The American Civil Liberties Union’s executive director apologized after the nonprofit was ripped for changing a quote from the late women’s rights champion Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to be gender-neutral.
The ACLU had used one of Ginsburg’s famous pro-choice quotes in a Sept. 18 tweet to pay tribute to her on the first anniversary of her death — but they were immediately slammed for replacing her use of the words “woman,” “she” and “her.”
ACLU’s executive director Anthony Romero told the New York Times Monday he regretted the tweet and blamed it on the organization’s digital team.
“We won’t be altering people’s quotes,” he said. “It was a mistake among the digital team. Changing quotes is not something we ever did.”
Romero, however, suggested that Ginsburg would have likely supported the sentiment if she were still alive.
“Having spent time with Justice Ginsburg, I would like to believe that if she were alive today, she would encourage us to evolve our language to encompass a broader vision of gender, identity and sexuality,” Romero told the outlet.
ACLU has not deleted the original tweet.
The nonprofit had changed Ginsburg’s original quote to use “people” and “their” instead of the female pronouns.
“The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a [person’s] life, to [their] well-being and dignity,” the altered quote read.
“When the government controls that decision for [people], [they are] being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for [their] own choices.”
Ginsburg’s original quote reads: “The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, to her well-being and dignity. It is a decision she must make for herself. When government controls that decision for her, she is being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices.”
Many on Twitter slammed ACLU at the time, insisting Ginsburg would have been “horrified” by the changes.
“You’re literally erasing her as you write this. Stop,” @UrlNat tweeted.
Greg Scott, senior vice president of communications at Alliance Defending Freedom, tweeted: “The ACLU literally erasing women.”