AP’s New Rules On Abortion Language Angers Twitter Users

The Associated Press Stylebook, a style guide used by most news organizations and journalists for the past 50 years, recently put out new guidelines regarding the use of the term “late-term abortion.”

In a recent tweet says that writers should no longer use the term “late-term abortion” because “The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists defines late term as 41 weeks through 41 weeks and 6 days of gestation, and abortion does not happen in this period.”

Instead, the AP suggests the use of terms like “abortion later in pregnancy” and asks that writers be “specific when possible.”

The new rules brought immediate backlash from conservative Twitter users, who believe that the changes are politically motivated in order to make abortion language more palatable.

A Newsbusters tweet refers to the change as AP’s war on plain English and questions how 41 weeks or the third trimester isn’t considered late term.

Another Twitter user compared the new style change to a Planned Parenthood pamphlet.

The new rules are only the latest in a series of changes in abortion-related language set forth by the AP. In May, the AP tweeted that users of the stylebook should “avoid the use of words like pro-life, pro-choice or pro-abortion.” Another rule stated that the term “abortionist” should be avoided because it “connotes a person who performs clandestine abortions.”

When referring to abortion procedures, AP suggests the use of the word “provide” instead of “perform.”

More changes may possibly be on the way as Democrats continue to attempt to change the language around the issue of abortion.

In May, The House Pro-Choice Caucus sent a memo to House Democrats with a chart of banned words and suggested substitutions regarding abortion. The substitutions include the word “decision” instead of “choice” and the use of the term “safe, legal, and accessible” instead of “safe, legal, and rare.” They also want the terms “conscience clauses” or “conscience protections,” which are laws designed to protect health care professionals who are morally opposed to abortion, to be changed to “refusal of care” or “denial of care” laws.