By John-Henry Westen

  NEW YORK, February 20, 2007 ( – The uproar over the New York Times refusing to correct itself on a story replete with falsehoods over abortion in El Salvador last month, continues.  The most recent development is that the Times has refused to publish a corrective op-ed from the Salvadoran group “Yes to Life” which points out that the major newspaper in El Salvador has uncovered numerous additional errors in the New York Times piece on abortion in El Salvador.

  The NYT piece falsely claimed that women in the pro-life nation are imprisoned for up to 30 years for abortions, going so far as to claim that a woman who was imprisoned for infanticide was actually imprisoned for an abortion.  When provided court documents demonstrating the false claim the NYT public editor corrected the paper and the resulting crescendo of public outrage forced a correction by the NYT editors.

  Julia Regina de Cardenal, president of ‘Yes to Life’, was interviewed for the original NYT piece. 

  Cardenal’s now-rejected NYT op-ed pointed out that “Salvadoran reporters who investigated the issue of criminal prosecutions for abortion said that in the past seven years they found only three women were convicted of abortion and none of them were imprisoned.”  The op-ed adds, “The primary purpose of criminal prosecutions is to charge abortionists who take advantage of women who find themselves in difficult situations.”

  While NYT reporter Jack Hitt attempted to paint a horrific situation for women in the country with pro-life laws, the true statistics show that women fared better under pro-life laws.  “Government figures,” says Cardenal, “show maternal mortality went down in years following the tightening up of our abortion law. Women are safer because of our laws.”

  One stunning fabrication, which the El Salvadoran papers uncovered in the NYT piece is the portrayal of a Salvadoran female prosecutor.  “The prosecutor, Flor Evelyn López, explained that sometime after the interview with Hitt, she received a call from a woman she believed was translating for Hitt who asked her if she owned a silver cross on a chain,” says Cardenal.  “When she said she did own such an item, the caller asked her to describe it, which she did.”

  Cardenal concludes: “That description ended up in the Hitt article, as if she were wearing it at the time of the interview. The description of her hair style and make-up was also changed. The end result is that her description was altered, giving her what many would consider a more conservative, religious and less attractive appearance.”

  With her NYT op-ed rejected, Cardenal has issued an open letter to the media which is available on here:

See original coverage:

  New York Times Caught in Abortion-Promoting Whopper – Infanticide Portrayed as Abortion

  New York Times Ombudsman Admits Paper Was Caught in Misrepresentation by

  New York Times Finally Issues Correction on Abortion El Salvador Story