BBC Tells Reporters to Call Pro-Life People “Anti-Abortion” and to Call Pro-Abortion Activists “Pro-Choice”

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 5, 2016   |   7:25PM   |   London, England

The mainstream media doesn’t appear to be even trying to hide its pro-abortion bias anymore. Whether they are reiterating Planned Parenthood’s talking points or accepting gifts from the abortion industry, many mainstream journalists are showing an obvious and unprofessional favoritism toward the pro-abortion movement.

This week, Breitbart discovered a new example of obvious bias in the BBC’s journalism style guide:

The broadcaster’s official style guide says of those who favour of abortion:

“Avoid pro-abortion, and use pro-choice instead. Campaigners favour a woman’s right to choose, rather than abortion itself.”

It then tells staff to avoid the term “pro-life” and use “anti-abortion” instead. It does not give a reason why.

The guide, which applies to thousands of BBC journalists across the world, has been slammed by pro-life campaigners who have called it a “violation of journalistic objectivity” and accused the corporation of “gross ignorance”.

The BBC’s charter agreement requires it to be maintain impartiality on all controversial issues, with section 44 saying the corporation must “do all it can to ensure that controversial subjects are treated with due accuracy and impartiality in all relevant output.”

Peter D. Williams of campaign group Right to Life told Breitbart London: “The BBC’s ‘News Style Guide’, is an utterly shameless example of institutional bias against the right-to-life movement, and for the abortion lobby.”

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“They have entirely ignored the standard terms for the right-to-life position, and reduced it – without any reason given – to simply being ‘anti-abortion’. This is a rhetorical tactic, and an explicit violation of journalistic objectivity that is utterly unacceptable in a public broadcaster.

When asked about the favoritism toward abortion activists’ terminology, a BBC spokesperson told Breitbart, “Our aim is to report impartially and we use the terminology that most accurately reflects both sides of the abortion debate.”

The style guide for the Associated Press (AP) isn’t much different. The AP instructs journalists to “use anti-abortion instead of pro-life and abortion rights instead of pro-abortion or pro-choice.” Many major American news outlets follow these guidelines, including NPR, NBC, CBS, CNN and The New York Times.

“We call them pro-abortion rights and anti-abortion rights because it’s the right to abortion that we’re talking about,” Linda Mason, a CBS senior vice president, told NPR’s Alicia C. Shepard. Uttering the words, “pro-life,” according to Mason, “leaves people scratching their heads.”

Pro-life blogger Calvin Freiburger points out the problems with the term “pro-choice”:

The problem is that ‘pro-choice’ is so vague as to be meaningless. Everybody’s “pro-choice” on some things and “anti-choice” on others. In a sane world, you’d think that “pro-choice” meant favoring greater personal freedom on a whole range of issues.

…“Pro-life,” on the other hand, specifically denotes a concrete principle: the sanctity of all human life, which entitles every human being to equal protection from fertilization onward. If the right to life of those outside the womb were seriously endangered in our society, pro-lifers would be there, just as we are for the unborn.