Mainstream media coverage of the abortion debate has always been really frustrating. It’s good to remind ourselves from time to time how much the pro-life movement has to overcome to get their message out. Enter Joe Carter’s commentary on the NY Times’ misleading coverage of the restriction on 2nd trimester abortions passed by the House of Representatives yesterday. Carter concludes:
After implying that Republicans were making a huge mistake in bringing up the issue, the Times now tells us that two-thirds of Americans completely opposes legal second-trimester abortions. The House passes a bill putting limitations on a procedure (second-trimester abortions) that most Americans think should be completely outlawed, and the headline is about the GOP appeasing their vocal base?
No one expects the New York Times to provide fair and balanced coverage of the abortion issue; that would require a greater allegiance to objective journalism than the paper can muster. But the least the Times can do is respect its readers enough to keep the editorials on the editorial page.
Read the rest here.
You should be more restrained in how you interpret polls. I don’t doubt that most Americans are uncomfortable with abortions after the 2nd trimester but broadly worded polls don’t capture resistance to blanket bans on abortion.
The bill is silly political theater is that it has zero chance of ever becoming law. It does, however, give House Republicans the opportunity to demonstrate to their constituents how earnestly pro-life they are without having to actually accomplish anything.
The Republicans know that many folks are one issue voters and must not lose their votes even if what bill they are proposing has no chance of passing.
You can thank the younger generations for their support behind stopping abortion. Sonograms have made it a lot more “real” to the X-ers and Y-ers. There’s going to be a swing as a nation on this.
Poll numbers are used profusely in the media to sway opinion all the time. I would contend they are more frequently used by the liberal media than anyone else. What’s wrong with Joe Carter’s use of the polls here? Or perhaps the results don’t fit your agenda?
Brett, you’ve basically answered your own question. The media (whether liberal or conservative outlets) misuse polls to advance their agenda. I would welcome it entirely if a majority of Americans strongly believed in doing away with legalized abortion after or before the 2nd trimester. I’m not as optimistic as Joe, Denny, or Ian that these polls indicate a resurgence of pro-life sentiment. Yes, people are uncomfortable about late-term abortions. No, that does not mean they will support the kind of legislation being offered to deal with it.