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Sunday, February 26, 2023
MRC Tries To Control Language On Abortion To Preserve Anti-Abortion Bias
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has spent the past couple of months fighting a nomenclature war over abortion. Tim Graham spent a Dec. 7 post complaining that the Associated Press is listening to actual doctors to more accurately define its terms:

The Associated Press sells itself to news clients with the motto "Advancing the Power of Facts." But the AP Stylebook -- which instructs reporters on which terms to use or not use -- has grown increasingly counter-factual. In July, the AP Stylebook commissars bowed to the transgender lobby: "A person’s sex and gender are usually assigned at birth by parents or attendants and can turn out to be inaccurate."Don't look at an actual human body. Feelings trump facts. 

On Tuesday, in a bow to the abortion industry, AP is suggesting that having an abortion late in pregnancy should not be described as a late-term abortion.


How on earth does a "late-term abortion" start at 41 weeks? Most would think of it as a third-trimester abortion, or as a post-viability abortion. 

Graham offered no evidence that anyone has ever had an abortion at 41 weeks. Instead, he cited a biased anti-abortion website (which he euphemistally called "pro-llife")to attack the organization of actual doctors on whose guidance the AP is basing its changes on, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists:

The pro-life website criticized AP for relying on an activist source. "ACOG is a pro-abortion group. As a supposedly unbiased news source you shouldn't rely on partisan groups to determine your terminology," it tweeted in reply. They added: "Thousands of doctors have left ACOG because it has become an abortion advocacy group. It lost its prestige years ago."

But AP lingo and Planned Parenthood's wishes seem linked. The AP Stylebook account also tweeted: "Instead, use the term 'abortion later in pregnancy' if a general term is needed, but be aware that there are varying definitions of the time period involved. Be specific when possible."

When NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell pointed out that "pro-life" is not an accurate description of the anti-abortion movement -- given its almost exclusive focus on restricting and outlawing abortion -- Alex Christy lashed out in a Jan. 12 post:

MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell went full partisan activist on her Thursday show as she scolded Capitol Hill Correspondent Garrett Haake for using the term “pro-life” when discussing Rep. Nancy Mace because that is not an accurate description.” Additionally, throughout the segment, Mitchell would illustrate glaring hypocrisy and omitted key facts when denouncing Republicans on abortion.

Mitchell wasted no time in getting to dishonesty, “And the House's passage of two anti-abortion bills Wednesday, despite a majority of Americans saying abortion should be legal.”

Christy tried to defend those bill, insisting that "neither bill banned abortion," but didn't mention that incrementalism -- slowly ratcheting up abortion restrictions over time -- has been a key component of the anti-abortion movement. Christy the noted that Haake referenced an anti-abortion congresswoman as "pro-life":

It was at this point that Mitchell interrupted, “Garrett, let me—let me just interrupt and say that pro-life is a term that they -- an entire group wants to use, but that is not an accurate description.”

Haake defended himself by simply pointing out, “I'm using it because that's the term she used to describe herself, Andrea,” to which Mitchell responded, “I understand. I understand. Anyway, that was her explanation.”

Of course, “anti-abortion,” is also a label “an entire group wants to use” and Mitchell and much of the media sees no problem simply regurgitating that. Many pro-lifers would also take issue with the label “pro-choice,” arguing the label “pro-abortion” is more accurate. Why should only one side get to insist on journalists using their preferred language?

Again, anti-abortion activists are almost exclusively defined by their opposition to abortion, so "anti-abortion" is a perfectly accurate term. (Also note that Christy did not defend the accuracy of "pro-life"; and was just mad that it was criticized.) By contrast, pro-choice activists do not force anyone to have an abortion; they simply want that option to be available.

Clay Waters raged in a Jan. 24 post that PBS guest Nia-Malika Henderson referenced the "so-called pro-life movement":

When host Yamiche Alcindor later asked her about the March for Life and the “new sort of battlefield” around abortion, she responded with hostile labeling of the pro-life movement.

Henderson: ….In terms of politically I think you’re going to see in 2024, the so-called pro-life movement, they are going to try to put up a candidate that wants to have a federal abortion ban. In terms of I think the pro-choice movement, you saw I think a kind of renewed commitment to the pro-choice movement and the pro-choice situation in Roe v. Wade in a way that I think Democrats and liberals weren’t so fiercely proponents of abortion….

So the “so-called pro-life” movement is dubious, but the “pro-choice movement” is simply who they say they are?

Like Christy, Waters didn't bother to defend the accuracy of the "pro-life" term.

Tierin-Rose Mandelburg had her own AP Stylebook-related meltdown in a Feb. 6 post:

Yet again, the Associated Press style guide is pandering to the woke, leftist mob.

The Daily Signal noticed that AP changed its rulebook to get rid of the phrase “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” and instead use “Anti-Abortion Clinics.”

But rather than offer any sort of logical defense, she read propaganda straight from the anti-abortion playbook:

The guide describes centers that don’t provide abortions as places that are “set up to divert or discourage women from having abortions.” Coming from someone that volunteers at one every week, I can assure you, that’s far from true.

Most pregnancy resource centers provide pregnancy tests and educational resources on options for pregnant women. They often also provide things like baby clothes, diapers, car seats and even items for pregnant and new mothers themselves. These centers look to empower and assist women, and encourage them that encourage them that killing their child is not the only way to succeed. 

They don’t and never have claimed to offer abortions. That’s just not something they conduct at their facilities. They’re clear about that and are in no way “dissuading” or “diverting” people. They’re actually likely the only honest ones when it comes to pregnancy “clinics." Unlike abortion mills, they have no financial incentive.

Mandelburg dishonestly refused to admit that all of this is, in fact, in the servicee of diverting and discouraging women from having abortions -- which, yes, makes the AP's new terminology completely accurate.There's also ample evidence that these centers engage in manipulative and deceptive practices to discourage abortion, and there are often strings attached to the services they offer women, such as attempts at religious indoctrination.

Mandelburg won't tell you any of that, of course, because she's too busy being an anti-abortion propagandist -- as is the rest of the MRC.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:45 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, February 26, 2023 9:56 PM EST

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