McBLOG: Associated Press’ new abortion “reporting guidelines”
The Associated Press (or AP as you will see on many articles in mainstream media in NZ) is a global news organisation founded way back in 1846, and is also notably the most used stylebook used by news outlets of all political affiliations, and influences how many journalists choose to word and frame various issues.
The Associated Press recently put out updated abortion guidelines – called an “abortion topical guide” for journalists — guidance which pro-lifers say “demonstrate[s] even further the extent of the media’s bias in favor of abortion.” You will see how they want to change the language to manipulate the narrative.
Right from the start, you can see the manipulation of the language to suit the narrative.
The organization advises journalists against using the term “abortionist” because it supposedly “connotes a person who performs clandestine abortions.” Really? The term has actually been in use since 1884, according to Merriam Webster, and is defined as “one who induces abortions.” What do we call them?
The stylebook states that the term “late-term abortion” should not be used to define an abortion carried out late in a pregnancy. Live Action News which is the organisation which Lila Rose from the USA set up (and by the way she is speaking at our Forum on the Family later this year – yee haa!!) Live Action News notes that the Associated Press has taken issue with the term “despite the fact that media has used this terminology for decades to mean an abortion committed late in pregnancy, such as the second and third trimesters.”
“In fact, even abortion business websites themselves have long used that terminology, as have media outlets and the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is a pro-abortion entity and frequentlychanges its terminology to match its ideology,”
Somebody needs to tell the government website DECIDE – late is 14 weeks on! 14 – even earlier than 20. They need to tell Family Planning who says that 2ND and 3rd trimester abortions are “late”. Stuff obviously didn’t get the AP memo. And pro abortion politicians like ex-National MP Amy Adams.
They all need to stop saying late term abortion – because the last thing they want to do is tell the truth and put people off killing the unborn child.
Then they go woke on the terms “pregnant women, pregnant people” again!
Pregnant women or pregnant girls, or women seeking abortions/girls seeking abortions, is acceptable phrasing. Phrasing like pregnant people or people seeking abortions is also acceptable to include minors or people who have those experiences but do not identify as women, such as some transgender men and some nonbinary people. Use judgment and decide what is most appropriate in a given story. Do not use overly clinical language like people with uteruses or birthing people.
As far as covering pro-life laws, the Associated Press tells journalists to avoid terrible terms “fetal heartbeat” and “six-week abortion bans.”
The guide says. “Advanced technology can detect a flickering as early as six weeks, when the embryo isn’t yet a fetus, and it has only begun forming a rudimentary heart. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists [ACOG] says it is not accurate to call that a heartbeat. Use the term cardiac activity instead,”
Sorry folks – changing definitions doesn’t change facts.
Even sites like Healthline in the US acknowledge it’s a heartbeat. “Hearing a baby’s heartbeat for the first time is an exciting milestone for new parents-to-be. A fetal heartbeat may first be detected by a vaginal ultrasound as early as 5 1/2 to 6 weeks after gestation.”
Under the heading Fetal pain
Some laws restrict abortion at a certain point in pregnancy based on claims about when a fetus can feel pain. Some have other provisions addressing the question of fetal pain. A human fetus does not have the capacity to experience pain until after at least 24 weeks, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
However, there is a large scientific consensus that the heart begins to beat about 16-21 days after fertilization. According to doctors and scientists without a pro-abortion agenda, the heart actually has “a nice flow of blood” at 23 days. The heart is the first organ to form because without it and its ability to pump blood, the embryo would not continue to grow and develop.
And check this testimony
In her testimony before Congress in May of 2012, Dr. Colleen Malloy, MD, a board certified Neonatologist and Assistant Professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, described the following developmental milestones of an unborn child, indicating very early perception of pain:
- At 8 weeks gestation, facial sensory receptors appear.
- At 14 weeks gestation, sensory fibers grow into the spinal cord and connections are made with the thalamus (part of the brain).
- And there’s other activity between 13 and 20 weeks
Dr. Malloy also explains that new technologies, such as the 4D ultrasound, show vivid images of babies kicking and moving in utero. That being said, she attests that a baby at just 8 weeks gestation can be seen moving in response to stimuli. By 20 weeks gestation, the baby will respond to sound and move, wince, and recoil from sharp objects and incisions. For instance, when sampling blood from the liver, the baby in utero will move away from the needle.
They’re denying the existence of the embryonic heart simply because it inconveniences the pro-abortion agenda. The last thing they want is for the unborn child to have a heart.
Oh – and of course Associated Press says that Planned Parenthood – the major abortion provider in NZ – which NZ’s Family Planning Association is affiliated to – is good
But under the heading “Anti-abortion counseling centers, “crisis pregnancy centers” that oppose abortions; anti-abortion centers” – it says
These terms can be used for centers set up to divert or discourage women from having abortions, by using counseling, material support and/or housing in an effort to persuade women to bring their pregnancies to term.
If using the term anti-abortion center, explain later that these often are known as “crisis pregnancy centers” (with quotation marks) and that their aim is to dissuade people from getting an abortion.
When writing about a specific center, ask what services it provides and what its mission is, and spell that out in the story.
No mention that Planned Parenthood mission is to enable and even encourage abortion. No other options are preferred.
Avoid potentially misleading terms such as pregnancy resource centers or pregnancy counseling centers; these terms don’t convey that the centers’ general aim is to prevent abortions.
Live Action News correctly conclude that the Associated Press is shifting its language to align with pro-abortion activists in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and possibly from NARAL Pro-Choice America, which released a report in 2020 claiming that corporate media coverage of abortion is not favorable enough to the agenda of pro-abortion activists.
Not favourable enough to abortion. Yeah right!!
Students for Life of America said “The Associated Press is gaslighting as policy in joining the pretense that changing definitions changes facts” and is “putting pro-abortion politics over facts, to weaponize discourse.”
It really does seem ironic that the AP and other mainstream outlets are so quick to scream disinformation and misinformation when they disagree with something.
They really need to take a look at themselves for disinformation and manipulation of the language. But if you can change the language, you can change the debate.
Don’t let them.