ACOG suddenly substitutes “fetus” for “baby” in popular pamphlet

By Dave Andrusko

I saw the press release from a pro-life source last week but in the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving week I didn’t actually confirm what it claimed. My bad.

The press release read

A very subtle word change in a widely distributed patient handout may have major political implications. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a major advocacy group of women’s health care physicians, quietly replaced Patient Handout #156, entitled “How Your Baby Grows During Pregnancy,” with a new version replacing the word “baby” with “fetus.” The new September 2017 version, “How Your Fetus Grows During Pregnancy” replaces the June 2015 edition, with essentially no other major changes.

Sure enough, “fetus” had replaced “baby.” Interestingly enough if you go to the ACOG webpage, as I did this afternoon, and plug in “How Your Baby Grows During Pregnancy” into the search engine, you get the 2015 language.

Only if you add the year (2017) do you get the updated version. Hmmm.

A couple of thoughts. Wouldn’t you like to know what prompted the change. How had ACOG gone backwards, substituting a Latin term for plain English?

Obviously one reason is that while ACOG’s pro-abortion advocacy is long-standing, it has grown louder and more public. See, for example, “An intellectually dishonest critique of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.”

(By the way, you have to be a member to read the language found in the 2017 handout. The 2015 handout can be read by anyone online at

Second, what is the message being sent to a pregnant woman? Calling a baby a “fetus” distances her from her own child. Far from encouraging intimacy and a sense of deep connection, “fetus” sounds like a some-thing rather than a some-one.

Bad decision, ACOG, very bad.