AP Stylebook Changes Rules On Abortion Language

The Associated Press Stylebook is a style and usage guide used by many organizations, including news and media companies. On Twitter, the guide announced a correction to the 2022 edition that forbids the use of the phrase “late-term abortion.” Many on social media are furious and found the decision politically motivated. The update comes at the request of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Many observers of the tweet lashed out at the AP for politicizing speech and bending to a partisan will. The backlash is justified since the ACOG has repeatedly proven that it is a pro-abortion group with a left-wing agenda. Should a supposedly unbiased style guide really rely on a group with a specific and loud agenda to determine terminology?

Take a quick look at the ACOG. First of all, the group does not speak for all OBGYN doctors and most members do not even perform abortions. But the group had been a significant player in decision-making for abortions since the Roe v. Wade case in 1973.

Secondly, the ACOG is a proponent of all sorts of medically unfounded practices that harm women and infants, such as telehealth abortion pill access, chemical abortions and advocating that abortion can’t be delayed due to being an “essential component of comprehensive health care.” Since 1993, the ACOG asserted that “induced abortion is an essential component of women’s health care.”

The group’s policy statement says it is opposed to abortion after “viability.” But viability is a loose term to the organization as they claim that preterm babies are too dependent on resuscitation and support between the gestational ages of 22 weeks to 25 weeks.

Interestingly enough, medical centers have saved 78% of children born between 22-26 weeks gestation, which is direct evidence that the ACOG chose to ignore in its statement. Further, the organization has consistently defended partial-birth abortion, which is practiced at 29 or 30 weeks — far beyond the point viability has been determined to begin.

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