It is worth noting that the first two paragraphs of the piece credit Live Action as claiming that Carhart’s comments are “offensive,” “inhumane,” and cruel.” Perhaps this is in the spirit of attempting to appear unbiased?
An anti-abortion group released an undercover video on Wednesday showing what it says were offensive and inhumane remarks about abortions by one of the country’s most prominent abortion doctors.
The release, by the activist group Live Action, is part of a new effort by abortion foes to portray clinics that perform later abortions, in the second or third trimester of pregnancy, as being riddled with illegal or cruel practices.
The author of the piece, Erick Eckholm, can’t bring himself to objectively say that such comments are offensive, such as comparing an aborted fetus to “meat in a Crock-Pot.” Eckholm does say that Carhart’s statements are imprudent, but he ends the paragraph with a “but” to counteract that by reminding the reader that “the video provides no evidence of illegal action or subpar medical techniques.”
What Eckholm would consider “subpar medical techniques” may be disturbing to know. Kristi Burton Brown here at Live Action News provides a piece analyzing Carhart’s comments and points out his lies. Many would consider such troubling lies to fall in line with “subpar medical techniques.”
Eckholm doesn’t want his reader to discredit Carhart, though, based on “imprudent” comments he made. The next paragraph makes mention that:
… [o]ther medical experts as well as defenders of abortion rights said the comparison with Dr. Gosnell, who seemed to show blatant disregard for his patients and the law, was misleading and unfair.
Well, if a medical expert such as Tracy Weitz (mentioned farther down in the article), who is a medical sociologist at the University of California, San Francisco, says that “people should not be quick to pass judgment on a doctor based on a few phrases on a video,” then perhaps the jokes and comments that Carhart has made about aborted babies aren’t the worst thing in the world. As Weitz points out:
Doctors struggle to find terminology to help a client understand what’s happening, and while it may seem wrong to us, it may be appropriate for that conversation[.]
It is also possible that Eckholm is seeking to question or downplay the legitimacy of the aim of Live Action’s Inhuman project, which informs the public that Kermit Gosnell is not the only abortionist to operate a horrific late-term abortion business. Along with the comment that there are claims from “other medical experts as well as defenders of abortion rights” regarding such a comparison, a statement from Planned Parenthood is included:
“Comparing an offensive and inappropriate comment to Gosnell’s horrific crimes is politics at its worst,” said Eric Ferrero, vice president of communications for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
And also note that even Planned Parenthood has called Carhart’s comment “offensive and inappropriate”! So it is worth again asking, why can’t Eckholm?
It is also worth considering the ways in which the article seeks to portray Carhart in a favorable light. To start with, the title, “Undercover Video Targets Abortion Doctor,” arguably makes Carhart the victim, as he is being “[t]arget[ed].” The picture is another obvious mention, as it shows Carhart from 2009 in a rather compassionate light, patting the head of a woman who is about to undergo a procedure. The piece also makes further excuses for Carhart and seeks to portray him as a serious abortion doctor with this paragraph (emphasis added):
But in a few spots, Dr. Carhart seems to be trying to find simple metaphors, and uses language that his critics called grossly inappropriate and revealing. When asked what tools he uses to extract a fetus, he first tries to joke, saying, “A pickax, a drill bit,” but then becomes serious and says, “No … there’s just instruments that have been developed.”
Notice again how the article makes it clear that the comments Carhart made are called “grossly inappropriate and revealing” by his critics. Basically, what we should take from this is that at least Carhart does become serious.
One of the last mentions of Carhart that Eckholm provides again portrays the abortionist in a favorable light, as a man who seems to take abortion very seriously:
Dr. Carhart at one point counsels a woman that “it’s your life that’s going to be affected by this pregnancy and be affected by the termination.”
“I mean, this baby is a part of you forever,” he says.
While The New York Times does not exactly come out and hail abortion in this piece, it completely rejects the opportunity to call out Carhart for the troubling abortionist he is, and instead seeks to make a case and provide excuses for this man despite all that he has done. In doing so, late-term abortion seems to get a free pass, when the real circumstances surrounding the industry are certainly more dire, and are being called out by its critics such as Live Action for good reason.