Feb 9, 2023

Associated Press Style Guide Smears ‘Crisis Pregnancy Centers’

Despite providing various resources to help mothers and their young ones in need, the style guide for journalists has labeled "crisis pregnancy centers" as a “potentially misleading term.”
Associated Press Style Guide Smears ‘Crisis Pregnancy Centers’
Photo by freestocks / Unsplash

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What’s happening: The Associated Press (A.P.) is now directing journalists to put scare quotes around the term “crisis pregnancy center” and use the phrase “anti-abortion center” instead.

The guidance: According to The Associated Press Stylebook, journalists should “avoid potentially misleading terms such as ’pregnancy resource centers’ or 'pregnancy counseling centers’” because they “don't convey that the centers' general aim is to prevent abortions.”

Not the first time: In December, the A.P. added an “Abortion Topical Guide” to its style guide to instruct writers on how to address abortion. Instead of using the phrase “pro-life,” the guide encourages writers to use “anti-abortion” and to refer to fetal heartbeats as “cardiac activity.”

Big picture: While claiming to correct misleading terms, the A.P.’s updated guidelines are actually inaccurate. Pregnancy resource centers offer a plethora of resources (often free) to help women facing crisis pregnancies, including baby clothing, formula, pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and more. Journalists who follow these guidelines will be effectively misleading their readers.

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