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Abortion in America
A Tale of Two Marches

Today is the 42nd annual March for Life, in which pro-lifers from across the country march on the Supreme Court on the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. Though climate conditions depressed numbers last year, in 2013 the March for Life may have drawn as many as 650,000 people. But as the Public Editor of the NYT noted last year, the paper of record seriously under-covered 2014’s March for Life, with the print edition carrying only a captioned photo but no article:

The march may happen every year, and this one may have been smaller than usual, but it still is a major event, and there were fresh angles available, including the more inclusive approach, the large number of young people involved and the difficulties of participating in the storm.The lack of staff coverage unfortunately gives fuel to those who accuse The Times of being anti-Catholic, and to those who charge that the paper’s news coverage continually reflects a liberal bias. But more important, the event had significant news value. In Thursday’s paper, it deserved more than a photograph.

With 650,000 people, the March for Life is twice as large as last September’s People’s Climate March in New York City, in which an estimated 311,000 Americans protested international inaction on climate change. The media gave the People’s Climate March glowing coverage. Time Magazine called it the “largest social demonstration of the past decade” while USA Today referred to “flocks of vivid color” and embedded a tweet with a picture of a 4-year-old “marching for her future.” The NYT called the climate march a “self-consciously inclusive affair” that was “mostly for concerned ordinary people” who came to the march “in vast numbers.”

As the March happens this year, be on the look out for media disparities like this. The pro-life movement is large and young, and women support many of its policies more than men do. It is not going away, but the coverage doesn’t often reflect these realities, which are inconvenient for the pro-choice movement. Abortion is one of those issues the media is consistently unable to cover well. This year will likely be no different.

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  • Andrew Allison

    “the paper of record” GMAB!

  • Peter Castle

    The MSM dismisses the pro-life movement using various forms of propaganda, but they cannot hide the truth.

    See “I’m having a … fetus” at

  • FriendlyGoat

    Why, once again, don’t we make religion-driven laws applicable to everyone based upon popular opinion surveys, or the relative size of crowds at demonstrations, or even based on initiatives on state ballots? After all, everyone knows that 51% is always bigger than 49% and that difference justifies limiting the rights of whomever is on the lesser side.

    • Fred

      You’re quite talented, FG. I would never have guessed you could fit so many unexamined (and invalid) assumptions and straw men into such a short comment.

      First, you assume restrictions on abortion would be “religion-driven.” Religious people do tend to oppose abortion, but there is no necessary connection. A human fetus clearly, empirically verifiably has a life of its own. If that were not the case, things like in vitro fertilization, embryo freezing and later implantation, and surrogate pregnancy would simply not be possible. Those procedures also make a hash of the viability argument. Fetuses can and do survive in environments outside the woman and therefore are not simply a part of the woman’s body. And the life the fetus has is clearly, empirically verifiably human. It has all the DNA of any human being, and its DNA is not identical to that of the mother. Acceptance of all that does not require religious belief, just eyes that are not ideologically blinkered and a grasp of the obvious.

      If you have ever seen anyone actually make the argument that we should ban abortion because it polls well or because it produces large demonstrations, I would appreciate a link. Otherwise, I call BS. The goal of the pro-life movement is to save innocent human lives. Those lives were human and innocent when poll numbers were strongly pro-abortion and they are human and innocent now. If poll numbers shift again, they will still be human and innocent.

      Finally, your assumption that legislation restricting abortion would be limiting the rights of anyone has it exactly backwards. Like Dred Scott and Plessy v Ferguson, Roe v Wade was a decision that limited persons’ rights and the most important of all rights, the right to life, without which none of the others matter. Such legislation would be restoring rights, not
      limiting them.

      • FriendlyGoat

        You’re quite talented too, Fred, as a creative conservative. I’m not personally a big fan of abortion, but I’m less of a fan of men limiting something which applies exclusively to women——-especially when the Chamber of Commerce crowd has been tricking the church community on this issue for decades. The reason I commented on this at all was the silliness of the TAI implication that the size of demonstrations or the results of polls are the justification for limiting every individual woman’s right to control the reproduction in her own body. I know your side believes the presence of the baby—–at ALL stages of development—–is an absolute control factor over the mother. I do not believe that. And, I do not believe church people ought to be voting for everything else on the Republican agenda (gross inequality, guns for everyone, environmental disregard, discrimination, voter disenfranchisement, corporate advantage, etc) in order to insist on that one anti-abortion point which is erroneous in my view anyway. I think your side is “baited” every day. Yes. I know you have a different view. Okay.

  • Boritz

    “Abortion is one of those issues the media is consistently unable to cover well.”

    Unable? The network was down? Their batteries died? There was a family emergency? What in h*** are you talking about?

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