Media reaction to royal baby shows the unborn are people too
The Christian Institute

The Christian Institute

Spot the difference: 1: “The child will be the Queen’s sixth great-grandchild”. 2: Medical abortion “involves taking two sets of pills and waiting for the pregnancy to pass”.

The first sentence tells the happy news of the Duchess of Cambridge’s third child who, we are told, is in the early stages of life.

The second is from a 2017 news report on abortion statistics.

But note carefully the words in the royal news: it is a “child”. Not a “pregnancy”, not even a “foetus” and certainly not a “bundle of cells”.

Its life is even mapped out: “The expected child will become the fifth in line to the throne”, the article says elsewhere.

That is exactly right – this child really is a living being and much more than just a “pregnancy”.

The contrasting statements both come from the BBC. But the Corporation was far from alone in describing the news this way – The Guardian, MailOnline and Sky News all did the same.

The BBC is funded by millions of licence-fee payers and trusted by millions more, so it really matters what it says and how it says it.

The Corporation’s style guide entry on abortion gives a glimpse into its usual one-sided stance on the issue.

It tells reporters to “avoid pro-abortion, and use pro-choice instead”, adding “use anti-abortion rather than pro-life”.

But in its article reporting the royal news, “child” is used six times to refer to the future royal and “baby” twice.

Maybe that is because so many people are already invested in this weeks-old royal baby.

Or maybe it is because the journalist truly understands the human nature of the unborn child.

This all points to something Christians call Common Grace – when people who are not believers agree with Christian ethical teaching.

Because even though the child is reportedly less than twelve weeks old, some amazing development has already taken place:

• At five weeks, the heart is forming, the nervous system is taking shape and some blood vessels are present;

• At week six the heart can sometimes be seen beating;

• The brain is growing rapidly at week seven, along with the inner ear.

And all this before most women have their first scan to reveal that grainy, heart-flutter inducing image.

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