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The Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan blamed the media Thursday for making a “mess” of abortion rights by allegedly presenting abortion opponents in a favorable light.
After the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion on Roe, Sullivan argued the press had “stigmatized” abortion by “accepting” the term “pro-life” to begin with.
“When journalists agreed to accept terms such as ‘pro-life’ to describe those who oppose abortion, they implicitly agreed to help stigmatize those who support it. After all, what’s the rhetorical opposite of ‘pro-life’?” she asked.
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Sullivan quoted journalist Eyal Press, son of an OB/GYN and abortion provider, who accused the media of helping the “antiabortion movement” with negative reporting.
“‘One of the great successes of the antiabortion movement was to stigmatize a very common medical procedure,’ he told me this week, ‘and to put people who defend abortion rights on the defensive,’” Sullivan wrote.
Sullivan also noted her interviewee’s suggestion that the media accuse the right for not being “pro-life” in other areas, such as passing gun control and “caring” about the maternal mortality rates of low-income women.
“Journalists need to do a better job of connecting these dots,” he told Sullivan. “They should ‘unpack just what ‘pro-life’ means,” she said he added.
However, some pro-life medical experts disagree with Sullivan.
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“Very rarely, if ever, is the reality of what happens in an abortion discussed [by the media],” Dr. Christina Francis, a pro-life OB/GYN, told Fox News Digital in April.
Pro-life scientist Dr. Tara Sander Lee also accused the media of using “political rhetoric” rather than “science” when reporting on abortion issues.
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“In fact, the word ‘abortion’ is often not even used. Instead, they say ‘reproductive healthcare,’ ‘reproductive rights’ or ‘reproductive justice.’ Abortion is a violent procedure that interrupts the natural process of pregnancy with a single intent — to end the life of a developing human being,” Francis added.