NPR Reporter Style Guide: ‘Babies Are Not Babies Until They Are Born’

Fetuses are babies. Pro-lifers saying so doesn’t make it false, even if NPR’s speech police don’t like to hear it or feel it’s an effective argument.

NPR recently re-upped its guidance to staff about how to discuss abortion given several states’ recent decisions to decriminalize infanticide or, conversely, more strictly limit abortions. To its credit, the news organization published this guidance publicly. To its shame, it uses a pretense of scientific objectivity to cover a deeply slanted take on this controversial topic.

That includes this mind-bending instruction from Joe Neel, a NPR editor and a correspondent on NPR’s Science Desk:

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.’

Source: NPR Reporter Style Guide: ‘Babies Are Not Babies Until They Are Born’

Author: Alfred E. Neuman

71 year old geek, ultra-conservative patriot.