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CNN Guest Calls Will Hurd ‘Extremely Pro-Life,’ Corrects It to ‘Anti-Choice’

'I don't know if black faces are as important as black voices'

• August 2, 2019 11:25 am

Tiffany Cross, managing editor of The Beat DC, criticized retiring Republican Rep. Will Hurd (Tx.) for being "extremely pro-life" before clarifying she meant to say "anti-choice" during a Friday panel on CNN.

"What does his decision not to run again tell us?" CNN anchor Poppy Harlow asked, referring to Hurd's announcement he would not seek re-election.

"Well, look, this is a hugely important district to both parties. It's a swing district. Of course he represents the longest stretch of the border between U.S. and Mexico," Cross said.

She proceeded to criticize Hurd for being conservative and invoked Rep. Ayanna Pressley's (D., Ma.) claim that Democrats don't need "any more black faces that don't want to be a black voice."

"He has been an opponent of the president's border wall. But I would argue that I don't know how tough a loss this is," Cross said. "I know he's championing his own diversity, but I would quote Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and say I don't know if black faces are as important as black voices."

"The truth of the matter is Congressman Hurd voted with Donald Trump 96 percent on the time. He was one of the people who blocked the efforts to get Trump's tax returns," she continued. "He's extremely pro-life, or I shouldn't say—he's anti-choice, I should say. So he does fall in line with the Republican Party."

Cross's phrasing is reminiscent of language guidelines issued by NPR earlier this year that similarly discouraged the use of the phrase "pro-life." The outlet stated it would use "abortion rights supporter(s)/advocate(s)" and "abortion rights opponent(s)" instead of the phrases "pro-life" and "pro-choice."

"It is acceptable to use the phrase ‘anti-abortion rights,' but do not use the term ‘pro-abortion rights,'" the guidelines continued.

In a subsequent article, NPR public editor Elizabeth Jensen defended the language policies, but wrote that the use of "pro-choice" is factually accurate while "pro-life" is "murkier."