Katie Yoder

Opinion

The media’s schizophrenia: fetus vs. baby

Katie Yoder

July 29, 2013 (News Busters) - A couple definitions from the media’s unofficial abortion lexicon:

Baby (n) any infant, pre- or postnatal, whose existence is welcome and not seen as “punishment” for the mother. Often used to gush over celebrity offspring. Example: “The world is impatiently waiting for the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, to give birth to the baby that will be heir to the British throne.

Fetus (n) any prenatal infant whose existence causes the mother complications, health-risks, or inconveniences. Often used to describe the disposable byproduct of the abortion procedure. Example: “Texas State Senator Wendy Davis is a media hero for defending a woman’s right to abort her fetus up to 26 weeks into the pregnancy.”

When they’re not outright censoring the culture of life in America, the media play games with language to make their points. Journalists use language to denote a difference between life and death: a baby that’s wanted and a fetus that’s doomed or unwanted. One is a blessing, the other a problematic “clump of cells.”

From the end of June 2010 to June 2013, the networks dehumanized unborn children by using the word “fetus” in nearly half – 45 percent – of reports in connection with death. In relation to either problems and risks or medical issues, “fetus” appeared in 93 percent of reports.

In the past year, the separation has been clear. The term “fetus” disappeared in positive situations, such as where anchors describe women as “pregnant with” children and babies – never fetuses.

In media-speak, the three networks pounded the word “fetus” into reports about death – most commonly abortion. ABC’s Jonathan Karl noted a similar law in Texas during “World News with Diane Sawyer” on Aug. 30, 2011, saying Gov. Rick Perry received “new scrutiny” for a law that said “if you want an abortion, you must first listen to the fetus’ heartbeat.” Even in a delicate case where the mother’s life was threatened, a Catholic hospital agreed to an abortion or, “saving the mother’s life, losing the fetus,” according to CBS’ Barry Petersen during “CBS News Sunday Morning” on Dec. 4, 2011.

The trend continued with Natalie Morales who, on NBC’s “Today,” Aug, 10, 2011, refrained from the word “baby” – which the World English dictionary calls synonymous with fetus – while citing pro-life unease about unborn babies’ testing results: “But some are concerned that parents may abort the fetus.” On the Dec. 6, 2011 “The Early Show,” CBS’ Cynthia Bowers explained that Mississippi refused to “declare a fetus a person.” Of course, refusing to call a “baby” a person just wouldn’t make sense.

Charlie Rose broke the media-speak rules after CBS’s Erica Hill spoke of a test to determine the “genetic code of a fetus.” Rose used “baby,” during “This Morning” on June 8, 2012, saying the test could discover “more than 3,000 genetic disorders before a baby is born” – and went on to address the situation where parents “may elect to abort.” NBC’s Savannah Guthrie reported on the story that day, but was more careful with her phrasing. She asked Dr. Nancy Snyderman “What would you learn about the fetus?” on “Today.” Snyderman responded that this “science of today” allowed “parents a chance to decide whether they’re going to continue that pregnancy or not.”

“Fetus” isn’t just for abortion though. During “Nightly News” on Nov. 14, 2012, NBC correspondent Jim Maceda told of a woman who begged for an abortion – and later miscarried and died from blood poisoning – because “the fetus still had a heartbeat.” NBC especially linked miscarriages with the fetus terminology, and, during “Today” on Dec. 9, 2011, Dr. Rebecca Brightman explained that when a woman miscarries, it can be due to “something chromosomally wrong with that fetus.”

On a smaller scale, medical concerns surfaced left and right in fetus language as Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor, explained, on ABC during May 10’s “Good Morning America,” that with Picotin, a labor inducing drug, threats “extend not just to the mother, but also to the fetus.” In a similar situation, CBS’s Rebecca Jarvis asked on the March 2 “This Morning,” about BPA exposure, “How about pregnant women? Are they passing it down to the fetus?”

Even when talking about the health of wanted prenatal babies, the networks were careful to refer to them only in close, sterile language – doctors and experts included. On NBC “Today,” July 28, 2011, Ann Curry asked, “Biggest risk of gaining too little [weight] while pregnant?” Dr. Nancy Snyderman responded “Well, you starve your fetus.” On “Today” February 10, 2011, Robert Bazell, former chief science and health correspondent for NBC, described how “doctors operate on the fetus in the womb” with birth defect spina bifida and the day before on “Nightly News” noted how “doctors cut into the womb and fixed the fetus’ spine.”

Even with celebrities, “fetus” translated to complications. On “Today” for January 1, Dr. Snyderman told Savannah Guthrie, when explaining Kate Middleton’s pregnancy threat, “you worry about risk to the fetus, risk of premature miscarriage.”

Usually, when speaking of pregnant celebrities this year, the networks provided a stark contrast in language. During “Good Morning America” on April 12, ABC’s Paula Faris gushed that Kim Kardashian and boyfriend Kanye West “were expecting their first child.” Even Kathie Lee Gifford named Kardashian’s unborn a “child” during NBC’s “Today,” on January 15, while Hoda Kotb used “baby” on January 2. Even with Kate Middleton, Brian Williams described her as “with child” on NBC’s “Nightly News” for February 19.

