NPR’s Managing Editor, David Sweeney sent out this memo after what NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard described as a lively 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”.
Digital News will continue to use the AP style book for online content, which mirrors the revised NPR policy.
Last year, Alicia Shepard posted about NPR’s use or not using the phrase “late-term abortion” because it was meaningless. Opting for what the medical community calls them “late abortions.”
Hat tip Romenesko