FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2016 file photo, Daniele da Silva, who is seven months pregnant, poses for a photo as she sits inside her home in a slum of Recife, Brazil. Da Silva said she had Chikungunya a couple of months ago and her ultrasound scan and other exams of her baby are normal. In Zika-struck Brazil, a debate over whether to loosen the country’s strict abortion laws has sparked a backlash from the mothers of children with birth defects. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

The Sign Language for “Abortion” Speaks More Powerfully Than the Spoken Word

Few words in the English language bear the weight of finality and dread, quite the way the word “abortion” does.

While both sides of the political debate on the subject have their talking points, and both will charge forward, their passions for “choice” or “life” waving like a battle flag, all the casual bystander sees is the division.

It’s the politics and the policy, but the actual reality seems to slip through the cracks.

Most of us would probably describe ourselves, on some level, as being visual creatures. What we can see is more impactful than all the facts, figures, and raw data in the world.

Now there is this: What if you were deaf, and couldn’t hear the debate between the two sides? What if you had never heard the very sterile, clinical way some advocates describe abortion, or the harsh, gut-wrenching way abortion opponents describe it?

What if your only introduction to abortion was having the word signed?

A pro-life activist named Obianuju Ekeocha took to social media with several powerful tweets, each showing the sign language translation for the word “abortion.”

This is an exercise.

Watch these videos in complete silence. Cover your ears if you have to, in order to fully appreciate how the deaf would see and perceive what is shown here.

How do you feel? What do you think of?

Then ask yourself how completely accurate this signage is. Where there once was the hope of full arms, it was scraped and discarded, as you would discard trash.

There is no way to make “abortion” into a positive or empowering word, because there is no way to glorify the rejection of life.

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Susan Wright

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