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Tipsheet

Associated Press Tells Us We Can Use Biologically Correct Terms for Pregnant Women After All

AP Photo/Hiro Komae

When it comes to the AP style guide, it's not all that it's cracked up to be. When it comes to "pregnant people," a term that many mainstream outlets have gone with using, the stylebook only just recently issued a guidance that it is "acceptable phrasing" to use the biologically correct term of "pregnant women" or "women seeking abortions."

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The guidance, though, still says that "pregnant people" or "people seeking abortions" are acceptable when it comes to being "inclusive of people who have those experiences but do not identify as women." Inclusivity is now used to replace the biological reality and scientific fact that only women can get pregnant. 

"Use judgment and decide what is most appropriate in a given story," the updated guidance also directs, furthering how facts have now gone out the window. The guidance does point to how bogus terms like "people with uteruses" or "birthing people," are, but it's because they're referred to as "overly clinical language."

There was no explanation given as to why "pregnant women" is correct again, though many who took notice of the tweet picked up on it.

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As one Twitter user also pointed out, the AP style guide got flak from both sides of the issue for such guidance, as evidenced by the replies and quoted retweets.

As it turns out, there's more where this came from. The 56th edition, from this year, includes an entire chapter on "inclusive storytelling," which involves preferred pronouns, including they/their/theirs, "as a way of accurately describing and representing a person who uses those pronouns for themself."

This new chapter, according to the AP, is part of "emphasizing that such efforts are essential to accuracy and fairness and giving guidance on how to achieve those goals. We note that inclusive storytelling seeks to truly represent all people around the globe, giving voice and visibility to those who have been missing or misrepresented in traditional narratives of both history and daily journalism." 

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Also included in the chapter is "recognizing and overcoming unconscious biases; being sensitive about specific words and phrases; reaching beyond your usual sources and story ideas; including the necessary context and background; avoiding tokenism; and making content accessible."

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