and O’Reilly is using it accurately. You can’t sensically bar someone from using it by saying “don’t use that word…because it’s a ‘mere technical term'”.
    I don’t know who you’re hanging with, but I’ve never met anyone for whom the word “fetus” is “unfamiliar. You might be able to accurately claim that a fetus could be termed a baby, but it is also a fetus and people can use the term at will. You can screach about it all you want but O’Reilly is doing nothing wrong.


  39. The technical terms that describe a baby developing in the womb include at least: zygote, embryo, blastocyst, and fetus. All are terms for a developing human being, not a potential human being. That human being will continue to develop unless some fatal defect, an accident, or a hostile intervention kills it. To say it is a potential human is a laughable denial of science. See “The Bio-Logic of Coming to Be” National Review On-line, September 15, 2008 and “When Does Human Life Begin? A Scientific Perspective” October 2008 posted at


  40. Mike, “fetus” is a Latin word (ever hear of “the dead language”?) used by medical science as a technical term to refer to a specific stage of interuterine development. Words have classes of meaning according to their usage; they aren’t just “words,” with maleable meanings according to what whim possesses you at any given time — unless you’re puffing that hooka as Alice’s caterpillar. Wasn’t that Lewis’s point?

    The only reason not to use words correctly is to obfuscate, confuse, defuse, and manipulate the receiver.

    Latin hasn’t been used as daily vernacular by any people since Rome was sacked over a millennium ago; it is still used by the Roman Catholic Church so that all its clergy, no matter where in the world, or of what nationality, can understand each other; it is a “universal language” in that sense. And exactly for that reason — the sake of universal understanding — it and Greek are used by science, mathematics, and medicine as well. It is not used in everyday lay vernacular by anyone else, especially not in America.

    The meaning of the Latin word, fetus, as I pointed out above, is young one, child, baby. Look it up yourself. (I suspect you already know, and that’s why you’re trying so hard to minimize this argument.) Its use by medical and biological science specifically acknowledges what is growing in the mammalian womb past the blastocyst, zygote (which are the real “lumps of tissue”), and embryo stages.

    The pro-choice movement has tried to change the language to one of those a couple of times, to remove the reality of what abortion is even further from scrutiny, but even their non-scientific supporters had difficulty pronouncing, understanding and applying the technical terms. And besides, once you get beyond the embryonic stage, it is a fetus, anyway. So for the pro-choice movement fetus remains the rigid stand-in for the simple and too-loaded English word, “baby.”

    Yes, “fetus” is VERY familiar, thanks to the pro-choice crowd. Otherwise, hardly anyone not in the biological or medical sciences would be familiar with it.

    But its simple meaning, not to be confused with its use as an impersonal and depersonalizing medical label, is not. The pro-choice crowd has been adamant that fetus be used up until birth; even a premature birth is then referred to as a baby. The very same entity that in the womb they insist be referred to as a mere fetus.

    If it’s in the womb, it’s a “fetus.” If it’s outside the womb, it’s a baby, even at the same stage of development (after the earliest — zygote, blastula, of course). How much more prevaricating and dishonest can one be?

    That’s where the controversy over the “medical” procedure popularly known as partial-birth abortion swirls. If it’s a fetus, it’s okay to “abort” it. If it’s a baby, and this is a perfectly natural birth, then it’s murder. During this Nightmare on Elm Street act, the baby even has to be turned in the womb to present breech so the deed can be done before it takes its first breath. Yeah, this is nothing more than a routine medical procedure, to save the mother’s life. Yeah. Do you know what’s involved in turning a baby in the womb or birth canal? If the mother were in any REAL physical danger, that little maneuver would surely help her into the next life!

    So the body outside the womb is a baby, the head still smothering in the birth canal is a fetus. Uh, huh.

    And, like you, the pro-choice crowd cannot afford for ordinary people who think they support “a woman’s right to choose” to understand the real, simple meaning of that “scientific” term “fetus,” because then it becomes clear just what they’re really talking about. And very, very few honest people are willing to advocate for execution or murder of a helpless innocent.

    I’m not “might be able to,” but in actuality DO claim that a fetus IS a baby, by actually knowing the simple translation of the Latin word into English. If it’s so easily interchangeable, then why not use the plain English word INSTEAD of the Latin word? That’s what Jane was trying to advocate by reporters/commentators using plain, direct language. Yah?

    After all, O’Reilly, et al. are not doctors; using technical medical terminology when talking to “the folks” is inappropriate. At the very least, it’s pretentious.

