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Media-Hyped Abortion Horror Stories

Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
Aug. 23, 2022

NEW YORK, Aug. 23, 2022 /Christian Newswire/ -- The following article was written by the Catholic League communications director Michael P. McDonald:

    We generally assume that the press will provide fair and accurate information on subjects of great importance. Sadly, the only "press" the media really seem to care about is supporting the full-court press of the woke mob to advance its progressive agenda. This has become obvious in how the media have chosen to cover the subject of access to abortions, particularly in states that have enacted life-saving legislation to defend the unborn.

    On the heels of the Dobbs decision, the media have run numerous horror stories meant to highlight the plight of women. The headlines might not be as blunt as the sex education teacher in "Mean Girls" who declares "You will get pregnant and die!" However, that appears to be the sentiment of the reporting.

    Since the end of June, the media have provided an incessant barrage of stories to convince the public that with the reversal of Roe women face a clear and present danger. Here is a sampling of their reporting:

      June 24, 2022—"Nearly 100 Years Later, a Family Remembers an Illegal Abortion That Ended in Tragedy" by Deena Prichep, NPR:

      With the Dobbs ruling just that day, it was too soon to have current tales of woe about women not having access to abortion. However, Prichep decided to open the archives to tell the tale of a woman who died in the 1920s because she chose to get a back-alley abortion. Prichep wonders if this tale from the past will soon be repeated as abortion access becomes more restricted.

      July 1, 2022—"Patients Head to Indiana for Abortion Services as Other States Restrict Care" by Shari Rudavsky and Rachel Fradette, Indianapolis Star:

      The Star's reporters recount the tale of a 10 year-old girl from Ohio who became pregnant after an illegal immigrant living with the family raped her. At the time, the identity of the father was unknown. This story went on to make international headlines, and even President Joe Biden cited this story for why women need access to abortion.

      July 18, 2022—"After New Abortion Laws, Some Patients Have Trouble Obtaining Miscarriage Treatment" by Pam Belluck, The New York Times:

      Belluck warns that the surgical procedures and medications to manage miscarriages are identical to those used in abortions. As a result, hospitals are failing to provide women who miscarry with adequate medical care because doctors fear running afoul of laws intended to restrict abortion access. To highlight this sad situation, Belluck relays the tale of a woman who had a miscarriage and was sent home with instructions only to return to the hospital if she bled profusely enough to fill a diaper. While this is a tragic tale, it should be noted this was not a result of a pro-life law, but rather the choice of the hospital and doctors involved.

      July 18, 2022—"Abortion's Illegal in the Catholic Majority Philippines, So More Than a Million Women a Year Turn to Other Options" by Heather Chen, CNN:

      Chen compares apples and oranges by comparing states in America that restrict abortion access to the Philippines where abortion is practically banned. It is true that some Filipino women may consider an abortion because they face many health challenges during their pregnancies, but it is also true many people in the Philippines face health challenges daily because it is a developing nation and access to modern medicine is limited. The same problems present in the Philippines are not present in the United States. Nevertheless, Chen portrays the nation, noting it is rooted in the Catholic faith, as a warning for what the United States will become in a post-Roe world.

      July 19, 2022—"Why Is the Right Forcing Women Who Miscarry to Suffer" by Michelle Goldberg, The New York Times:

      A woman had to travel to Michigan to receive care for her ectopic pregnancy meanwhile a woman in Texas developed a uterine infection because she could not get an abortion after she miscarried. These are the sordid anecdotes that Goldberg presents to her readers insisting that laws designed to protect the unborn are to blame for the suffering of these women.

      July 19, 2022—"Pregnancy Often Traumatic for Young Girls, Experts Say" by Stephanie Nolen, The New York Times:

      Drawing inspiration from the 10 year-old girl featured in the Indianapolis Star, Nolen examines the serious harm that a young girl can experience if she becomes pregnant. To make this point, though, she has to turn to evidence from developing countries where child-brides are culturally acceptable. While the health outcomes for these girls are poor, so too are the health outcomes for most people living in developing countries. Nolen is making a false comparison. In developed countries with modern medicine most of these risks can be minimized. Further, since child-brides are not part of our culture, most of the concerns about young girls getting pregnant could be minimized with a strong focus on abstinence.

