Human Events Blog

How we cover (up) abortion

How we cover (up) abortion

Here is the extraordinary lead paragraph of a Washington Post story regarding a New York woman who died visiting a late-term abortionist in Maryland this month (via Mollie Hemingway):

A 29-year-old woman died of natural causes after visiting an abortion clinic in Montgomery County and suffering a rare complication related to childbirth, according to an initial finding by the Maryland medical examiner’s office.

Natural causes. Well, I have no medical training, so it’s not my place to chime in on amniotic fluid embolisms (which are apparently rare and not-very-well understood), but it would have been helpful as a matter of professionalism if reporters, Dan Morse and Lena Sun, had pressed a few more qualified medical experts on whether the late-term abortion itself might have been the cause of death. It’s impossible to tell. Was this inevitable? If the woman would have gone to term would her chances of survival been better?  What, pray tell, does a procedure terminating a 33-week baby look like?  We don’t know because most reporters never want to ask questions about abortions that might be answered.

It’s all about journalistic priorities. Here’s what we do know about LeRoy Carhart, a late-abortionist who travels from his home in Nebraska to Germantown, Md. to induce labor and stick forceps into viable babies: according to his friends, Carhart is “devastated by the woman’s death.”

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The threshold for abortion in Maryland is a viable fetus, but the state allows the procedure in instances when the unborn baby develops a “fetal abnormality.” One assumes (though, we don’t know for sure, of course) that so-called abnormality was the reason a 33-week-old baby was terminated by Carhart. Who, let’s face it, practices eugenics.

There are around 18,000 elective late-term abortions performed every year in the United States. Few if any mainstream pieces dealing with the debate describe the procedure in any detail. The New York Times, for instance, recently reported that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will be advocating for more  state-sanctioned nihilism when he presents a plan to reduce New York’s restrictions on late-term abortions, allowing procedures to be performed when the woman’s health is at stake not only when her life is in danger. Not a paragraph was wasted by the the author explaining what a late-term abortion entails.

And, incidentally, I don’t believe the relative safety of late-term abortions is a strong argument for or against the procedure.  Even if every mother in the United States survived the ordeal, and lived the rest of their salubrious lives in sound mental state, it changes little about the debate.

Follow David Harsanyi @davidharsanyi.

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