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A thoughtful journalist’s guide to covering abortion

Cross-posted from the Abortion Gang

How do you write about a topic that is both the third rail of US politics and also one of the most common medical procedures in America? There are many things to be mindful of when writing about abortion. This is the first installment of what I hope will be an ongoing conversation about writing about abortion with integrity. Let’s dive right in.

Language matters.
Are you using the words “pro-choice” and “pro-life”? Typically, the pro-choice movement prefers “anti-choice” to “pro-life,” since the latter implies that the pro-choice movement is “anti-life,” which is preposterous (not to mention false).  Another alternative to “pro-life” is “anti-abortion rights.” And what about using terms like reproductive justice and pro-voice? If you’re writing about women’s personal abortion stories, you may want to investigate exactly what pro-voicemeans, and if you’re looking at abortion from an intersectional lens, reproductive justice is your best bet.

Science matters.
Who can you trust to tell you if a certain piece of legislation is based in medical evidence or ideological bullshit? Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, for one (full disclosure: I used to work there and can say with confidence that the doctors affiliated with PRCH are fantastic). Other potential sources of medical information include the clinician/s or medical director at your local clinic and theNational Abortion Federation. The best reason to ask clinicians if a piece of legislation is medically necessary or makes scientific sense? ...

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