by Laurel Duggan
The Associated Press updated its style guide on pregnancy and abortion Wednesday to discourage journalists from using gender-neutral phrases when writing about abortion despite having previously encouraged the terms.
Corporate media outlets use phrases like “pregnant people” to replace “pregnant women” in order to be more inclusive of transgender people. As the abortion debate has heated up after a leaked draft opinion revealed the Supreme Court would likely overturn Roe v. Wade, the AP told journalists to only use these gender-neutral phrases when specifically discussing transgender and nonbinary individuals.
New AP style guidance alert: pic.twitter.com/bCYr8KExr2
— Kimberlee Kruesi (@kkruesi) May 4, 2022
“Phrasing like ‘pregnant people’ or ‘people who seek an abortion’ seeks to include people who have those experiences but do not identify as women, such as some ‘transgender’ men and some ‘nonbinary’ people,” the new AP guidance reads.
The guidance instructs writers to use different pregnancy-related terms in different contexts by referring to pregnant women as “women” when the story is about abortion, but not when the story is about transgender people.
“Such phrasing should be confined to stories that specifically address the experiences of people who do not identify as women,” the guidance said.
Conservative commentators criticized the move, viewing it as a politicized effort to center the abortion debate around women’s rights after the media pushed gender-neutral language about women’s reproductive issues.
“LMAO at the AP trying to explain why when it’s writing about abortion, the story is about women, but when it’s writing about transgenderism, the story is about pregnant people,” Daily Wire editor emeritus Ben Shapiro said.
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Laurel Duggan is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Pregnant Person” by Government of Alberta.