BBC has ‘shameless’ institutional bias on abortion

Mon, 8 Feb 2016

The BBC has been accused of institutional bias, after it was revealed that an internal document orders staff to use pro-abortion language.

An official ‘News style guide’ for BBC journalists says that staff should avoid the term ‘pro-abortion’ and use ‘pro-choice’ instead.

This is despite the BBC’s claim that the style guide offers an insight into “issues of accuracy, fairness and impartiality”.

Disbelief

The guide instructs staff to: “Avoid pro-abortion, and use pro-choice instead”, adding that: “Campaigners favour a woman’s right to choose, rather than abortion itself.”

But conversely, it pushes for the use of “anti-abortion” instead of “pro-life” but does not make clear why.

Peter D. Williams, from the campaign group Right to Life, said this is an “explicit violation of journalistic objectivity”.

‘Explicit violation’

. . . an utterly shameless example of institutional bias against the right-to-life movement, and for the abortion lobbyPeter D. Williams

Williams 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.”

He added: “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.”

Williams said the document demonstrates the BBC’s bias on life issues is “systemic”, and argued that the staff who composed it have “stacked the language of the debate in abortion lobbyists’ favour”.

“The BBC must reverse this policy, and apologise for their utter lack of consultation and fair-mindedness in forming it”, he concluded.

‘One-sided’

Breitbart news contacted the BBC about the document and were told: “Our aim is to report impartially and we use the terminology that most accurately reflects both sides of the abortion debate.”

Last week, The Christian Institute criticised the BBC for using its most popular TV news programme to promote transsexualism.

Monday 1 February’s 6 o’clock news bulletin included a feature on a Jamaican lady who the reporter claimed has “transitioned from female to male”.

Spokesman for the Institute Simon Calvert said he was “disappointed by such a one-sided treatment of a highly controversial issue”.