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Building a bridge to a reporter whose pro-abortion biases are showing

by | May 19, 2020

By Laura Echevarria, NRL Director of Communications and Press Secretary

Editor’s note. This appears in the May digital edition of National Right to Life News. Please read the entire 40-page compilation of news stories, commentary, analyses, and editorial and pass them along to pro-life family and friends.

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I have a problem.

A reporter who has interviewed key National Right to Life spokespersons is an apologist for pro-abortion groups. How do I know?

Her Twitter feed uses pro-abortion language to describe abortion on demand. Her articles unfailingly show abortion in a positive light. This reporter also writes pieces that are complimentary of the leadership of pro-abortion groups. In many of her posts, not a single pro-life voice is heard.

Her writing is so obviously pro-abortion, she was recently the subject of a conservative columnist’s analysis which highlighted in detail this woman’s unbending and unyielding bias.

Yet, because she is the reporter covering the abortion issue for a major news outlet, I can’t really ignore her. Nor should I.

How do I “fix” this? How do I influence a reporter to modify the language she uses? To be clear, I am not trying to persuade this reporter to use our language. I just want her to use something approximating objective language.

A recent pinned tweet on her Twitter accountasks the reader if he or she wants to know “what a post-Roe world looks like?” It featured a list of things that would supposedly happen based on “Coronavirus-related abortion bans.” This in spite of the obvious fact that limitations on abortion are not “targeting” abortion. The state executive orders are restrictions on all non-essential medical services during a pandemic, which includes elective abortion.

Other tweets include such loaded language as:

Really interesting article from the NYT on how anti-abortion rights policies are aligning some young Republicans.

Two months ago they (Supreme Court justices) heard a case that would effectively gut Roe v Wade.

Many patients seeking medication abortion use websites that allow them to circumvent laws that heavily regulate how the drug is administered.[emphasis mine]

And in a recent article about abortion clinics remaining open during the COVID-19 pandemic, she wrote:

For anti-abortion rights activists, overturning Roe is the first step to nationally criminalizing pregnancy termination completely. 

She retweets articles and commentary from Planned Parenthood and other abortion apologists. As noted above, she uses the term “anti-abortion rights” to describe pro-lifers, a confusing formulation I’d never heard of before. 

In her coverage of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, she adheres closely to pro-abortion talking points. She described the billas “a push by the conservative right to reframe the reproductive rights debate toward third-trimester abortions.” However, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act is a law designed to protect babies already born.

If she were a reporter for a liberal, pro-abortion media outlet such as ReWire News or Mother Jones Magazine, I wouldn’t be surprised at her reporting, just as Planned Parenthood’s communications director wouldn’t be surprised at negative coverage of their issue by NRL

News. 

However, her outlet is a major news outlet and, as such, should attempt to be unbiased in its coverage. 

How do I “fix” it?

I go back to the basics. 

I form a relationship and attempt to teach her to think of pro-lifers not as the monsters portrayed by the Abortion Industry but as rational human beings whose arguments have merit.  I’ve started doing that. 

I’m not expecting a complete turnaround—just respect. Respect for our issue and respect for the voices—born and unborn—that we represent. 

If down the road she begins to give our Movement a fair shake, that would be wonderful. For now, I will build a bridge. 

It may be rickety at first but with time, I hope I can make it stronger. 

Categories: Media Bias
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