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Over the past year, the cries of fake news and bias have come from both sides of the political aisle. News organizations have for years positioned themselves as the neutral place to get news. However, they’ve started to show their cards. Nowhere is this clearer than in conversations surrounding abortion in the United States.
As the Director of Communications for Ohio Right to Life, I read a lot of local, national, and international news articles about what is going on in the pro-life movement. I can’t help but be frustrated when supposedly “neutral” news sites use the decidedly pro-abortion language to describe what is happening.
Take this article for instance, published on Business Insider’s website. Before we get into the article itself, the headline already tells you the bias of the reporter, because of three little words.
“Pro-choice activists.” Let’s pretend for a moment that this article was about activists who believe that abortion ends a human life. Would it say “pro-life activists?” Nope. It would label these people “anti-abortion activists.” If we are anti-abortion activists, why not call the other side pro-abortion activists?
This is the first clear instance of bias because the writer addresses the community fighting for abortion to be called as they wish: pro-choice. But rarely will you see people fighting against abortion labeled pro-life. It happens, just not nearly as often.
The further issue of this article is how they report the story. The story goes like this: pro-abortion advocates followed some buses that drive Google employees to Google Headquarters with signs that said, “Searching for abortion care? Google will send you to fake, anti-abortion clinics.”
I expect this kind of rhetoric from the pro-abortion side, after all, it is the sign that they made. But the writer of this article does very little to objectively discuss the situation at hand: that pregnancy help centers are buying Google Ads so that women who are considering abortion might come to them for a free pregnancy test and counseling about all the options, not just abortion.
The writer describes the controversy, involving what she calls “crisis pregnancy centers.” Never mind the fact that most of those centers call themselves pregnancy help centers. The goal of pregnancy help centers is to provide women with real options other than abortion. But rather than interview someone who holds that belief, the writer chose to only interview people who held her own same beliefs.
One of the headers for a section of the article says “how crisis pregnancy centers mislead women.” You might as well have had Planned Parenthood’s communications director write that one, because that statement is loaded with bias and agenda. Pregnancy help centers certainly aren’t pro-abortion, but they don’t lie to women about what really happens in abortion, either. It’s clear after that statement that the writer has no intention of providing an even partially balanced view of the issue.
All of this talk of naming is just a part of the obvious bias in this article. Of the 15 links to outside sources, half of them are links to decidedly liberal, pro-abortion organizations, such as NARAL Pro-Choice America, Ultraviolet, and the Huffington Post. Not once do they reference information from organizations that do nothing but work with pregnancy help centers, such as Heartbeat International, which has 2,500 pregnancy help affiliates worldwide.
For the pro-life movement, it’s about changing hearts and minds. Nowhere is it clearer that hearts and minds need to be changed for life than in the coverage of abortion in the mainstream media. The pro-life movement won’t back down from the challenge, and we will continue to speak the truth, even if the truth isn’t reported.