Abortion Part Three: The Media

We all are influenced my the media to varying extents. It’s impossible not to be influenced as the media saturates our lives with news and opinions flooding our consciousness from TV, radio, smartphones and the Internet. And these sources influence our thinking more than we realize.

The media elite is much more liberal than the public in issues like abortion. The leaders are pro-choice in their views and their outlets, both print and electronic, reflect their views. They would have us believe that we as a nation are mostly pro-choice as well, but we’re not. The large majority of the public is in favor of restrictions on when a woman can get an abortion.

The currently popular humanist social philosophy contends that we can do what we want to do so long as it doesn’t harm anyone else. Justice Anthony Kennedy has said that we have “The right to define one’s own concept of existence, or of the universe, and of the mystery of life.” And the US Supreme Court follows this rule, although it has no right to do so. The higher a case goes in our appellate courts, the greater is the tendency for the court to look for law and constitutional grounds to affirm their preconceived notions. This is why the Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade is not a viable decision. The media and the pro-choice contingent stand on Roe as the foundation for their arguments. But it isn’t a valid decision.

Justice Blackmun’s claiming that embryos, fetuses, newborns and even toddlers are not persons follows the logic of Peter Singer, a chair holder in bioethics at Princeton University’s Center for Human Values. Singer wrote if we can put aside “the emotionally moving but strictly irrelevant aspects of killing a baby we can see that the grounds for killing persons do not apply to new born infants” ( “Practical Ethics”, second edition, Cambridge University Press, 1993, pp 170-171). Singer holds that newborns, toddlers, and even some adults are human but not persons because they are not sentient of self as a person. Singer claims that it is this sentience that distinguishes between the right to kill a human being and not being allowed to kill. He says “human” and “person” are different, but they do overlap. Singer wrote that the concept of personhood is distinct from that of a member of the species Homo sapiens, and it’s personhood, not species membership,that is most important in determining when it’s wrong to end life ( “The Sanctity of Life: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow”, Foreign Policy, September/October, 2005). Singer believes it’s acceptable to kill one’s own children if the parents would be happier and have a better quality of life. But it’s wrong to kill others’ children not because those children die, but because their parents would suffer.

The law in all countries disagrees with Singer. Several parents in New Mexico and other states have recently been charged with murder for killing their children. Fortunately our society hasn’t -yet- reached the point where it agrees with Singer. And, it most likely will not so so. Never the less, it’s the liberal press that echos the pro-choice position that abortion is an acceptable choice for almost any reason, and that women have a “right” to abortion because they have a right to say what happens to their own bodies. The past two weeks’ blogs have gone into why they don’t have a right to kill another, separate life that isn’t part of their bodies, so I won’t elaborate here. Last week, a black man was on the TV news claiming that the new abortion laws unfairly suppress poor black women who want abortions, which is a contrived, clearly erroneous position. And pro-choice advocates claim that the new laws in Missouri, Louisiana Georgia, and elsewhere are making criminals out of women because they have an abortion. That simply isn’t true.

The new laws criminalize abortion except for very few reasons. They do not penalize women who want abortions. If a woman consciously chooses to violate the law and have an abortion she knows is illegal, then she is making herself a criminal. If you deliberately drive over the speed limit and get a ticket, it’s your act, not the traffic law, that precipitated the violation. Those are radically different situations, true, but the principle is the same.

The media is partially responsible for foisting on the public the concept of externalizing responsibility and accountability from the women seeking abortions to other sources. The language they use often gives the wrong impression, such as anti-abortion instead of pro-life. And David Okrent of the New York Times wrote, “If you think The Times plays it down the middle on [ the abortion issue], you’ve been reading with your eyes closed”. And Richard Harwood, ombudsman for the Washington Post said it’s “probably” true that the media favors the pro-choice movement.

Some media writers are pro-life and do good work. Ruth Padawer, David Brown and Barbara Vobejda helped uncover the truth about partial birth abortion. So then, you and I need to take the news with a grain of salt, and not believe all we read or hear in he media as it’s most likely distorted. The citizens of this country and others are not as pro-choice as the media would have us believe. Polls show that the citizens of the United States are far more pro-life than pro-choice. The old saying that it’s the squeaky wheel that get the grease applies here. The wheel, though, is a small part of the wagon, and the loud protesters in the media are a small percentage of the population. Don’t let the media influence you to jump on a rickety band wagon that has no real substance. The best source for relevant information on which position to subscribe to is the Bible. It’s never been proven wrong in any aspect. If you don’t read your Bible daily, then it’s time to start. Next week’s blog will be on the biblical position concerning abortion. I’ll be looking for you then.

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