Kathryn Yoder

Pro-life leaders slam nets on March for Life coverage

Kathryn Yoder
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Over a week later, and the networks have long forgotten about their scant coverage of the March for Life – after all, they have a whole year before they have to ignore it again. The pro-life movement, however, has forgotten neither the March nor the unserious and insulting way the broadcast networks reported on it – or didn’t. 

As CMI reported last week, ABC and NBC gave just 46 seconds of air time to the many thousands who braved freezing temperatures to join the 2014 March for Life in Washington, D.C. CBS didn’t even mention it. By contrast, the networks couldn’t get enough of the debut of Bao Bao, the National Zoo’s newest panda cub, cooing about panda “magic.” The animal received six times more coverage than the March. Pro-life leaders noticed. It was, in the words of International Communion of Evangelical Churches’ Bishop Harry Jackson, “media malpractice.” Continued after the video.

According to Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins, the media coverage of the March for Life was significantly better than in previous years,” but that’s an abysmally low bar. March for Life President Jeanne Monahan called the panda report “evidence that we still have a long way to go.” Live Action President Lila Rose noted the irony. “The pro-abortion mainstream media, looking for a ‘human interest’ story, breathlessly focuses its cameras on a panda,” she said, “while ignoring hundreds of thousands of actual humans marching for millions more precious humans in the womb.” She added, “What’s more humanly interesting than what is happening to our littlest and weakest humans?” 

Reflecting on her experience with the March, Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, asked, “In what alternative liberal universe is this not news?” 

But the March for Life “never receives the amount of media attention it deserves,” according to Mallory Quigley, communications director of the Susan B. Anthony List. “The media’s overall ignorance to our pro-life presence” is by now a “clichéd joke.” And it is almost sadly comic. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins wrote, “Most networks have had a lot of practice perfecting their greatest magic trick: making hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers disappear!” 

“When my grandmother didn't like what she heard, she would pretend she didn't hear it,” said Anglicans for Life President and Silent No More Awareness Campaign Co-Founder Georgette Forney. “The media seems to mimic grandma!” 

But the panda comparison is telling. The Radiance Foundation Co-Founder Ryan Bomberger said the “vacuous mainstream media values animals over human beings.” Priests for Life National Director Father Frank Pavone observed that, unlike abortion, “It is easy to cover pandas; there is no personal challenge for us.” And no challenge for a fundamentally unserious news media. “The emphasis on Bao Bao the panda,” said Bishop Harry Jackson, “shows that we are interested in the entertainment value of our news more than we are in the depth or veracity of our news coverage.” 

“For those looking to trace the media's loss of trust and legitimacy in the eyes of most Americans,” 60 Plus Association Chairman Jim Martin said, “they need look no further than the historic blackout of pro-life viewpoints in their publications and broadcasts.” 

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Other reactions from around the pro-life and conservative world were similar. Concerned Women for America CEO and President Penny Nance called the discrepancy in coverage “outrageous,” while American Values President Gary L. Bauer said, “the pro-abortion bias of Big Media” as “breathtaking.” ConservatvieHQ.com Chairman Richard Viguerie said it was “morally abhorrent and indefensible” to favor “a story about pandas being ‘magic’ instead of mourning and remembering the deaths of 55 million defenseless newborns.” 

Some in the media have started to acknowledge the bias. Pro-Life blogger Jill Stanek cited The New York Times public editor who recently recognized the paper’s lack of March coverage. Stanek detailed, “As she [the editor] noted, there were several ‘fresh angles,’ including the large turnout of participants despite a snowstorm and frigid weather, the unmistakable youth majority, and the RNC chairman's participation for likely the first time ever. The ancillary pro-life meetings, rallies and even a 5K that now surround the March would also be something for an interested news organization to pursue.”

To Stanek, being ignored by the media “is a badge of honor. Were our numbers small, or were the March to dwindle away, MSM would notice.” 

Stanek wasn’t alone in her optimism. Sarah Torre, a policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation announced, “The media can ignore the large crowds at the annual March for Life, but it can’t silence the truth proclaimed by hundreds of thousands of marchers: Every human being – from the moment of conception – is a person with inherent value who possesses the basic right to life.” 

Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of Americans United for Life, said that the pro-life movement is succeeding, despite the neglect of the networks and other media. “The hearts of Americans are turning toward women and the lives they carry, with a growing belief that all life is valuable,” she said. “And this is taking place even as networks and news leaders ignore what is happening right in front of them, year after year, as thousands come to Washington, D.C. to make their voices heard.”

Reprinted with permission from NewsBusters

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ACLU director says movie ‘makes abortion funny’

Kathryn Yoder
Kathryn Yoder
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That statement should offend both sides: not only those who oppose abortion but also those who abort (after all, if it wasn’t difficult, why the “not in her shoes” mantra?). But not so for the media – abortion is the very definition of “funny,” in The Washington Post’s latest piece. 

