Analysis

Media bias: Peaceful pro-lifers labeled ‘militants,’ while pro-abortion violence is ignored

Argentina, pro-life

Thousands of pro-life Argentinians recently protested their president’s announcement that he would be push for abortion to be legalized by the end of the year. Though there seems to have been no violence reported during these protests, that didn’t stop Getty Images from labeling the peaceful pro-life marchers as “anti-abortion militants.”

This kind of media bias is not unusual; pro-life organizations regularly receive heavy scrutiny, while abortion businesses are all but ignored, no matter how violent and horrific the news involving them might be. A few journalists have been willing to speak out about this double standard. Kirsten Powers, for example, wrote a scathing column criticizing the media for ignoring serial killer and abortionist Kermit Gosnell. As Live Action President Lila Rose pointed out, the mainstream media outlets — ABC, NBC, and CBS — aired three times as much coverage on former Texas Senator Wendy Davis’s pro-abortion filibuster than they did on the Gosnell story.

READ: Media bias: Pro-life organizations receive heavy scrutiny, while Planned Parenthood gets a pass

But when it comes to violence, the media is only interested in attacking pro-lifers, regardless of what the facts may be. Pro-life activists have been described by media outlets as “extremists” who are prone to violence and out of touch with the world. When the media actually decides to cover pro-abortion violence — when not outright denying it happens — the bias is blatant:

  • In Mexico, pro-abortion extremists violently protested the country’s pro-life laws, attacking police officers with hammers, throwing bottles and paint, destroying property, and even lighting a police officer on fire with a Molotv cocktail. Reuters described those involved as “women” and “protesters,” not as militants or extremists.
  • In 2019, pro-abortion activists violently attempted numerous acts of arson throughout Mexico City, including at the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral and the Chamber of Commerce. Others engaged in vandalism across the city. Yet Capital 21, the public broadcasting system of Mexico, merely labeled those responsible as participants in a march for abortion.
  • A woman in Texas threw a molotov cocktail at a group praying outside of Planned Parenthood. Nationwide media was largely silent, and local media never mentioned the woman’s history of pro-abortion activism, nor did they label her an extremist or a militant.
  • CBS made sure to cover an incidence of arson at a Planned Parenthood facility, and insinuated that the pro-life movement might be tied to the crime. They remained completely silent, however, about arson committed at a pro-life pregnancy center, which assisted women with housing, job placement, and pregnancy support. This was a Catholic organization, and the fire was started beneath a statue of Our Lady of Fatima, in the center’s chapel, and in the pews.
  • An abortionist at Bristol Regional Women’s Center in Virginia was arrested after pointing a loaded gun at pro-life protestors outside of the facility, including a minor. Local news labeled him as a “doctor” without describing his actions as pro-abortion extremism or even mentioning that he commits abortions.
  • A pro-life event in Minnesota had to be evacuated after a bomb threat, which culminated in a man leaving a homemade “stink bomb,” which made people standing close to it feel sick before everyone was able to leave. Local news acknowledged the stink bomb was left because the suspect supported abortion, but he was not described as a militant or extremist.
  • A pro-abortion hairdresser roundhouse kicked a woman in the face, simply because she was pro-life. Abortion supporters openly applauded his violence, while other media outlets covered the assault, but did not describe the assailant, Jordan Hunt, as an extremist, even when it had been discovered that he had a history of attacks toward pro-lifers.
  • Mireille Miller-Young, a professor at the University of California Santa Barbara, assaulted a teenage girl because she was holding a pro-life sign that Miller-Young felt was “triggering.” Far from decrying the violence, pro-abortion media outlets used the story as a warning as to why abortion advocates should never “engage” with pro-life protestors, claiming pro-lifers are simply trolls who exploit such situations to garner fame.
  • A string of violent attacks took place in the United Kingdom last year in which peacefully praying pro-lifers were attacked by someone who threw bottles of liquid and chairs at them. Local news described the attack as a “confrontation” from an “angry individual.”

Violence by any individual is never acceptable. Yet while the pro-life movement almost universally decries violent actions in the name of stopping abortion, the violence of the pro-abortion movement has been overlooked, excused, and defended by the media — if it is reported at all. The media’s bias in painting pro-lifers as extreme and “militant” is unfair, inaccurate, and slanderous.

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