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Thread: NPR's Guidance Reminder: On Abortion Procedures, Terminology & Rights

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    NPR's Guidance Reminder: On Abortion Procedures, Terminology & Rights

    As we've covered the new abortion law in Georgia and legislation in Alabama, we've followed long-standing guidance very well. Thank you to all involved.

    For those new to the subject, that guidance about abortion and related topics is collected in our Intranet "radio" style guide. We'll attach it below.

    One thing to keep in mind about this law and others like it: Proponents refer to it as a "fetal heartbeat" law. That is their term. It needs to be attributed to them if used and put in quotation marks if printed. We should not simply say the laws are about when a "fetal heartbeat" is detected. As we've reported, heartbeat activity can be detected "about six weeks into a pregnancy." That's at least a few weeks before an embryo is a fetus.

    Here is the long-standing guidance:

    ABORTION PROCEDURES & TERMINOLOGY:

    Use the term intact dilation and extraction to describe the procedure, or a procedure known medically as intact dilation and extraction; opponents call it partial-birth abortion. On the latter, it is necessary to point out that the term partial-birth is used by those opposed to the procedure; simply using the phrase so-called partial birth abortion is not sufficient without explaining who's calling it that. Partial-birth is not a medical term and has no exact parallel in medical terminology; intact dilation and extraction is the closest description. Also, it is not correct to call these procedures RARE — it is not known how often they are performed. Nor is it accurate to use the phrase LATE TERM ABORTION. Though we initially believed this term carried less ideological baggage when compared with partial-birth, it still conveys the sense that the fetus is viable when the abortion is performed. It gives the impression that the abortion takes place in the 8th or 9th month. In fact, the procedure called intact dilation and extraction is performed most often in the 5th or 6th month — the second trimester — and the second trimester is not considered "late" pregnancy. Thus "late term" is not appropriate. As an alternative, call it a certain procedure performed after the first trimester of pregnancy and, subsequently, the procedure.... Also note:

    NPR doesn't use the term "abortion clinics." We say instead, "medical or health clinics that perform abortions." The point is to not to use abortion before the word clinic. The clinics perform other procedures and not just abortions.

    Do not refer to murdered Dr George Tiller as an "Abortion Doctor." Instead we should say Tiller operated a clinic where abortions are performed. We can also make reference to the fact that Tiller was a doctor who performed late abortions.

    Here's some additional guidance from Joe Neel, regarding the Unborn Victims of Violence Act:

    The term "unborn" implies that there is a baby inside a pregnant woman, not a fetus. Babies are not babies until they are born. They're fetuses. Incorrectly calling a fetus a "baby" or "the unborn" is part of the strategy used by antiabortion groups to shift language/legality/public opinion. Use "unborn" only when referring to the title of the bill (and after President Bush signs it, the Unborn Victims of Violence Law). Or qualify the use of "unborn" by saying "what anti-abortion groups call the 'unborn' victims of violence." The most neutral language to refer to the death of a fetus during a crime is "fetal homicide."

    ABORTION RIGHTS:

    On the air, we should use "abortion rights supporter(s)/advocate(s)" and "abortion rights opponent(s)" or derivations thereof (for example: "advocates of abortion rights"). It is acceptable to use the phrase "anti-abortion rights," but do not use the term "pro-abortion rights". Digital News will continue to use the AP style book for online content, which mirrors the revised NPR policy. Do not use "pro-life" and "pro-choice" in copy except when used in the name of a group. Of course, when the terms are used in an actuality they should remain.


    Link





    fe·tus
    /ˈfēdəs/
    noun
    an unborn offspring of a mammal, in particular an unborn human baby more than eight weeks after conception.
    synonyms: embryo, fertilized egg, unborn baby, unborn child
    "antibodies are passed via the placenta to the fetus"
    May we raise children who love the unloved things - the dandelion, the worm, the spiderlings.
    Children who sense the rose needs the thorn and run into rainswept days the same way they turn towards the sun...
    And when they're grown and someone has to speak for those who have no voice,
    may they draw upon that wilder bond, those days of tending tender things and be the one.

