New York Times Corrects Misleading Story on Abortion in El Salvador

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 1, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New York Times Corrects Misleading Story on Abortion in El Salvador Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 8
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — The New York Times has finally issued a correction for the mistakes it made in an April 9, 2006, Times Magazine cover-story about abortion penalties in El Salvador. The newspaper, relying on information from an abortion advocacy group, incorrectly said that a woman had been jailed for having an abortion.

In fact, the woman in question was jailed after charges of infanticide related to her strangling of her own child.

The Times admitted that it did not have complete information on the medical reports or the trial involving the woman when it published its article. On Sunday, the Times explained that more medical reports and the text of the ruling contradicted its earlier report.

"The Times should have obtained the text of the ruling of the three-judge panel before the article was published, but did not vigorously pursue the document until details of the ruling were brought to the attention of editors in late November," the newspaper wrote in a correction.

"A picture caption with the article also misstated the facts of the ruling. Ms. Climaco was sentenced to 30 years in prison for a case that was initially thought to be an abortion but was later ruled to be a homicide; she was not given 30 years in prison for an abortion that was ruled a homicide," it added.

Noel Shepherd, a columnist for Newsbusters, a media watchdog web site, chided the Times for taking so long to issue a correction.

"So, this information was made available to the Times in late November. Yet, it continued to stand by its story until early January," he said. "Amazing."

The Times’ report has caused a furor in the pro-life community because it shows a leading media publication furthering the agenda of pro-abortion groups, which want South American nations to revise their pro-life laws and legalize abortions.

"Latin America is a big prize for those who would most financially benefit from legalized abortion in that region," Raimundo Rojas, the Hispanic outreach director for National Right to Life, told "And in this instance, the New York Times’ article is almost tyrannic in its advocacy to liberalize abortion laws in El Salvador."

Rojas said abortion advocates promoted the original Times article in many nations to show the supposedly negative effects of prohibiting abortions.

"Those of us who, for years, have been fighting in the trenches on the pro-life side have had to endure the dishonesty of the pro-abortionists for decades, to them the truth is less than inconsequential," Rojas said.

"And now we see that even the New York Times is not immune from this pro-abortion propaganda," he concluded.