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Pro-life medical experts rip media’s coverage of abortion: Not following ‘science’ but ‘political rhetoric’

Pro-life medical experts rip media's coverage of abortion: Not following 'science' but 'political rhetoric'

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The country is sharply divided on the issue of abortion, but the majority of Americans support at least some restrictions on abortion, particularly past the first trimester. However, the media consistently takes sides on the abortion debate by framing stories with pro-choice language.

After Florida and Kentucky passed bans on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy this past week, the media reacted with outrage, calling the pro-life bills severe and extreme measures that would hurt women. 

MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace called the laws, a “sign of the growing extremism in the current version of the Republican Party.”


Anti-abortion rights activists protest outside the Supreme Court building, ahead of arguments in the Mississippi abortion rights case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, in Washington, December 1, 2021. 
(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

CNN correspondent Jessica Schneider bemoaned that Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., was “the latest Republican to roll back abortion rights,” in a report Tuesday. But she praised Democrat governors Gretchen Whitmer, D-Mich, and Jared Polis, D-Colo., for passing their own pro-choice laws to “fight back” and “guarantee the right to an abortion, no matter what the Supreme Court does.”

However, recent polls show the majority of Americans believe that abortions should be illegal once in the second trimester and 71% of Americans support restrictions on abortion. A Wall Street Journal poll found more voters favored laws outlawing abortion after 15-weeks than supported allowing the practice.

While framing laws restricting abortion as dangerous to women, outlets like The Washington Post and CNN praised abortion advocates and companies for providing “abortion care.” 

In the past week, The Washington Post and CNBC highlighted progressive companies working to secure “abortion health care” for their employees. 

Pro-abortion rights activists protest outside the Supreme Court building, ahead of arguments in the Mississippi abortion rights case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, in Washington, December 1, 2021.
(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell urged employers to follow progressive companies like Yelp and Uber in “covering travel expenses for out-of-state abortion care,” and “offering to relocate employees and their families to states that respect women’s constitutional rights to reproductive autonomy.” 

“Very rarely, if ever, is the reality of what happens in an abortion discussed [by the media],” Dr. Christina Francis, a pro-life OB/GYN told Fox News Digital.

Instead, they use “unrealistic and euphemistic terms in order to disguise” the “reality of the situation,” she claimed.

“In fact, the word ‘abortion’ is often not even used. Instead, they say ‘reproductive healthcare,’ ‘reproductive rights’ or ‘reproductive justice.’  Abortion is a violent procedure that interrupts the natural process of pregnancy with a single intent – to end the life of a developing human being,” Dr. Francis added.

While avoiding describing what abortion does, some news outlets ignore the scientific arguments from the pro-life side that support fetal heartbeat bills. When states like Texas passed a fetal heartbeat bill, media outlets including CNN, The New York Times and NBC News mocked the idea that a baby has a heartbeat in early development.

An NBC News article from April questioned, “Is there a so-called fetal heartbeat at six weeks of pregnancy?” Their report cited doctors who denied that an early heartbeat was really a hearbeat but instead “a tube that generates sporadic electrical impulses that eventually coordinate into rhythmic pulses.” CNN also used the derisive “so-called heartbeat” phrasing.

Similarly, the New York Times dismissed the notion of an early heartbeat. 

“At this very early stage of a pregnancy, however, the embryo is the size of a pomegranate seed and has only a primitive tube of cardiac cells that emit electric pulses and pump blood,” the Times article stated.

Both news outlets referenced the pro-choice ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) which directs the media to use woke and impersonal language when talking about pregnancy, abortion, and the unborn.

Dr. Francis said the group pursues a “political agenda” rather than “accurate medical language” and the media has followed suit. The ACOG’s “sudden aversion to the word ‘heartbeat’,” she said, “somehow only evolved after Texas’ SB8 was passed.”  


Pro-life scientist Dr. Tara Sander Lee also strongly criticized media outlets who tried to deny that an early heartbeat was actually a heartbeat.

“If the New York Times needs 1,800 words in an attempt to convince readers that a baby’s developing organ which pumps blood isn’t actually a heart, then the pro-life movement is winning,” she told Fox News Digital.

Dr. Sander Lee, the Director of Life Sciences at the pro-life research group, The Charlotte Lozier Institute, argued that media outlets who try to deny this aren’t using science but “political rhetoric.”

“The heart is the first organ to form and function, pumping blood and oxygen through the developing human, with the first heartbeat starting around 22 or 23 days after fertilization. The fetal heart beats rhythmically starting the 6thweek of pregnancy, with an average heart rate of 100 beats per minute.  This is science. What media outlets like the New York Times publishes about abortion is too often political rhetoric,” she told Fox News.

Planned Parenthood and the pro-choice advocacy group Emily’s List did not immediately respond to Fox News’ questions about how they view the media’s coverage on the issue. 


A recent trend from some news outlets involves replacing women when talking about pregnancy with the terms “pregnant people,” and “pregnant individuals.” 

The Washington Post, The New York Times, and ABC News have all been criticized for using the gender-neutral term.

The Washington Post was mocked for using the “pregnant people” phrasing in an article, and avoiding referring to “women” at all. Likewise, NPR employed the same tactic in recent article warning about Florida’s abortion ban, save for one mention of “women” that was in a quote. Last September, NPR used the gender-neutral phrase seven times in one article without a single mention of “women.”

Dr. Sander Lee called out the media for repeating the abortion lobby’s “bad science” and “questionable research” instead of “following the science” to give women accurate information.

“This is the same playbook used by Big Tobacco from the 1950s into the 1990s. Big abortion funds questionable research and then spoon-feeds this bad science to complicit members of the mainstream media, who either don’t know any better or don’t care to ask questions that might challenge their presuppositions. That’s the opposite of following the science, and it does a disservice to women,” she wrote.


The pro-life scientist cited a recent Bloomberg Businessweek article which claimed one abortion pill, Mifepristone, was “safer than Tylenol,” as an example of media misinformation and “junk science.”

“It’s a preposterous claim, totally unscientific, and based on a very limited and unrelated study. Yet media outlets run with this inaccurate, pro-abortion rhetoric all the time,” she noted, adding that her research group actually found that “abortion pill related emergency room visits increased by more than 500% from 2002-2015.”

Darshan Shah
the authorDarshan Shah