News,  Politics

Why do reports conceal radicalism of the pro-choice side?

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.


  • Randy Tanner

    The answer is because they don’t want to take the chance on shocking Americans or Justice Kennedy into awareness of how extreme it was to invent a right out of the 14th amendment and quash debate in the states on where life begins. They want the dangerous precedent to be followed on what marriage is, without exposing the truth, taking no chances the Justice who in essence gets to make the decision may have a pang of conscience or other Americans will awaken from their stupor. All that’s left to cover is end of life.

  • Don Johnson

    The last I saw, I think there were only 4 late term abortion facilities remaining in the USA, the ones that will do what are called third trimester abortions, when the fetus/baby is from 7 to 9 months and therefore many are certainly viable outside the womb, especially considering the advances in modern technology in this area.

  • Ryan Davidson

    I don’t see a problem with the NYT piece. The reporter simply says that the state cannot restrict abortion before viability. That’s an entirely accurate statement. A woman may have a statutory right under certain states’ laws to obtain an abortion after viability, but it is not a Constitutional right. Perhaps it would have been more accurate to say “Constitutional right” instead of merely “right,” although I’d suggest that the term “Constitutional” is implied by the context.

    Yes, the initial version of the WaPo piece was incorrect. The correction offers an improvement, but is still inaccurate.

    • Denny Burk

      Ryan, that is not correct. Doe v. Bolton defines “health” of the mother so broadly that it has kept states from enacting restrictions throughout every stage of pregnancy. Even the partial birth abortion ban of 2003 (upheld by the Supreme Court in 2007) doesn’t prevent late term abortions. It simply restricts a certain procedure. Roe and Doe do in fact make abortion-on-demand a legal right through every stage of pregnancy, 0-9 months.

  • James Stanton

    I think most people are uncomfortable with late-term abortion. I don’t think it’s accurate to say that the concensus pro-choice view supports abortion a day prior to birth. It seems unseemly because that’s how you want to portray all of the opposition even though none of them created Roe v. Wade.

    The only reason abortion laws are this liberal is because the US Supreme Court, for some unknown reason, made a flawed decision decades ago.

    • Denny Burk

      James, I agree that it’s not a consensus pro-choice view among pro-choicers. It is a consensus among the feminists and activists, but many people who support abortion rights find late term abortion problematic. They say they support Roe v. Wade, but I suspect that many of them don’t understand what Roe v. Wade means–that it ensures a right to abortion through all stages of pregnancy.

      Having said that, anyone who supports Roe v. Wade–whether they realize it or not–is supporting a regime that makes abortion possible right up until the baby emerges from the birth canal. And that is why I call it the pro-choice view because pro-choicers support Roe.

  • Christiane Smith

    In Virginia, we are STILL shocked by a supposedly pro-life governor who cut funding for our main pediatric hospital, which affected care for premature newborns whose lives were being saved by medical intervention in the first months of life.

    The point I make is that ‘labels’ confuse issues more than clarify them. This particular governor had to go to court to defend himself against bribery charges. The next governor elected in the state was Democratic (and our state had been a ‘red’ state, supposedly).

    I’m sure a lot of those folks who are ‘pro-life’ are also advocates for the death penalty. And I’m sure that a lot of those folks who are ‘pro-choice’ work to end the death penalty. So the labels again, don’t serve the purposes they are intended to serve to ‘dicotomize’ one side from the other neatly . . . it isn’t working, if that is the goal of politicians.

    One interesting thing: in 2014, it was recognized that certain economic proposals of ‘pro-life’ candidates for office would bring harm to the poor and the marginalized so severely that the U.S. Bishops of the Catholic Church spoke out against that economic plan. They were wise enough to understand that bringing more grief to those already suffering was not the way to foster life in our land. The inconsistency of the label ‘pro-life’ and the punitive economic plans was so readily observed, that the term ‘pro-life’ lost meaning during that election for many voters who were Catholic.

    Labels? They don’t work for us. Not any more.

Comment here. Please use FIRST and LAST name.