Media Semantics

ve8QAd   |   January 01, 2003

I often speak about semantics, the words we should use when talking about abortion. The following is euphemistically called a Code of Ethics for Journalists on Abortion. It’s a tongue-in-cheek jab at journalists.

Use fetus in all prenatal contexts, not just those involving abortion. Never mention mother in abortion contexts; always say woman. Always use pro-choice for abortion rights supporters. Avoid discussing why some pro-choice groups defend coercive abortion programs in China.

Always say anti-abortion, never pro-life, to describe abortion rights opponents. In stories involving non-treatment of handicapped infants or euthanasia, you should express surprise that anti-abortion forces are even interested.

Photographs of pro-choice demonstrations should show calm, rational behavior. Avoid shots of aggressive or verbally abusive behavior. Focus on young women and grandmotherly figures. However, photographs of anti-abortion blockades should illustrate dangerous, aggressive behavior, men with bullhorns (especially overweight older ones). Avoid shots of young women or children. Use upward camera angles and extreme close-ups to illustrate their danger to our society.

With abortion surveys, always ask: Do you believe abortion should be a private decision between a woman and her physician? And avoid questions such as, Should abortion be legal in the second trimester? They might say no.

Articles on abortion surveys should downplay socio-economic factors. If faced with heavy support for abortion among the affluent, treat it as a result of education, not of income. Never mention hostility to abortion by poor and minority women. Abortion is for the best for poor women.

Never admit that the rich want abortion for the poor. Don’t look into Planned Parenthoods history; you don’t want to know.

No connection exists between a politicians support for abortion and his womanizing. Also, men who support abortion have only the best of motives. Men who oppose abortion want to force women to bear children. Remember, there are no harmful results from abortion.

This tongue-in-cheek report is where much of our media is today—very biased and very pro-abortion.

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