Our friend Steve Ertelt over at LifeNews.com caught the New York Times in an incredible display of cold-hearted clinical language in service of political correctness. The occasion was an incredibly heartbreaking story of a 30-year-old New York woman who was killed when a tree fell on the park bench on which she was sitting. The woman, Yingyi Li-Dikov, was six months pregnant with a baby girl who also perished in the accident.
But the only use of the term "baby" was found only at the close of the article, when Times staffer Sarah Maslin Nir [pictured below page break] quoted distraught widower Aleksander Dikov lamenting the loss of his wife and child. Otherwise Maslin Nir referred to the dead unborn child as a fetus:
There will be no pictures of mother and child. Ms. Li-Dikov, 30, was killed on Sunday when a giant tree toppled in Kissena Park in Queens, shattering the bench she was resting on and killing her. The 6-month-old fetus did not survive.
“The way I am experiencing it now, I want to go somewhere; I don’t know where,” Mr. Dikov, 20, said, standing in front of his parents’ apartment building, where the couple lived, the day after his wife was killed. “When I am in the car, I just keep driving. I feel like I’m going to go and meet her right now, and then we stop, and everything comes back to me.”
Mr. Dikov has not yet settled on funeral arrangements.
On Monday afternoon, Mr. Dikov ducked under yellow caution tape to the site of his wife’s death. The tree still lay across the splintered bench. His parents beside him, he laid flowers down while wearing his National Guard uniform.
His sobs filled the air of the quiet park.
“I was looking forward to having a baby,” he said later. “Having a baby girl.”
"The term fetus is Latin for 'young one' and, in and of itself, is not an offensive term when it comes to acknowledging the humanity of the unborn child before birth," Ertelt noted in an August 6 item at Life News. "But the media and abortion backers often employ the word as opposed to terms like 'unborn child' or 'baby' to describe human beings before birth in order to remove their humanity and lessen their moral standing."
Ertelt hits the nail on the head, and I'd venture to say even most pro-choicers would agree that the term "fetus" in the Times article -- headlined "Falling Tree Shatters Lives and Dreams of a Family" -- is misplaced political correctness. It seems the young couple fully intended to carry their unborn baby girl to term -- she was a "planned and wanted child," as former Clinton Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders would say.
While New York Times Manual of Style and Usage does require the term "fetus" in stories dealing with abortion (see image below), but this was no such story.
Have you no decency, Ms. Maslin Nir?