      July 19, 2022—"No Room for Religious Liberty in Abortion Debate? Since When Are We a One-Faith Nation?" by Jill Lawrence, USA Today:

      Lawrence begins by telling the story of Savita Halappanavar, a 31 year-old woman who died from complications related to her pregnancy in Ireland in 2012. She then pivots to say that restrictions on abortion will curtail the religious freedoms of people who do not share a Catholic or Christian perspective on when life begins. Of course, the science is clear that life begins at conception, and even if some religions permit abortion, Lawrence does not identify a major religion that accepts it as a tenant of their faith.

      July 19, 2022—"Louisiana Woman Forced to Endure 'Painful' Labor to Deliver Nonviable Fetus" by Khaleda Rahman, Newsweek:

      A woman in Louisiana was unable to get an abortion after she miscarried. Rather than perform the procedure, her doctors made her endure hours of labor, according to Rahman. The woman is suing along with several abortion providers in the state to stop the enforcement of Louisiana's limits on abortions. Of course, the law in question would not have prevented her doctors from managing her miscarriage.

      July 19, 2022—"Women are Being Forced to Deliver Nonviable Fetuses Because of Abortion Bans" by Paul Blest, Vice:

      Not to be out done, Blest not only tells his readers the same story of the woman in Louisiana and the 10 year-old from Ohio, but he also relays the tale of a woman in Texas who had to undergo three ultrasounds and wait two weeks to get care to manage her miscarriage.

      July 24, 2022—"Interstate Abortion Travel Is Already Straining Parts of the System" by Margot Sanger-Katz, The New York Times:

      As states implement laws restricting abortion access, women have taken long arduous journeys to obtain these procedures. The state most inundated with these "abortion-seeking refugees" is New Mexico. Massive influxes of women from Texas and other states has caused the wait time to increase to three weeks to get an appointment. According to Sanger-Katz, this is the beginning of a national trend that ultimately will limit abortion access even in states that do not value the life of the unborn.

      July 28, 2022—"States with Abortion Bans Are among Least Supportive of Women and Children" by Emily Badger, The New York Times:

      Badger notes that states that prevent women from seeking abortions are typically Southern, poor, and have fewer resources. So not only do these states force women to have their children, but they also do nothing to care for these poor women after motherhood is foisted upon them.

      August 16, 2022—"Florida Court Says Teen Isn't Mature Enough to Get an Abortion" by Arek Sarkissian, Politico:

      A pregnant 16 year-old girl, who does not live with her parents, sought to get a waiver from the court to circumvent Florida's parental notification law. The court denied her request deeming her not mature enough to make the decision. While the court may revisit the issue in the future, the slant Sarkissian takes is that a conservative court in a conservative state is foisting an unwanted pregnancy on a minor.

    While these macabre tales would sound fitting for an anthology of gothic horror stories, the media have presented them as grounded in truth. In reality, there are glaring holes in each story, but this is part of the radical pro-abortion faction's strategy to convince America that any limitations placed on their butchery will cause untold levels of suffering.

    An honest look at the facts paints an entirely different picture. Limiting access to elective abortions has practically no impact on women's health. For instance, of the 23 states with abortion-restricting laws that can now be enforced after the Dobbs ruling, every state has an exemption for the life of the mother. Additionally, no state has laws that would prevent a medical professional from providing miscarriage management or caring for a woman who has an ectopic pregnancy.

    A deeper dive into why women get abortions reveals that most of the horror stories presented by the media are anomalies and do not even come close to constituting the majority of abortions. In a 2004 survey, the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute found that four percent of abortions were related to concerns regarding maternal health. An additional three percent were procured for "possible problems affecting the health of the fetus." Taken as a whole, approximately seven percent of abortions were for medical reasons. Victims of rape constituted less than half a percent. In other words, even according to the pro-abortion camp, over 92 percent of all abortions have nothing to do with the horror stories cited by the media.

    However, the media do not let the facts get in the way of a good ghost story. As we get into the Fall and election season, look out for an increase in volume and intensity of these horror stories.

SOURCE Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights

CONTACT: 212-371-3191, pr@catholicleague.org