    You’ll never hear an abortion supporter refer to what is in the womb as a baby. And that’s the simple reason you’re arguing against it, too.

    You dance around and try to deny the real issue: what is in the human womb, at all stages of development, regardless of whether English or Latin or Greek is used to label it, is a brand-new human being.

    So, Mike, if it’s a baby, a brand-new human being, by any other name, and abortion is the act of killing and throwing away into the garbage that brand-new human being, is it murder?

    That is the crux of the whole argument. You’ve insisted that fetus or baby, doesn’t matter, is referring to the same entity, which is a brand-new human being. If its only “offense” was to be conceived through the sexual activity of its parents, whether it was planned or not, whether it was wanted, deliberate or not, is it right, moral, ethical, to kill that weak, unsuspecting, and defenseless human being?

    Abortion is analogous to shooting or stabbing an unsuspecting person in the back, someone who had done nothing except exist at the same time as you on this earth. If one is wrong, then when stripped of the obscuring trappings of medical terminology, why isn’t the other?

    Why is it in our society, one class of human beings, of one sex and biological condition, namely, pregnant women, get to choose to kill another human being (albeit under certain circumstances — but these specific circumstances make the act even more unimaginably heinous — and the rest of us are forced to finance it!), if she wishes, but no one else does, for ANY reason? (Except warding off a violent attack by another fully capable human being, or executing a murderer, or during war (topics for other discussions).)

    Where’s the logic and morality in that? Why should ANYONE support that?


  41. finally someone comes out and calls that baby (no one wants) what it is! A BABY !***ONE LITTLE HEAD *** TWO LITTLE ARMS*** AND TWO LITTLE LEGS PLUS A LITTLE TORSO. A REGULAR LITTLE HUMAN BEING. it bleeds and breathes, sucks it’s thumb even inside it’s mothers womb..when did anyone ever hear of an abortion without blood involved… when YOU bleed is there any pain ? and if they are just a blob of tissue, WHY in GOD’S name when someone kills a pregnant woman is the killer charged with the baby’s murder also. scott peterson ? ? ? ? killed his pregnant wife and was charged with not only her murder but also the baby’s murder…so what is the difference ? if the baby is wanted , hey ! it is then murder… if the baby is not wanted ? it is now not murder… you can’t have it two different ways.. if it is murder one way it is murder both ways.,.. why don’t we take peterson back to court ane reduce his charges to only one death..? don’t we have a wonderful system..? and as for the baby killer, tiller… the bible says if you live by the sword, you will die by the sword… think this could possibly by how and why he died….murder is never justified, but we can sure put ourselves in harms way when we thumb our nose at
    god. i know god honors you JANE for calling his tiny creation exactly what it is… A BABY ! no one can soften the action of murder by calling it a blob of tissue.. go to the web and look up PICS OF ABORTED BABIES… THEN TRY TO TELL ME AND GOD IS ONLY A BLOB..


  42. Ha! Oh Cathy, now you’re trying to jettison words from English because they’re “Latin”. English is a patched-together language based on French, German, Greek and Latin. Take words away because they’re “German” or “Latin” and you’ll be left with very little.

    It’s so Stalinist of you to even suggest removing words from the lexicon because they’re “Latin” to further your agenda. Again, “fetus” accurately describes a fetus. To insist someone should bend to your word choice is just pushy, and shows you’re delusion regarding how you view your role in debates in which you choose to engage.

    It’s also highly bore-bag of you to haul out word histories and Rome lectures. Good grief…

    And you’ve certainly changed your tack. First you claimed that “baby” and “fetus” were synonomous (effectively arguing against yourself). Now you’ve tried a new approach – digging through the cattacombs to ban words. You people will try anything. O’Reilly and others deserve protection from people like you.


  43. Mike, in the interest of honesty, veracity, please point out anywhere in anything I wrote where I “try” or advocate “taking away” of ANY words from ANYWHERE, for ANY reason?


    For full disclosure, so that ALL can see here on this blog, where exactly I’ve even intimated what you say.

    Hard to argue on the points, isn’t it, Mike, when you really have no argument. Gives you only one tactic: call names and slander. Good show!


  44. Whoa, Cath, looks like I hit a nerve…cuz you’re threatening me with the disapproval of the Jane bloggers!

    Think I’ll pass on the gauntlet. If you can’t understand what you’ve been writing about for two weeks, I can’t help you.


  45. Mike, you can flatter yourself and enjoy your personal fantasy all you like; it doesn’t change anything.

    I think you garnered the “disapproval” of the “Jane bloggers” all by yourself, and quite handily, too. 😉


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