The Washington Post recently published American Civil Liberties Union Deputy Legal Director Louise Messing’s article where she gushed, “Finally, a movie that makes abortion funny.” Messing was referring to the abortion romantic “comedy,” “Obvious Child,” which opened June 6 and hits theaters nationwide June 27. As a media favorite, the film, said Cosmo, highlighted how “abortion is a catalyst for a potential romantic relationship” and offered, according to Salon, “two people a shot at true love.”

To explain her stance, Messing hyped how, “The new romantic comedy 'Obvious Child' has managed to do something pretty extraordinary” or, in other words, “it’s made abortion sympathetic, and funny.” The movie, according to Messing, showed “the experience of millions of women across the country – that we sometimes get pregnant when we didn’t want to and decide to have an abortion because it’s the right decision for our lives.”

But her article wasn’t all happiness. Messing lamented how “Our culture still stigmatizes abortions and the women who have them” – to the extent that President Obama avoids the word “abortion” when addressing Roe v. Wade. 

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“Even within the reproductive rights movement,” she noted, “we have a million ways to signal abortion without saying it,” such as  “personal, private decision making,” “women’s health” and “reproductive health care.” Yes, why not call it for what it is: destruction of the most vulnerable. 

Messing even referenced the “not in her shoes” rhetoric. “Life, after all, is messy,” she said, “And decisions aren’t always black and white.” So what does she consider black and white? Murder perhaps? 

In her conclusion, Messing addressed how “the simple silence around abortion hurts women.” One of the effects being “a culture that tells doctors and nurses they can refuse to treat a woman who seeks an abortion.”

Yes, and while we’re pushing for the “truth” of abortion out into the open, into the media, let’s talk about how abortion harms women. A collaboration of studies published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found, according to a United States Conference of Catholic Bishops report:

  • ″Women who have had an abortion have an 81% higher risk of subsequent mental health problems compared to women who have not had an abortion.”
  • ″Women who aborted have a 138% higher risk of mental health problems compared to women who have given birth.”
  • ″Women who aborted have a 55% higher risk of mental health problems compared to women with an ‘unplanned’ pregnancy who gave birth.”
  • ″Women with a history of abortion have higher rates of anxiety (34% higher), depression (37%), alcohol use/misuse (110%), marijuana use (230%), and suicidal behavior (155%), compared to those who have not had an abortion.”

Studies by Americans United for Life and The Elliot Institute revealed similar harms to women after abortion. 

That’s something the media don’t report. Instead, the media only see the “humor” – as Messing did. Rolling Stone’s Carrie Battan previously adored, “the way Obvious Child handles the idea of abortion” – “as a decision that's a bit unsettling, a bit inconvenient, often necessary – and occasionally funny.” Other media outlets including The New York Times, The Daily Beast, Buzzfeed and Bustle also described the movie as “funny.”

Reprinted with permission from Newsbusters.org.

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Media hypes ‘abortion comedy’ as Planned Parenthood hosts screening

Kathryn Yoder
Kathryn Yoder

Finally, a movie that presents the murder of an innocent as the laugh riot it is!

In the new abortion romantic comedy hitting theaters, the child in “Obvious Child” is anything but obvious. In fact, it’s dead, which is why so many pro-abortionists are praising the movie.

Director Gillian Robespierre’s “Obvious Child” follows an aspiring young comedian, Donna Stern, whose abortion turns into a “happily ever after” love story. Opening June 6, the film stresses “self-discovery and empowerment” and the “realities of independent womanhood.” With endorsements from Planned Parenthood and NARAL as well as applause from the media, the abortion “comedy” serves as the latest push for normalizing abortion.

Starring Jenny Slate (“SNL,” “Parks and Recreation”), the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. As Robespierre revealed to The New York Times, the film reacted against movies like “Juno” and “Knocked Up,” where the babies live – a “misrepresentation of women on screen when it came to unplanned pregnancy.”

Although The New York Times reported that “Donna does not consult the man (played by Jake Lacy) who impregnated her during a one-night stand” and “never wavers on her course of action” when she walks into the clinic, Slate insisted "our film is not an agenda movie in any way."

But that’s not how the media see it – and this week’s reviews only continue the media’s infatuation for the film.

Getting personal, Slate’s Amanda Hess applauded the film as “the most honest abortion movie I’ve ever seen.” She emphasized, “This is a romantic comedy where the girl gets an abortion and gets the guy.”  Wow, you can have it all! Slate’s Dana Stevens chimed in, “I hope humans with and without vaginas will see Obvious Child.”

Rolling Stone’s Carrie Battan even “came close to tears” watching the film and praised “the way Obvious Child handles the idea of abortion: not as an earth-shattering event that permanently derails a woman's path in life, but as a decision that's a bit unsettling, a bit inconvenient, often necessary – and occasionally funny.” And why shouldn’t we see the lighter side of infanticide. Continues after the video.

Cosmopolitan Senior Political Writer Jill Filipovic’s piece deemed the movie “the summer’s most important movie.” She explained: “the abortion is a catalyst for a potential romantic relationship” or, in other words, “It's a pregnancy story that has a happy ending, even when the ending isn't a baby.” Just like a regular fairytale, right?