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Even though the networks didn’t change the fetus language of death for complications and abortion – just for the big names’ highly anticipated, wanted, babies – they ironically dropped hints on the importance of unborn life. Reports, such as “Good Morning America” on September 27, 2010, warned of risks, such as drinking. Lori Gertz, who adopted a child diagnosed with alcohol spectrum disorder, told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that “alcohol crosses the placenta, and the fetus does have the ability to metabolize it,” creating “brain damage.”

There was also Savannah Guthrie, during NBC’s “Today” on May 10 ironically alluded that fetuses could be murdered: “this potential of aggravated murder charges presumably for the unborn fetus or fetuses of Michelle Knight,” one of three women kidnapped in Ohio and found earlier this year. NBC news justice correspondent Pete Williams also admitted life on March 7, during “Nightly News” when citing the sponsor of an Arkansas law and said, “12 weeks is when a fetus has a measurable heartbeat, the sign of life.”

Not to be left out, CBS “This Morning” on December 8, 2012, featured Dr. Daniel Levitin explaining the stimulus music from outside the womb provides to the unborn. “The fetus has a fully functional auditory system by the age of twenty weeks,” said Levitan.

The language inclination hasn’t been without critics. Meredith Jessup, from conservative site The Blaze, credited Planned Parenthood and other abortion supporters on Yahoo News for the dehumanization in the “baby” versus “fetus” terminology. Pro-life blogger Jill Stanek also called out the media for using “fetus” when describing the deaths of born babies, which, she insisted, “ is absolutely linguistically incorrect, although, of course, politically correct, which is more important to so many of them.”

Another Blaze reporter questioned the use of “fetus” during the Kermit Gosnell trial by the New York Times. First Things, a publication by The Institute on Religion and Public Life which exists to “advance a religiously informed public philosophy for the ordering of society,” called the tactic, implemented by both the Times and AP, “straightforward medical inaccuracies” that “conceal a moral lie.” “To call a baby, born or unborn, a ‘fetus,’” First Things explained, “is a way of distancing ourselves from its humanity by means of medical terminology.”

Negatively charged and biased language also permeated the three networks before when reporting on life – if reported on at all. But behind every charge there’s an illuminating spark, as a shift in language betrays a censorship of life.

Reprinted with permission from News Busters


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‘Little miracles’: Mom gives birth to naturally-conceived quintuplets after refusing ‘selective reduction’

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An ultrasound of the five different compartments, each with its own baby, inside Kim's womb.

AUSTRALIA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- A 26-year-old Australian mom has given birth to five healthy babies, all conceived naturally, after refusing the doctor’s advice that she must abort three of them in order to give the remaining two a better chance at life. 

“After my initial ultrasound I was told I could consider the selection method to give 2 babies the best chance in life,” wrote mom Kim Tucci in a Facebook post last September. 

“I watched a YouTube video on the procedure and I cried. I could never do that! Was I selfish for not giving two the chance of 100% survival? All I knew is that I already love them and that every heart beat I heard I connect with them more. For me life starts when a heart starts beating and all I know for sure is that I will do whatever it takes to bring them into this world healthy,” she wrote. 

Last Thursday Kim and her husband Vaughn welcomed the five new members into their family — one boy and four girls —increasing the number of their children from 3 to 8. The babies were born at 30 weeks, 10 weeks early, due to insufficient space in Kim’s womb. They weighed on average about 2.5 pounds. 

The quintuplets’ story began last March, after Kim and Vaughn had been trying for six months to conceive just one more child for their family. Due to health complications, Kim wondered if she would ever become a mother again. 

After what she thought was an extra long cycle, she decided to take a pregnancy test. 

“I was feeling tired and a little nauseated and thought I would take a pregnancy test just to get the ‘what if’ out of my head. To my shock and utter excitement it was positive,” she wrote on a Facebook post.

The parents got the shock of their lives when doctors confirmed in an ultrasound examination that there was not one baby, but five. 

“After a long wait for the ultrasound we finally went in. The sonographer told me there were multiple gestational sacks, but she could only see a heart beat in two. I was so excited! Twins!”

“I was moved to another machine for a clearer view and had the head doctor come in and double check the findings. She started to count, one, two, three, four, five. Did i hear that correctly? Five? My legs start to shake uncontrollably and all i can do is laugh. The sonographer then told me the term for five is ‘quintuplets,’” Kim wrote.

Even though Kim began to feel stretched to the limit with all those human lives growing inside her, she chose to focus on her babies, and not herself, referring to them as “my five little miracles.” 

“It's getting harder as each day passes to push through the pain, every part of my body aches and sleeping is becoming very painful. No amount of pillows are helping support my back and belly. Sometimes I get so upset that I just want to throw my hands up and give in.”

“Sometimes my pelvis becomes so stiff I can barely walk and my hips feel like they are grinding away constantly. I'm finding it hard to eat as I basically have no room left in my stomach, and the way it is positioned it's pushed all the way back with the babies leaning against it.” 

“My skin on my belly is so stretched its painful and hot to touch. It literally feels like I have hives! No amount of cream helps relieve the discomfort. I have a lot of stretch marks now. Dealing with such a huge change in my body is hard.” 

