Media Bias: Does ABC Stand for the Abortion Broadcasting Company?

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 15, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Media Bias: Does ABC Stand for the Abortion Broadcasting Company?

by Colleen Raezler
June 15, 2009 Note: Colleen Raezler is a research assistant at the Culture and Media Institute. This article originally appeared in NewsBusters, the blog of the Media Research Center.

ABC gave pro-abortion advocates free advertising recently with its "World News Sunday." During the report, an abortionist unequivocally stated that late-term abortion is "really a miscarriage of a stillborn fetus."

Anchor Dan Harris framed Steve Osunsami’s segment as a look at why doctors risk their lives to perform abortions given the "constant threat" of violence they face, as evidenced by last week’s murder of abortionist George Tiller and recent comments from Tiller’s accused killer that "similar attacks are planned all over the country."

Harris teased the segment "Tonight, we talk to late-term abortion providers who fear they are targets. Why do they do it?" He stated in his introduction, "Why would a doctor take that risk? And why would a woman make that choice?"

Osunsami’s report quickly revealed itself as a propaganda piece. He lamented, "Tiller was one of the few doctors in the U.S. who specialized in late-term abortions, abortions performed as late as the third trimester. With Tiller’s death, there are now fewer than a dozen U.S. doctors who offer the procedure."

Neither abortion provider featured in the segment actually explained why they perform late-term abortions. In fact, both avoided using the word "abortion." Toni Hawkins, executive director of Atlanta’s SurgiCenter, simply stated that Tiller’s death "will make us more firm in our resolve in what we do and why we do what we do."

LeRoy Carhart, a Nebraska abortionist and the plaintiff in Gonzales v. Carhart, the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court case that upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, offered a description of late-term abortion, "It’s very much a three day, four day, even five day procedure. And in our procedure, after the first day, the fetus is no longer alive. So it’s really a miscarriage of a stillborn fetus."

Why can’t Hawkins or Carhart call "what they do" abortion?

Hyping up the fear of violence, Osunsami also noted that Carhart’s "safety was such a concern he would only meet us behind closed doors and he came with security."

As if to make late-term abortions more palatable, Osunsami also reported that Carhart "wants America to know that late-term abortions are rare. A small percentage of all abortion procedures."

Kara Black, a woman who went to Tiller for an abortion after finding out at six-and-a-half months into her pregnancy that her baby would need three open-heart surgeries and could expect to live just 3 to 5 years, defended Tiller and the procedure. She told ABC, "How do you recover from a loss of a 3 to 5-year-old as you watch them slowly die?"

Black added, "If people knew what he really was doing up there and dropped this, you know, fairy tale that, you know, you get pregnant, you have a healthy baby. It doesn’t happen like that."

One can imagine the difficulty of Black’s decision. However, ABC portrayed late-term abortion as the only choice she had in this circumstance when that is not the case.

Osunsami did include a short sound-bite from Tom McClusky, vice-president for government affairs at Family Research Council. "Any abortion we see in the pro-life movement as being wrong, but in the case of late-term abortions, these are children that have arms, have legs, feel pain," he stated.

Funny how Carhart managed to leave those details out of his description of the "procedure."

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