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Mary Markland, Fargo, Published May 05 2013

Letter: Check language in abortion debate

I’m writing to encourage The Forum’s news staff to be consistent and mindful about the terminology related to abortion news. This is important given recent legislation driving frequent coverage of this topic.

Forum reporters have often used the terms “pro-life” and “pro-abortion” to describe the proponents and opponents, respectively, of recent abortion-related legislation. This is a problem because these are terms used by the proponents only. People who oppose the legislation do not consider themselves “pro-abortion.” They would describe themselves as “women’s health advocates” – or “abortion-rights advocates” or “pro-choice.”

On the flip side, here are some alternatives for describing the proponents of this legislation: “anti-abortion,” “anti-choice,” “pro-fetus” or “pro-birth.” Quite the opposite of supporting life, the legislation they support actually puts women’s lives at risk.