How anti-choicers play the media


lynn and duffyThey sure seem like a couple of reasonable people

I’ve been so wrapped up in the Presidential primary that I missed this. From the local Phoenix edition of the AZ Republic:

An anti-abortion group held a prayer vigil Saturday night outside a Phoenix hospital where they believe staff members are caring for a baby who survived an abortion.

More than 45 people crowded a candle-lined sidewalk across the street from Banner-University Medical Center Phoenix. Some held signs, others rosaries while they were led in group prayer. After the demonstration, a hospital spokeswoman denied there was a baby fitting that description under the hospital’s care.

Rumors began circulating Friday in the anti-abortion community that a 21-week-old fetus had been discovered breathing during an abortion procedure that afternoon at a private clinic near the hospital.

While activists at the vigil said they heard about the event from a 911 dispatcher, and The Arizona Republic have been unable to confirm their story. A nurse at the clinic said she could not confirm or deny the incident. Two members of the company that operates the clinic, according to state corporation records, have not responded to repeated requests for comment…

…The idea of babies who survive outside the womb after being removed during abortion procedures has triggered political debate in the past, first over bills designed to provide legal rights to fetuses as individuals for whatever time they may be alive after a procedure, and more recently over attempts to mandate that abortion clinics attempt to save the life of a fetus that shows signs of life after being removed from a patient.

Inexplicably, the anti-choice rumor mill is still considered a solid news source despite the egg that remains on MSM faces after they spent last summer legitimizing bogus smear videos against Planned Parenthood made by people now facing felony criminal charges.

In this case we have: Something supposedly heard from a 9-11 dispatcher under unknown circumstances. Were anti-choicers monitoring the police scanner or was it a gossipy (and unprofessional) dispatcher? That would be good to know. Next, we have a bunch of anti-choicers making a spectacle of themselves outside of a hospital. Possibly newsworthy on its own but no excuse to treat the anti-choicers’ claim with respect, given the long history the movement has with taking liberties with the truth and peddling conspiracy nonsense. Which leads me to the third and final observation that “babies” regularly “surviving outside the womb” in abortion procedures is an anti-choice urban legend right up there with “Planned Parenthood sells baby parts!” In other words, it should be regarded with a heavy dose of skepticism.

But no, instead they uncritically run a video containing nothing but anti-choicers offering their own opinions and unfounded assumptions about what happened, with one spokeswoman expressing certainty that it was a “crisis pregnancy” where a woman felt she had “no choice but to have that abortion” which, of course, is never necessary according to anti-choicers.

Two days later the Republic was back with another report, featuring that same one-sided video of anti-choicers, but this time with more detail from the police:

The police statement came after dozens of anti-abortion advocates held a prayer vigil for the fetus outside a Phoenix hospital this weekend.

Investigators cannot confirm, however, whether the fetus initially survived an abortion as reported, according to a police spokesman.

“Someone present there believed there was movement, or might have been movement,” Sgt. Trent Crump said.

Crump said it was too soon to say whether any charges would be submitted but added that it didn’t appear the procedure occurred outside of the state’s fetus age parameters…

…On Friday, a Phoenix Fire Department crew responded to a medical call at 1331 N. Seventh St., a multi-office medical building where Family Planning Associates, an abortion provider, is located.

Crump said the report had occurred after an elective procedure.

A fetus was transported to Banner Medical Center with no fetal heart tones and was pronounced dead immediately after arrival, according to a statement from Phoenix police.

A Maricopa County spokesman also confirmed Monday that the Medical Examiner’s Office had received notification of a case matching the general description. Officials said they have declined to conduct an autopsy, however, because it didn’t fall under the jurisdiction outlined by state law.

Autopsies are performed only under certain conditions, such as when a death is the result of violence or had occurred in a suspicious manner.

Both the Medical Examiner’s Office and Phoenix police declined to provide additional details.

Based on this, I’m honestly not seeing what the big story is. It’s possible that someone had an abortion around the time that a fetus could be viable and that the fetus showed signs of life and was transported to the hospital. And since I’m a person not under the heavy influence of anti-choice propaganda, I would guess that the patient was terminating a wanted pregnancy that had complications and opted to have the clinic make a last-ditch effort to save the baby. That’s just my guess but it seems a lot more plausible than what was conjured up by the anti-abortion advocates in the video holding the vigil, and maybe a reason for the Republic to consider refusing to be played by anti-choicers again.

Sadly, there appears to be no chance of that happening, as they twice used the one-sided video of anti-choicers, and allowed their spin to dominate the reporting. Not only have they possibly traumatized a patient and her family, but they have also contributed to the climate of ignorance surrounding abortion.


  1. They should be asked if they support repeal of welfare reform act as many women have abortions because welfare system is so punishing to them. Their answer would be no as they want a law to ban abortion and they don’t believe in welfare and women should be punished for sexual activity outside of marriage.

  2. Seems it’s more a case of the media willing to be played. At least when those doing the playing are wing-nuts.

  3. The anti-choice movement is notoriously dishonest.

    The term is Lying for the Lord.

    It’s based on the 10 Commandments, which read something like “Thou shalt not bear false witness (unless you can’t get your way honestly)”

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