Skip to comments.The Media’s Abortion Blinders
Posted on 02/05/2012 5:35:38 PM PST by the invisib1e hand
IN the most recent Gallup poll on abortion, as many Americans described themselves as pro-life as called themselves pro-choice. A combined 58 percent of Americans stated that abortion should either be illegal in all circumstances or legal in only a few circumstances. These results do not vary appreciably by gender: in the first Gallup poll to show a slight pro-life majority, conducted in May 2009, half of American women described themselves as pro-life.
But if youve followed the media frenzy surrounding the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundations decision which it backpedaled from, with an apology, after a wave of frankly brutal coverage to discontinue about $700,000 in funding for Planned Parenthood, you would think all these millions of anti-abortion Americans simply do not exist.
From the nightly news shows to print and online media, the coverages tone alternated between wonder and outrage wonder that anyone could possibly find Planned Parenthood even remotely controversial and outrage that the Komen foundation had politicized the cause of womens health.
That ubiquitous pink ribbon ... is sporting a black eye today, Claire Shipman announced on ABC News Thursday, while Diane Sawyer nodded along. On MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell dressed down the Komen foundations founder, Nancy Brinker: I have to tell you, Mitchell said, this is shocking to a lot of your longtime supporters. ... How could this have taken place? In story after story, journalists explicitly passed judgment on Komen for creating a controversy where none need ever have existed.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
But of course millions of Americans including, yes, millions of American women do oppose Planned Parenthood. They oppose the 300,000-plus abortions it performs every year (making it the largest abortion provider in the country), and they oppose its tireless opposition to even modest limits on abortion.
Its true that abortion is only one of the services Planned Parenthood provides. (Although mammograms, it should be noted, are not necessarily among them: the group usually provides referrals, but not the mammogram itself, which is one of the reasons Komens founder had cited for discontinuing the grant.) But abortion is hardly an itty-bitty and purely tangential aspect of its mission, as many credulous journalists have implied.
Planned Parenthood likes to claim that abortion accounts for just 3 percent of its services, for instance, and this statistic has been endlessly recycled in the press. But the percentage of the groups clients who received an abortion is probably closer to 1 in 10, and Planned Parenthoods critics have estimated, plausibly, that between 30 and 40 percent of its health center revenue is from abortion.
By way of comparison, the organization also refers pregnant women for adoption. In 2010, this happened 841 times, against 329,445 abortions.
For the minority of Americans who have no moral qualms about using surgery or chemicals to put an end to a growing embryo or fetus, there should be nothing troubling in these numbers. And if you think abortion rights are more important to female health and flourishing than the nearly $2 billion the pink ribbon has raised for breast cancer research, Komen deserved your scorn and Planned Parenthood deserves your donations.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg just pledged $250,000 to Planned Parenthood; thats obviously his right. Before Komen backtracked, the Yale School of Public Health said its invitation to Brinker to speak at commencement was under careful review; thats certainly any schools prerogative.
But reporters have different obligations. Even if some forms of partiality are inevitable, journalists betray their calling when they simply ignore self-evident truths about a story.
Three truths, in particular, should be obvious to everyone reporting on the Komen-Planned Parenthood controversy. First, that the fight against breast cancer is unifying and completely uncontroversial, while the provision of abortion may be the most polarizing issue in the United States today. Second, that its no more political to disassociate oneself from the nations largest abortion provider than it is to associate with it in the first place. Third, that for every American who greeted Komens shift with anger and outrage (as Andrea Mitchell put it), there was probably an American who was relieved and gratified.
Indeed, that sense of relief was quantifiable: the day after the controversy broke, Komen reported that its daily donations had risen dramatically.
But of course, you wouldnt know that from most of the media coverage. After all, the people making those donations dont exist.
I think, too, Americans are waking up to the fact that Planned Parenthood has nazi dna. I just wonder if it’s too late.
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Most Americans oppose most abortions in most circumstances. They only support it under dire conditions, like if the mother were impregnated during the commission of a sex crime or in the case of a grevious medical emergency. The media has used polls with selective wording to produce misleading results. It’s an example of clients paying a polster to lie to them.
Invisible hand, you have a great tag line.
It is certainly too late for the 54 million aborted American babies, isn't it? And dozens of dead women.
Thank you for the post, and your passion.
The New York Slimes wins the stopped clock award today! This guy may not be working at the Slimes tomorrow.
I will not give a dime to Komen. PP is using a money laudering game to fund its abortion operations. Since it can’t use Federal money to fund abortions, it takes private donations, including Komen’s money, and uses it for abortions. It then takes a like amount of Federal money and uses it for its limited breast screenings, counseling (including abortion counseling), etc. When you give money to Komen you are NOT told that you will be funding PP. Per their literature, it will go for breast cancer RESEARCH. I assume the same is true for other private funds transferring money to PP.
This is in the Slimes? The editors must be away for the game.
And in the Sunday edition, no less. Maybe Mallard Filmore has been hired.
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I am speechless!!
“A nation that kills its own children is a nation without hope. John Paul II
If you go to the actual poll, the results are not as encouraging as the article states.
2011 Jul 15-17:
Legal under any circumstances 26%
Legal under most circumstances 13%
Legal only in a few circumstances 38%
Illegal in all circumstances 20%
No opinion 4%
While it is absurd to determine morality through polls, these numbers do not look overtly pro-life to me, and they are more in favor of abortion than the previous 2 polls.
I presume the 101% tally is due to rounding errors - or they could have instituted a Democrat polling system! ;P
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And more younger people are becoming pro-life. What the pro-life activists are doing is working.
So 58% are either totally opposed or only under a few circumstances.
39% are totally pro-abortion or under most circumstances.
Sounds not bad to me!
It bothers me to know that 40% still think Obama is the answer, 40% thinks killing babies is great, 40% thinks they should mooch of their neighbors - not work and not pay taxes, etc.
That’s 2 in 5.
Its like we’re two nations - one devoted to constructive effort, one committed to destruction; one pursuing life, and one death. And the depraved 40% controls the government and the press.
Prayer is the only real hope - otherwise I don’t see how it can be turned around.
I agree. But I do think public sentiment is changing for the better, gradually. Also that prayer is essential and without God’s help nothing is possible. I also think there are rough waters ahead.