I noticed two separate articles this week about abortion that have a basic error of fact regarding abortion law in the United States. This wouldn’t be surprising if didn’t appear on the websites of our nation’s two leading newspapers—The New York Times and The Washington Post. What’s amazing is that the two reports make the identical error.
NY Times – April 7, 2015: I came across this one earlier this week in The New York Times report on the new Kansas law restricting dismemberment abortions. Erick Eckholm and Frances Robles erroneously report that abortion rights in this country end at 24-weeks of pregnancy. Here’s a screenshot:
WashPost – April 8, 2015: Liam Donovan caught the same error at The Washington Post website. He tweeted screenshots of the original error and of the erroneous correction. Here’s how the two statements appeared on The Washington Post’s “The Fix” blog:
The author, Aaron Blake, must have figured out that third trimester abortions are legal in this country because he later changed what he wrote. Nevertheless, the correction is still incorrect:
What The New York Times report and The Washington Post blog fail to understand is that abortion-on-demand is legal in this country through all nine months of pregnancy. That is what Roe v. Wade and its companion decision Doe v. Bolton establish.
So here’s the question. Why did these two reports print this error? Did they not know any better? Whatever the reason, the error has the result of concealing the radicalism of the pro-choice side, which does in fact support legal abortion-on-demand with no restrictions up until a baby emerges from the birth canal. It may be unseemly, but that is the pro-choice view. And it serves no one to conceal that fact.
I hope the Times and the Post issue correct corrections.