I have noticed a few of my friends in the pro-life movement seem particularly touchy about the term fetus. Recently I was talking to a woman whom I dearly love about abortion. She is passionately pro-life and mentioned her anger about people calling a fetus...well a fetus. She said, “That is not a fetus it is a baby!”
When I replied that the fetal stage is an actual developmental stage and that to call it a fetus is accurate she looked at me warily as if I had just started to reveal my pro-abort sympathies for the first time. I told her, “You are right that it is a baby, but baby is a nondescript word. It is also a human being and a fetus. It is a human fetus, but it is a fetus none the less.”
She quickly changed the subject, I assume it was because she strongly disagreed with me on this point and did not want to have to lower her opinion of me anymore in one day. I am not certain why this word is so hard for some pro-lifers to say, but the pro-life position is not compromised one iota by recognizing the fetal stage of development. It is just one of the stages that we go through. We are human beings. We all were at some point a human zygote, a human embryo, a human fetus, a human newborn, a human infant, toddler...you get the point. It is the big L on the SLED acronym. Level of development is not a factor in determining the value of a human being. Recognizing the full definition of developmental limitations in no way compromises our stance. The baby is a fetus, and that fact is simply irrelevant to the value of his/her life.
C. S. Lewis once said that if a proposition is true, then all of the world around us will testify to the truth of that proposition. (Paraphrasing of course) The fact that human life begins at conception and has value is supported by evidence from all the spheres of study on this subject including philosophical, scientific, and even medical. Using the proper terms is merely being consistent and accurate. The truth of the proposition that human life is valuable is plenty strong enough to overcome a few choice words.