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    That's why NPR is the best. They play it straight and strive for dispassionate impartiality. It is also why the right wing hates them.
    Conservatives will always be with us. If conservatives become convinced that they can not win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will reject democracy.

    ~ David Frum

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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Jingo View Post
    That's why NPR is the best. They play it straight and strive for dispassionate impartiality. It is also why the right wing hates them.
    Let's talk.

    The language is often tortured and long-winded (the latter once anathema to news types), in NPR's avowed effort at dispassionate impartiality. It's hard because neutrality is hard to find.

    Take for example, the question,

    What should you call the bill?

    Quote Originally Posted by NPR
    One thing to keep in mind about this law and others like it: Proponents refer to it as a "fetal heartbeat" law. That is their term. It needs to be attributed to them if used and put in quotation marks if printed. We should not simply say the laws are about when a "fetal heartbeat" is detected. As we've reported, heartbeat activity can be detected "about six weeks into a pregnancy." That's at least a few weeks before an embryo is a fetus.
    Re Alabama's new law:
    Re Georgia's new law:
    And New York's law is the Reproductive Health Act.

    If my cursory Google search is any indication, it's a lot easier to find the name of the NY law in the opening paragraphs of various reports. Maybe that's because it's so much more impartial, dontcha know.

    Typical is the following, which I get searching NPR for NY's abortion law by name:

    President Donald Trump talked about a procedure often called a late-term abortion on Tuesday during a speech.

    “Now the baby is born and you wrap the baby gently and you talk to the mother and depending on what the mother says, you execute the baby,”

    The Washington Post noted this description is graphic and inaccurate.

    The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that fewer than 1.3 percent of abortions happen after 21 weeks.

    But lawmakers in Georgia and New York, among other states, have brought the timeline to receive an abortion to the forefront again. In Georgia, State Rep. Ed Setzler has sponsored a bill that would ban most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected. And New York recently passed the Reproductive Health Act, which permits abortions later in pregnancy if a woman’s life is in danger.
    That last statement is inaccurate by omission, but the whole last paragraph is more relevant here. NY's law is named, GA's isn't.

    1a's corresponding report on Alabama's law here doesn't name it.

    I'm fine with NPR's compromise, but it's not being observed.

    When is a baby a baby?
    The term "unborn" implies that there is a baby inside a pregnant woman, not a fetus. Babies are not babies until they are born. They're fetuses. Incorrectly calling a fetus a "baby" or "the unborn" is part of the strategy used by antiabortion groups to shift language/legality/public opinion. Use "unborn" only when referring to the title of the bill (and after President Bush signs it, the Unborn Victims of Violence Law). Or qualify the use of "unborn" by saying "what anti-abortion groups call the 'unborn' victims of violence." The most neutral language to refer to the death of a fetus during a crime is "fetal homicide."
    No other word reveals the political commandeering of English in service of policy values than baby.

    Has anyone ever asked, "Is your fetus a boy or a girl"? Maybe as many people who say micturate instead of pee. Maybe.

    We've got other words for babies already out of the womb, including newborn and infant.

    "Unborn baby" is perfectly neutral and common.

    I guess NPR didn't report the murder of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, Mother, daughter charged in murder of pregnant teen who was strangled before baby was cut out of her womb.

    Would they say the fetus was removed to reveal a baby? Nobody else I looked at did. Typical is MSNBC, A mother and daughter in Chicago were charged in the murder of a nine-months-pregnant teenager then removing the baby from her womb.

    Can the baby now be called a baby in retrospect and in utero because it made it out of the womb? (Marlen Ochoa's body was found strangled behind a home on Chicago's Southwest Side and her baby "forcibly removed" from her body after her death, according to police. Forcibly removed isn't quite intact dilation and extraction, I guess. Sounds close, though.)

    What do you call partisans?
    On the air, we should use "abortion rights supporter(s)/advocate(s)" and "abortion rights opponent(s)" or derivations thereof (for example: "advocates of abortion rights"). It is acceptable to use the phrase "anti-abortion rights," but do not use the term "pro-abortion rights". Digital News will continue to use the AP style book for online content, which mirrors the revised NPR policy. Do not use "pro-life" and "pro-choice" in copy except when used in the name of a group. Of course, when the terms are used in an actuality they should remain.
    How is that equal?

