The New York Daily News (NYDN), the sixth largest newspaper in the United States, uses a set of writer guidelines that promote abortion through their choice of language.
The NYDN writing requirements promote an anti-life mindset by instructing writers to avoid certain words when dealing with the abortion issue. The words “pro-life” and “pro-lifers”, for example, must be replaced with “abortion foes”, “abortion opponents” or in the case of constricted title space, “abort foes”.
The pro-abortion bias is even more evident in the fact that NYDN writers may only include the positive terms “pro-life” and “pro-lifers” in direct quotations.
On the other hand, when describing someone who supports abortion as a woman’s right, writers must choose positive terms, such as “abortion rights activist”, “pro-abortion rights” or “pro-choice”. The term “pro-abortion” must be avoided.
This biased position is even clearer in the guidelines that council writers how to speak about a pregnant woman. According to the NYDN guidelines, a writer must omit “when the life of the mother is at stake”. The word “mother” instantly implies that she has an actual child even before it is born-exactly what those who promote abortion hate to admit and wish to hide. In such phrases, NYDN writers must replace “mother” with “woman”.
Similarly, an anti-life prejudice is evident in the fact that “unborn child” should never appear. Rather, it must always be referred to as a “fetus”.
“Abortion clinic”, however, is acceptable.
UPDATE (6/21/2007): To show how extreme the bias can be, I just remembered hearing about a music review of a performance that was meant to celebrate life, as in “life’s great and fun”. Rather than let it be described “pro-life,” what I can only assume to be software changed the description of it from “pro-life” to “anti-abortion.” Logic apparently stops at the door in many newsrooms.