Commentary

Is Media Disrepute Any Shock When Outlets Fixate on Abortion During Coronavirus?

By Dr. Tara Sander Lee and Marjorie Dannenfelser | April 8, 2020 | 2:30am EDT
A recent New York Times op-ed advocated for the expansion of dangerous abortion drugs via telemedicine. (Photo credit: Gary Hershorn/Corbis via Getty Images)
A recent New York Times op-ed advocated for the expansion of dangerous abortion drugs via telemedicine. (Photo credit: Gary Hershorn/Corbis via Getty Images)

Gallup recently asked hundreds of Americans their opinions about leaders’ and institutions’ handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Out of nine different options, including hospitals, employers, and government leaders such as President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, the news media ranked at the bottom – in fact, the only institution with majority disapproval. 

This should come as no surprise to anyone. When major media outlets regularly act as cheerleaders for the abortion industry, attacking the president’s pro-life policies and calling for vital FDA protections to be stripped away, they drastically undermine their credibility. Why should anyone take seriously what they have to say about life and death issues?

Recently, the New York Times published an egregious house editorial agitating for the expansion of dangerous abortion drugs via telemedicine. The Times’ laundry list of pro-abortion talking points echoed Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses, which are suing Texas because elective abortions fall under the state’s order halting non-essential procedures. A growing number of governors are taking similar action.

While medical associations representing more than 30,000 physicians have called for elective abortions to be suspended in order to conserve scarce resources, pointing out that elective abortion treats no disease process and can hardly be considered essential when more than 85 percent of Ob/Gyns do not perform them, the Times calls the notion that abortion is nonessential “obvious nonsense.” 

The same paper days earlier reported an “apocalyptic” scene at a Queens hospital where 13 coronavirus patients died in one day. Doctors and nurses are risking their lives to care for COVID-19 patients without adequate personal protective equipment (PPE). Photos emerged of New York City nurses wearing trash bags for lack of gowns. Yet, Planned Parenthood affiliates have been caught begging for donations of PPE so they can continue aborting babies. In their lawsuit, and in their public messaging, they claim that their facilities use little to no PPE – but recent pleas to their donors are self-contradictory.

One of their largest affiliates told supporters, “We need all of the same supplies you are hearing about on the news,” including gloves and masks. Another stated on its website, “Please consider donating hand sanitizer, home sewn masks, shoe covers, and surgical hats.” 

Did the biggest newsrooms investigate and break this story? No, pro-life journalists and conservative media did.

No pro-abortion editorial would be complete without fearmongering about “back-alley abortions.” The fact is, abortion drugs are no more than a chemical coat hanger. These dangerous drugs aren’t just lethal to unborn babies, they also pose serious risks to women’s health. Women undergoing chemical abortions experience four times as many adverse events as women undergoing surgical abortions. As many as five to seven percent of women who undergo chemical abortions will require follow-up surgery. Three percent could end up in the emergency room – the last thing anyone needs when our medical system is overwhelmed.

The editors are clearly worried that the Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments for Louisiana’s pro-life law requiring abortionists to have admitting privilege at local hospitals. This law – introduced by a female Democrat, passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, and signed into law by Louisiana’s Democratic governor – addresses the abortion industry’s consistent refusal to self-regulate and put health and safety before profits. We see the same arrogant disregard now as they demand special treatment and flout lawful orders – putting everyone, especially the most vulnerable, at risk.

At a time when even pro-abortion Gov. Cuomo is saying, “We're not going to put a dollar figure on human life,” the Times pushes abortion on demand for the sake of “economic stability.” The abortion industry puts a dollar figure on human life every day. They and the Times editors sound alarmed that, in the midst of this crisis, we might witness the healthiest of all signs that life and hope go on – babies being born.

The Times editorial follows an overly sympathetic, supposed “straight news” portrait in The Washington Post of researchers who want to roll back Trump administration policy and use taxpayer dollars to experiment with body parts harvested from abortions. The premise is that us luddites with our moral boundaries are standing in the way of cures for every imaginable disease – one researcher even said it was “stupid” not to conduct these Frankenstein-like experiments. Not a single voice of pro-life opposition within the scientific community was represented, and not for lack of options.

In February, we called out these prophets of doom, pointing out the abundance of successful, ethical alternatives. More than 60 potential coronavirus treatments are under investigation – none of which need aborted baby body parts. We continue to counter fear with facts, but the battle to overcome media bias runs uphill.

Countless Americans are making heroic sacrifices to save lives and protect the most vulnerable. By choice or by circumstance, they are forgoing everything from sporting events and dentist appointments to biopsies and hip replacements. Whole factories are being converted to produce ventilators and hand sanitizer, and crafty students and moms are breaking out their sewing machines to make homemade masks.

Meanwhile abortion businesses’ refusal to pause their operations even temporarily jeopardizes everyone’s safety, including patients and their own staff. Mainstream media outlets could expose these selfish actions. They could report fairly on the reasons frightened women and families have to choose hope over fear. Instead they’re abetting the abortion industry in exploiting this crisis in a way that would be met with outrage anywhere else.

No wonder Americans don’t trust the news! Needing reliable information more than ever, readers find pro-abortion propaganda instead. The consequences aren’t just tragic – they’re downright fatal.

Tara Sander Lee, Ph.D. is Senior Fellow and Director of Life Sciences for the Charlotte Lozier Institute. Marjorie Dannenfelser is president of the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List.

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