    I respect NPR's struggle with the problems, but they have accepted restrictions that fly in the face of common usage, and end up in an impossible cul-de-sac.
    “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all.... We really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.” —Saikat Chakrabarti, then AOC's Chief of Staff, explaining the Green New Deal for the hard of hearing.

    "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." —CNN's Don Lemon, showing how to stop demonizing people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Jingo View Post
    That's why NPR is the best. They play it straight and strive for dispassionate impartiality. It is also why the right wing hates them.
    https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/?s=npr

    Mark
    Race Card: A tool of the intellectually weak and lazy when they cannot counter a logical argument or factual data.

    "Liberals have to stop insisting that the world is what they want it to be instead of the way it is." - Bill Maher

    Political correctness is ideological fascism. It’s the antithesis of freedom. Dr. Piper

    Gender is not a "Social Construct", it is an outgrowth of biological reality.

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    You are kind of all over the place, there. Can you try to be more cogent? Are you lauding them for their impartiality?
    Conservatives will always be with us. If conservatives become convinced that they can not win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will reject democracy.

    ~ David Frum

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    Quote Originally Posted by 80zephyr View Post
    Factual Reporting: VERY HIGH

    A factual search reveals that NPR has not failed a fact check.
    Conservatives will always be with us. If conservatives become convinced that they can not win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will reject democracy.

    ~ David Frum

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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Jingo View Post
    Factual Reporting: VERY HIGH

    A factual search reveals that NPR has not failed a fact check.
    And? You said: They play it straight and strive for dispassionate impartiality.

    No, they don't. They give the facts a leftist tilt.

    Mark
    Race Card: A tool of the intellectually weak and lazy when they cannot counter a logical argument or factual data.

    "Liberals have to stop insisting that the world is what they want it to be instead of the way it is." - Bill Maher

    Political correctness is ideological fascism. It’s the antithesis of freedom. Dr. Piper

    Gender is not a "Social Construct", it is an outgrowth of biological reality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 80zephyr View Post
    And? You said: They play it straight and strive for dispassionate impartiality.
    Yes, and they do. Do you even read your own links?

    NPR’s news reporting is consistently low biased, factual and covers both sides of issues. However, taken on a whole, NPR is favored by a liberal audience, which indicates programming and story selection tends to lean left to appeal to their core listeners.

    No, they don't. They give the facts a leftist tilt.
    That makes no sense.


    Oh, and it is wholly unsurprising that accuracy is unimportant to the right.
    Conservatives will always be with us. If conservatives become convinced that they can not win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will reject democracy.

    ~ David Frum

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    Who said accuracy isn't important? I am simply point out the fact that they have a leftist tilt. You can split hairs any way you choose.

    Mark
    Race Card: A tool of the intellectually weak and lazy when they cannot counter a logical argument or factual data.

    "Liberals have to stop insisting that the world is what they want it to be instead of the way it is." - Bill Maher

    Political correctness is ideological fascism. It’s the antithesis of freedom. Dr. Piper

    Gender is not a "Social Construct", it is an outgrowth of biological reality.

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    NPR, like virtually every media outlet today, frames it's viewpoints through language choices and editorial selection.

    We will never hear a NPR opinion piece lamenting the problems of wage stagnation and unfair competition due to illegal alien workers (and the people who hire them) in the trades. It won't happen. Instead we'll get a piece about how Juan or Maria are illegally working for a substandard wage due to the evil white boss who flouts the law (well, duh).

    We won't hear stories about Obamacare people who have enormous difficulties getting access and treatment nor about the many Medicaid patients who hate that system.

    We won't get stories about why Inner City Public School #1 has literacy rates of 10% but Charter School #2 in the same area has students who meet or exceed state averages on all measures.

    NPR will not run a piece discussing the fact that air, soil, and water in the USA now exceeds the purity standards the EU uses. It will not run a piece discussing the psychological and health advantages religious married couples enjoy. It will not run a piece denouncing the attacks on free speech on many college campuses. And it goes on.

    You manage news even more by what you omit than by what you report.
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

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