“Is it all worth it? Yes!!!! I will keep pushing through,” she wrote in one Facebook post days before the babies were born. 

The newborns' names are Keith, Ali, Penelope, Tiffany, and Beatrix. They were born at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Subiaco, Western Australia. Mother and babies are reported to be doing well. 



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UN rights chief tells Catholic countries to legalize abortion over Zika virus: bishops and cardinal react

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GENEVA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- The United Nations, following the lead of international abortion activists, is now urging Latin American countries hit by the mosquito-borne Zika virus to lift restrictions on abortion for pregnant women who have contacted the virus and whose pre-born children may be at risk for birth defects, including having smaller than normal heads. 

The UN human rights office said today that it is not enough for South American countries to urge women to postpone pregnancy without also offering them abortion as a final solution. 

“How can they ask these women not to become pregnant, but not offer… the possibility to stop their pregnancies?” UN spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters. 

UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said that governments should make available contraception and abortion services.

“Laws and policies that restrict (women’s) access to these services must be urgently reviewed in line with human rights obligations in order to ensure the right to health for all in practice,” he said.

But Brazil’s bishops strongly asserted yesterday that efforts should be made to eradicate the virus, not the people who may be infected by it. 

The disease is “no justification whatsoever to promote abortion,” they said in a statement, adding that it is not morally acceptable to promote abortion “in the cases of microcephaly, as, unfortunately, some groups are proposing to the Supreme Federal Court, in a total lack of respect for the gift of life.”

Honduras Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga has also come out strongly against the notion of “therapeutic abortions” as a response to the problem. Unlike Brazil where abortion is legal in the case of rape or health of the mother, abortion remains entirely illegal in Honduras.

“We should never talk about ‘therapeutic’ abortion,” the cardinal said in a homily at a February 3 Mass in Suyap. “Therapeutic abortion doesn’t exist. Therapeutic means curing, and abortion cures nothing. It takes innocent lives,” he said. 

While the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an international public health emergency February 1 on account of concerns over the virus, critics have pointed out, however, that not one death as resulted from the virus. Even on WHO’s own website the virus is described in mild terms. 

“It causes mild fever and rash. Other symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and conjunctivitis. Zika virus disease is usually mild, with symptoms lasting only a few days,” the website states. “To date, there have been no reported deaths associated with Zika virus,” it added. 

Critics suspect that the crisis is being manipulated to advance an anti-human agenda on the pre-born. 

“Is Zika, actually, a hideous virus that threatens to spread uncontrollably across the world creating an army of disabled children with tiny heads and low IQ’s? Or might this be a willful misinterpretation of the scarce data to manipulate public opinion and legislatures?” wrote pro-life critic Mei-Li Garcia earlier this week.

“It becomes very clear that the publicity surrounding this story has a very little to do with medicine and a lot to do with a convenient crisis that is being used by those pushing for the legalization of abortion around the world,” she wrote.



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Hillary’s litmus test for Supreme Court picks: They must ‘preserve Roe v. Wade’

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DERRY, NH, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - Hillary Clinton has a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees - several, in fact. At a Democratic event on Wednesday, Clinton unveiled her criteria in selecting a judge for the nation's highest court.

“I do have a litmus test, I have a bunch of litmus tests," she said.

"We’ve got to make sure to preserve Roe v. Wade, not let it be nibbled away or repealed,” she said.

There have been over 58,000,000 abortions since the 1973 court ruling legalizing abortion in all 50 states, according to National Right to Life.

That echoes her recent call to arms speech before Planned Parenthood last month, when she stated that taxpayers must fund abortion-on-demand in order to uphold the "right" of choice.

“We have to preserve marriage equality,” Clinton said, referring to last summer's Obergefell v. Hodges case, a 5-4 ruling that redefined marriage nationwide. “We have to go further to end discrimination against the LGBT community."

Her views differentiate her from the Republican front runners. Ted Cruz has called the court's marriage ruling "fundamentally illegitimate," and Donald Trump told Fox News Sunday this week that he would "be very strong on putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things." Marco Rubio has said he won't "concede" the issue to the one-vote majority.

All Republican presidential hopefuls say they are pro-life and will defund Planned Parenthood.

Her husband, Bill Clinton, raised the makeup of the Supreme Court early last month in New Hampshire, saying it receives "almost no attention" as a campaign issue.

On Wednesday, Hillary said "the next president could get as many as three appointments. It’s one of the many reasons why we can’t turn the White House over to the Republicans again.”

Clinton said her judicial appointees must also reverse the Citizens United ruling on campaign finance and oppose a recent decision striking down a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In 2013's Shelby County v. Holder, justices struck down Section 4(b) of the act, which said that certain states and jurisdictions had to obtain permission from the federal government before changing their voting laws.

At one time, most politicians frowned upon any "litmus test" for judicial nominees, emphasizing the independence of the third branch of government. "I don't believe in litmus tests," Jeb Bush told Chuck Todd last November.

But with the rise of an activist judiciary in the middle of the 20th century, constitutionalists have sought to rein in the power of the bench.



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