An unearthed report surrounding a gruesome late-term abortion procedure is a reminder of how the pro-abortion media is frequently unwilling to question or challenge information spoon-fed to them by the abortion industry — even today. This phenomenon isn’t new.
Years ago, the abortion industry and its media friends claimed partial-birth abortions (PBA) were rare, and done only in cases of fetal anomalies or health of the mother. In a partial-birth abortion (or intact dilation and extraction or D&X), the abortionist delivers the baby feet first up to the head, then punctures the base of the baby’s skull and suctions out the child’s brain, delivering a dead baby. The media would have gotten away with its deception on this gruesome ‘procedure,’ had it not been for Ron Fitzsimmons, executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers (NCAP). He admitted that abortion advocates had lied about partial-birth abortion statistics, and stated the procedure was actually committed thousands of times on healthy babies.
A 1997 report by the Weekly Standard summed it up:
For almost two years, he and other pro-choice activists had insisted that the grisly procedure was extremely rare. It was, they said, an emergency surgery reserved exclusively for late-term pregnancies involving severe fetal abnormalities and life- or fertility-threatening complications for the mother. But then Fitzsimmons suddenly admitted, in a flurry of interviews, that this was simply a dishonest “party line.” There are maybe 5,000 partial-birth abortions each year in the United States, he told ABC’s Ted Koppel and others — ten or more times the number he and his allies had claimed. And the vast majority of these abortions are, Fitzsimmons said, entirely elective, performed on healthy mothers and destroying healthy babies in the fifth or sixth month of gestation.
Interestingly, abortion advocates are making the same claims about late-term or third trimester abortions in 2019 — that they’re only done for extremely tragic and difficult cases. And once again, the media repeats this line, while the proof — from a pro-abortion source, no less — shows that very late-term abortions are being done on healthy babies with healthy mothers. The Guttmacher study stated that “[m]ost women seeking later abortion fit at least one of five profiles: They were raising children alone, were depressed or using illicit substances, were in conflict with a male partner or experiencing domestic violence, had trouble deciding and then had access problems, or were young and nulliparous.”
In 1995, Congress passed a partial-birth abortion ban which was vetoed by President Bill Clinton in 1996. Then, in March 1997, during another Congressional hearing on the topic, Senator Orrin Hatch played this PBS news show, entitled, “Partial Truth,” which examined media bias surrounding late term abortions:
Various journalists eventually admitted that there was a disturbing amount of media bias surrounding abortion.
Terry Eastland, editor of Forbes Media Critic Online:
- “Over those 15 months the press tracked the bill’s political journey… yet failed to report the substance of the story.”
- “[…J]ournalists tended to accept as fact assertions provided by abortion rights groups.”
- “[…R]eporters tended to accept as true the assertions of the abortion-rights side, despite evidence calling into question their claims.”
Karen Tumulty, Time Magazine:
- “[…T]he coverage of the partial birth abortion debate has been abysmal primarily because there are facts and figures being thrown around out there where basically facts and figures do not exist.”
- “[…M]ost news organizations have been far more willing to accept what facts, figures, and examples are offered by the abortion-rights side, and to discount the other side’s argument.”
- “The only people who really know how often this procedure is performed and for what reasons are the people who do it. And, in trying to collect that information… you are going to have to rely on the word of people who do not want to talk about it…”
John Leo, US News and World Report:
- “I can’t think of a major story in the last ten years that has been distorted as fully as abortion. And the partial birth abortion was so egregiously handled I think someone should do a great book on how the press mangled this issue.”
- “It was very unfortunate, I think that the media… used the arguments and often the language of the pro-choice side. They did not examine the weaknesses on their case. And, I think the general coverage was varied from weak to openly distorted….”
Andrew Rosenthal, New York Times:
- “With abortion all you have are various people who gather reported abortions. There’s the Guttmacher Institute…who collect statistics on reported abortions. Well, that could be 90% of them, it could be 100% of them or it could be 20% of them, we have no idea.”
Jonathan Alter, Newsweek:
- “Journalists will go to one side and then go to the other side and think that by doing that they are reporting the story. When in fact what they are doing is reporting on the politics of a story and the advocacy involved in the story, but not necessarily the nub of the story itself.”
- “Journalists are disproportionately liberal on this issue. So they’re more likely to rely on…the information that they get from the pro-choice side.”
- “For news organizations to allow months to pass before they try to go out and do their own independent assessment of the facts was a real problem…”
Ruth Padawer, The Record:
- “Most of the stories that I read said that intact D&E occurred only for fetal anomalies or tragic circumstances and that’s not at all what I found…. Once I collected everything that I thought I needed from each side…I decided to call physicians that I knew in New Jersey…. My understanding was that there were no intact D&E’s in New Jersey. And, in the course of our conversation, the physician said, ‘I do them.’ …Then, he very frankly began telling me how he did them and how often he did them…”
Padawer discovered roughly 1500 procedures were committed each year on healthy babies, in New Jersey – three times more than what the abortion industry said occurred in entire country.
- “One of the unsettling things of what I found… was the discovery that the pro-choice side was playing fast and loose with the facts. And that, there’s a credibility gap there that there wasn’t before for me.”
David Brown, Washington Post:
- “My reporting showed that a large number – possibly even a majority of these procedures – were done on normal fetuses…. Most people who got this procedure were really not very different from most people who got abortions.”
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