National Public Radio, better known as NPR, prides itself on being a “news organization” that aims to “attain the highest quality and strengthen our credibility.” They want their journalism to be “as accurate, fair and complete as possible” and their journalists to “strive to be both independent and impartial.” Yet, it’s common public opinion that NPR is more left-leaning in its approaches to certain topics. A memo on the station’s website titled “Guidance Reminder: On Abortion Procedures, Terminology & Rights” shows that this may very well be true.
Don’t say “fetal heartbeat”
NPR Standards and Practices Editor Mark Memmott offers the guideline of not using the term “fetal heartbeat” because he thinks it is a pro-life term. “That is their term,” he writes. “It needs to be attributed to them if used and put in quotation marks if printed.” He says the “heartbeat activity can be detected ‘about six weeks into a pregnancy.’ That’s at least a few weeks before an embryo is a fetus.”
Except it’s not a “few” weeks. It’s two weeks. Two weeks after the fetal heartbeat can be detected the embryo is now considered a fetus – after just eight weeks gestation. This is a far cry from the “clumps of tissue” and “ball of cells” that abortion proponents call a preborn human being at that age.
Here’s what that heartbeat looks like:
Don’t say “partial birth abortion” or “late term abortion”
Memmott goes on to tell NPR journalists to be sure to stick to medically accurate terms for abortion procedures such as “intact dilation and extraction” rather than “partial birth abortion.” This is all well and good, except for the fact that most people won’t understand what the journalists are talking about. (And maybe that’s the intent.) He also tells journalists not to use the phrase “late term abortion.”
“Though we initially believed this term carried less ideological baggage when caped with partial-birth, it still conveys the sense that the fetus is viable when the abortion is performed,” he wrote, stating that late-term abortion procedures are used to kill preborn humans in the fifth or sixth months. But premature children born as early as 21 weeks – equaling about five months and one week – are viable. They are surviving and thriving despite how small and young they are. The age of viability is moving younger and younger, and late-term abortion most definitely kills viable preborn humans.
Don’t say “abortion clinics”
Another term NPR discourages the use of is “abortion clinics.” Instead, they tell their journalists to use “medical or health clinics that perform abortions,” as if abortion is something they do on the side rather than the big money maker that it is. In line with this, NPR doesn’t allow use of the term “abortion doctor.”
Don’t say “unborn” or “baby”
Additional guidelines state that the term “unborn” shouldn’t be used because it “implies that there is a baby inside a pregnant woman, not a fetus.” Perhaps they should remind their journalists of this the next time they use the terms “baby bump” or “baby shower.”
“Incorrectly calling a fetus a ‘baby’ or ‘the unborn’ is part of this strategy used by antiabortion groups to shift language/legality/public opinion,” he wrote.
But in reality, “baby” is the common term used for a fetus both by pregnant women and by those around them. People — mostly medical professionals and abortion advocates — only switch to using the term “fetus” if the child is deemed “unwanted.”
Don’t say “pro-choice”
And finally, Memmott says that rather than using the term “pro-choice,” NPR journalists are to use “abortion rights supporter (s)/advocate (s)” as well as “abortion rights opponent (s)” for those who are pro-life. They are told not to use “pro-abortion rights,” but “anti-abortion rights” is “acceptable.” This, of course, paints those in favor of protecting children in the womb as if they are “against” or “opposing” some form of “rights,” when pro-lifers actually believe in equal rights for preborn humans.
Abortion advocates use certain terminology in order to dehumanize preborn children — and NPR seems to be on board with this despite the fact that they are supposed to be an objective source of news for the American public.
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