Thursday, June 05, 2003
Bias, liberal agenda -- again: Today's New York Times report on the House vote to ban the procedure commonly-known as partial-birth abortion.
The bills passed by the House and the Senate will be reconciled, sent to the president and the president will sign it. Lawsuits will be immediately filed and the Supreme Court will ultimately decide its legality.
I'm pro-life, and I'll leave aside the infanticide vs. slippery slope debate that this bill generates.
What bugs me, and has bugged me for more than a decade, are several components in the following paragraph.
The measure applies to a type of abortion used to terminate pregnancies in the second and third trimester. The procedure, which is medically known as intact dilation and extraction, is rarely used, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit research group.
First, there is a failure to disclose that the Alan Guttmacher Institute is little more than the research arm of Planned Parenthood. The two organizations are joined at the hip. The Alan Guttmacher Institute has a vested interest in keeping abortion on-demand the status quo. Would the Times casually reference the American Petroleum Institute as an unbiased source for the amount of oil available under ANWR?
The second thing is the willing repetition of the claim that this procedure, about which the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan remarked "if that's not infanticide, nothing is," is rarely used.
You'd think that Times reporters would have free access to their own archives.
A prominent member of the abortion rights movement said Tuesday that he lied in earlier statements when he said a controversial form of late-term abortion is rare and performed primarily to save the lives or fertility of women bearing severely malformed babies.
He now says the procedure is performed far more often than his colleagues have acknowledged, and on healthy women bearing healthy fetuses.
Ron Fitzsimmons, the executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, said he intentionally misled in previous remarks about the procedure, called intact dilation and evacuation by those who believe it should remain legal and "partial-birth abortion" by those who believe it should be outlawed, because he feared that the truth would damage the cause of abortion rights.
The Associated Press also followed up on the Times report and also noted a report by The Record of Hackensack, N.J.
A report in The Record of Hackensack, New Jersey, last September sparked controversy when it reported that doctors at just one clinic in suburban Englewood estimated using the controversial procedure in about half of the 3,000 abortions they perform each year on women in their 20th to 24th weeks of pregnancy. A normal pregnancy is about 40 weeks.
The Times is entitled to its own opinion (though not on its news pages), but it's not entitled to its own facts.
Should we expect a correction from the Times? Don't hold your breath.