War of Words – What's In A Name?

NPR staff memo quoted by La Shawn Barber in NPR Drops ‘Pro-Life for'”Abortion Rights Opponents’:

NPR News is revising the terms we use to describe people and groups involved in the abortion debate.

This updated policy is aimed at ensuring the words we speak and write are as clear, consistent and neutral as possible. This is important given that written text is such an integral part of our work.

On the air, we should use “abortion rights supporter(s)/advocate(s)” and “abortion rights opponent(s)” or derivations thereof (for example: “advocates of abortion rights”). It is acceptable to use the phrase “anti-abortion”, but do not use the term “pro-abortion rights”.

What’s in a name?  Barber points us to: “How the Public is Manipulated” which gives us a heads up and out of the sand noting:

  • It Makes a Pro-Abortion Assumption that the Debate is About Abortion Rights, Not Abortion
  • It Plays Word Games with the Word “Rights”
  • It Ignores the Fact That Abortion Can Exist Without Abortion Rights
  • It Assumes the Negative
  • It Ignores the Concept of a Right to Life
  • It Affirms the Concept of a Right to an Abortion
  • Barber makes some points of her own for the mainstream media:

    • Refer to abortion supporters as “right to life opponents”
    • Refer to gun control supporters as “gun rights opponents”
    • Refer to “hate speech” backers as “speech rights opponents”
    • Refer to racial preferences advocates as “constitutional rights opponents”

    Write me if she missed any.

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