Citing her review, Planned Parenthood and Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards also recognized “the summer’s most important movie.” NARAL tweeted in agreement while NARAL President Ilyse Hogue recognized the piece as “so compelling.”

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Not unlike Filipovic, Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir hailed the movie for “blast[ing] through pop culture's abortion taboo.”  He similarly noted, “The historic moment of 'Obvious Child' is not about saying that abortion is safe and legal and that’s a good thing. It’s about saying that abortion gave these two people a shot at true love.” 

Despite the irony in the film’s title, RH Reality Check’s Sarah Seltzer noted how the film “changes the rom-com game” to praise, “there’s refreshingly zero talk of the child that might be if Donna carried her pregnancy to term.”

The Huffington Post’s Emma Gray hyperventilated over “the year’s more revolutionary film.” The Daily Beast’s Caryn James described it as “Funny, touching, and bracingly honest” while The New York Times’ A. O. Scott similarly decided on “funny and serious” and “honest.” Buzzfeed’s Alison Willmore also used the words “funny” and “painfully honest.”

New York Daily News’ Joe Neumaier reported on the “helluva cure for dealing with a serious topic” while U.S. News and World Report’s Tierney Sneed used the phrase “breakthrough film.” TIME Magazine’s Richard Corliss exlaimed in his headline “Do Not Abort This Movie!” and complimented Slate for her “sensational performance.”

With two thoughts, Fem site Bustle’s Rachel Simon concluded that after seeing the movie, audiences will think “1) ‘man, this movie is funny and important and I am so glad it exists,’ and 2) ‘holy crap, Jenny Slate is going to be huge.’” Bustle’s Lia Beck, a former Planned Parenthood employee, even highlighted how the movie “got Planned Parenthood right” with the abortion (or, as she would say, “surgical procedure”).

Jimmy Kimmel invited Jenny Slate onto his show June 5 to commend her.  “I watched your movie. I thought it was very good and you were very good in it too, I thought,” he gushed. Continues after the video.

Right in step with the media, NARAL hosted a screening of the film. Planned Parenthood did the same the next day and gushed on Twitter, “SO EXCITED for our screening and Q&A with the folks behind the outstanding #ObviousChild.” 

During the screening, Planned Parenthood produced a flood of tweets in adoration: 

  •  “Why we love #ObviousChild so much: Donna makes her decisions ‘without shame or regret, but not without a complexity of emotion.’ @bettyholm”
  • Honest portrayals about women's lives, which can include abortion, in film and TV are extremely rare. #ObviousChild is a *breakthrough*.”
  • In @ObviousChildMov, as in many realities, women's decision to end a pregnancy ‘doesn't define their lives.’ @GillianHardG #ObviousChild”
  • “‘This is a movie that realistically portrays an abortion & that's really exciting—but it's also just a damn good movie.’ Yes! #ObviousChild”
  • One film won’t change how women are viewed by society and the entertainment industry, but it can help change the conversation. #ObviousChild” 

The film raised money for production through Kickstarter, which recently made headlines after refusing the Gosnell movie permission to fundraise. The crowdfunding site also funded “After Tiller,” a documentary which followed the last four late-term abortionists in America.

Reprinted with permission from Newsbusters.org.

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TIME: Learning baby’s sex before birth may ‘pressure’ it ‘into specific gender role’

Kathryn Yoder
Kathryn Yoder

Expectant moms: Be careful shopping in the baby department, ladies – you might just dictate your bundle of joy’s gender with your next purchase, or so says TIME Magazine. 

TIME Magazine’s Eliana Dockterman recently examined “The Problem with Wanting to Know Your Baby’s Sex before Birth.” In her article, Dockterman argued that buying pink or blue clothes could “pressure” children “into specific gender roles.” The article pointed to a study that claimed that women who wait to find out a baby’s sex are “more egalitarian, conscientious.” And probably more likely to care what Eliana Dockterman thinks of their choices.

On the other hand, the sort of troglodyte mother who wants to know her baby’s sex is “probably either a perfectionist or ha[s] conservative views about gender.” Therefore, there’s a good chance that mom might commit horrible child abuse: “Buying pink or blue clothes before your child is even born may pressure them into specific gender roles.” Heaven forbid! 

The preview of the to-be-published Ohio State University study said that wanting to know a child’s sex in advance offered “subtle clues about her [the mother’s] views on proper gender roles.” It might also offer clues about how prepared she wants to be for the new baby or her financial situation, but either way, according to Dockterman, “Finding out your child’s sex before their born, the researchers suggest, may push them towards a certain gender identity later.” You heartless reactionary! 

Dockterman reiterated a question by associate professor and study researcher Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan: “If you know ahead of time that you’re having a girl, are you layering on all the pink and purple in a way that is going to push an extremely feminine ideal on your child?” And if so, why haven’t you been assigned to a re-education camp? 

But hey, it’s TIME, which compensates for its loss of prestige and readership by pushing the controversial, from recently promoting a hashtag bashing the Bible to deeming the transgender movement as “America’s next civil rights frontier.”

Reprinted with permission from Newsbusters.org.

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