Thursday, August 23, 2012

Making the Media "Pro-Truth"

Now that the issues of women’s reproductive rights have come to the forefront in the 2012 Presidential election, it’s time to re-examine how the mainstream media continues to succumb to the position of the extreme right on these issues. Specifically, I’m referring to their choice of terminology. The media use the term “pro-life” to describe the anti-abortion partisans. The term is inappropriate and misleading.

Use of “pro-life” implies that those of us who support women are somehow “anti-life.” Let’s examine the policies that the so-called “pro-life” right wing supports, either implicitly or explicitly:

If the policies of the so-called “pro-life” folks are enacted, women will go back to having back-alley abortions or self-medicating to terminate unwanted pregnancies. If forced to carry to term, some will abandon their babies, putting infants in peril. Women and children will die from “pro-life” policies.

Not all people who oppose abortion are from the right-wing fringe. Some people oppose abortion on religious grounds. So to them, I say, don’t get an abortion. But keep your religion out of my government.

In general, those who oppose abortions due to the “sanctity of life” argument support unnecessary wars and the death penalty. Those are things that belie the “pro-life” moniker. And if someone is in favor of free access to assault weapons or limiting medical care for those who can’t afford it, they can’t be “pro-life” at the same time.

So it’s time for the so-called “liberal media” to tell the truth. People like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are not “pro-life”. They are “anti-abortion” and should be described that way.


  1. From the NPR Ombudsman:

    "I checked with NBC, CBS, CNN, the Associated Press, the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Philadelphia Inquirer and not one of them uses the terms "pro-choice" or "pro-life.""

    What are you talking about?

  2. Here, here, and here (5th graf) are a few examples in the mainstream media.

  3. Reference 1 - Glad to see you consider the NY Daily News mainstream media
    Reference 2 - This is a Post blogger. Bloggers are not required to strictly adhere to their host's style book
    Reference 3 - Pro Publica is mainstream media? I never heard of them

    The primary media stylebook is the Associated Press stylebook. Pretty much all media entities not big enought to write their own use it. You have to pay to read it, but UCLA fortuitously summarized their abortion entry in UCLA's own style guide:

    Abortion -- The following usages adhere to AP Stylebook style:
    • anti-abortion (not pro-life or anti-choice)
    • abortion rights (not pro-abortion, anti-life or pro-choice)
    • abortion doctor or abortion practitioner (not abortionist)

    It is simply non-factual to say the "media uses the term pro-life". The media has issued written instructions not to use that term. Fortunately, as with everything else the left tries to dictate, there are holdouts.

  4. From
    Turzai, in ticking off the GOP-led legislature's accomplishments, mentioned the abortion facility regulations bill signed by Gov. Corbett in December ostensibly to protect the health of women patients.
    Turzai called it "the first pro-life legislation [in Pennsylvania] in 22 years."
    Women's rights advocates say that admission shows the clinic regulations, approved in the wake of the scandal involving Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, were ideologically-based and were not advanced in the interest of women's health.
    Also from
    Options offers pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, encourages adoption and claims to help women after they have their babies.
    You may recall Pam and Tim Tebow appeared in a pro-life commercial during the Super Bowl two years ago.
    Read more from our column in Wednesday's Daily News.
    Read more:
    Watch sports videos you won't find anywhere else

  5. Not to worry, hate wing radio is made up of 99.9999% right wing nut propagandists that are anti-liberal 24/7 all year all the time from sea to shining sea.

  6. Glen H just likes to play snarky gotcha games. It's really getting old. Deciminyan supplies the links but that's not good enough for Mr. Pettifogging quibbler snarker.

  7. Hey, Giuseppe, I may be a quibbler snarker but you are seriously unclear on the concept. I congratulate you on your skill at googling "pro-life" at Let me explain the flaws in your harvest, since you obviously weren't listening the first time.

    Your first reference is a direct quote from a politician. Do you seriously want the Inquirer to modify what he actually said to fit their style guide? Wait, don't answer that question.

    Your second reference is from a blog (here's your clue - the url has "blog" in it). Now pay attention this time. As I pointed out earlier, bloggers are free to use any style they want. It is not evidence of a media conspiracy to skew the abortion debate.