A long-raging debate at the AP Stylebook over the word “fetus” has been resolved in favor of “undocumented baby,” and male feminists are outraged.
“A man needs an opinion about a woman’s uterus like a fish needs a bicycle,” said male pro-choice protester Auden Finch. “But my values don’t allow me to utter the words ‘undocumented baby’ either. I’m outraged on behalf of all women.”
Stylebook editors who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity said some AP staffers “felt that ‘fetus’ was the best choice a few years ago,” but they also believed “the always-evolving English language might soon yield a different choice and we should stay in the conversation.”
One of the most important questions the Stylebook had to answer was how best to “describe a potential human who doesn’t have a woman’s permission to be born,” one editor told us. “We believe ‘undocumented baby’ is the best phrase for now, but more evolution is likely down the road.”
The new guidance will make it harder for journalists and feminists who are also activists, but Stylebook editors insist that “the label ‘fetus’ may be more facile, but it’s not more accurate.”