In piece for Monday’s New York Times entitled “Desperate and Leaving Texas to Have Abortions,” reporter Sabrina Tavernise penned a pro-abortion story from Oklahoma City that not only told of Texas women apparently crossing into Oklahoma in droves to have abortions in light of the state’s abortion law, but featured a quote that framed children as some sort of burdensome nuisance.
It’s no secret how the paper feels about abortion rights, or its disdain for pro-lifers, but Tavernise took it to another level.
Tavernise began with a lead that reads like it was penned by Planned Parenthood or NARAL :
On a windy Tuesday morning, the parking lot outside a small brick building on the Southside of Oklahoma City was filling up fast. The first to arrive, a red truck shortly before 8 a.m., was from Texas. So was the second and the third.
The building houses one of Oklahoma’s four abortion clinics, and at least two-thirds of its scheduled patients now come from Texas. So many, in fact, that it is trying to hire more staff members and doctors to keep up. The increase is the result of a new law in Texas banning abortions after about six weeks, a very early stage of pregnancy….
The effects of the new law have been profound: Texans with unwanted pregnancies have been forced to make decisions quickly, and some have opted to travel long distances for abortions. As clinics in surrounding states fill up, appointments are being scheduled for later dates, making the procedures more costly. Other women are having to carry their pregnancies to term.
Tavernise found a pungent quote that brought home the bias of this one-sided story:
Marva Sadler, senior director of clinic services at Whole Woman’s Health, which operates four clinics in Texas, said she believed that many patients were not able to arrange child care or take time off work without losing their jobs to travel to other states.
“I think a majority of women are being sentenced to being parents,” she said.
“Sentenced to being parents.” But didn’t the reference to “child care” in the previous sentence mean the “patients” are already doing time that so-called prison?
Tavernise documented more abortion trips to Oklahoma, with the focus and sympathy wholly on the side of the would-be mother, not the baby she’s carrying. No pro-life voices were quoted:
Samerah, who requested that her last name not be published, arrived last Monday from Beaumont, a city near Houston, where she lives with her partner and their 2-year-old son.
The news of her pregnancy, she said, threatened the life they had built for him.
After stating that “it increasingly is poor women who must grapple with” pro-life laws, Tavernise granted a small space for the pro-life view.
However, the result was still dismissive of the idea of her subject as Samerah actually gave birth to her child, treating the reality of the live child as an unwanted thought best banished from the mother’s head:
Sarah had never been pregnant before, but she said she knew her decision was right. Still, it was difficult. In the weeks that she waited for her appointment, she said it was impossible not to think about what was growing inside her. The ultrasound confirming her pregnancy, which she received at a center run by an anti-abortion group, was performed by a woman who typed ‘Hi, Mommy,’ and ‘Hi, it’s me,’ into the screen and gave Sarah the printout.