Pro-life groups angered as Associated Press advises writers not to say “late-term abortion” or “fetal heartbeat.”
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Pro-life organizations have accused the Associated Press (AP) news agency of misleading the public by advising journalists not to use terms such as “fetal heartbeat” and “late-term abortion,” the Christian Post (CP) reports.
In a document titled “Abortion Topical Guide,” the AP tells writers that terms like “fetal heartbeat bill,” “heartbeat bill,” and “six-week abortion ban are “overly broad and misleading given the disagreement over details, such as what constitutes a heartbeat at varying gestational ages,” CP reports.
Accordingly, the AP advises journalists to use the term “cardiac activity” instead, following the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) language guide.
The AP Guide advises: “Do not use the term ‘late-term abortion.’ The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists defines the late-term as 41 weeks through 41 weeks and six days of gestation, and abortion does not happen in this period…Most U.S. abortions take place in the first trimester. By some definitions, any abortions after that — at 13 weeks or later in pregnancy — are considered later abortions. Others use the term for abortions that occur at about 20 weeks or later, or near the time when a fetus is considered viable.”
In a statement to the Christian Post last week, Kristi Hamrick, policy specialist for Students for Life of America, accused AP of “gaslighting” and stated: “The pro-life movement will need to educate the public, legislators and the courts on scientific facts, as the AP and others pretend that babies in the womb are something different than the rest of humankind, with different internal parts.”
Responding to the AP Guide in a separate statement to CP, Monica Snyder, executive director of Secular Pro-Life, pointed out that “the medical community has long used ‘fetal’ to refer to even embryonic stages of pregnancy without controversy.”
Concerning late-term abortions, Snyder emphasized there is no evidence that abortions carried out on or after 21 weeks are always or primarily done for medical reasons: “AP and ACOG can argue for whatever phrase they like, but the public deserves to understand that abortion later in pregnancy is often elective,” she said.
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