Abortion & the Misuse of the Media

Author: Sandra M. Winn


Contributed by: Sandra M Winn (swinn@gas.uug.arizona.edu)

The news media has long been a bane to those who would like to keep this country's government in line with Judeo-Christian principles. Heated topics like legalized abortion, and the forbiddance of prayer in schools, all have had their moments of "slanted" coverage in a media that make noisy claims to it's "objectiveness". Sadly, our American news media isn't always as unbiased as they'd like us to believe. I will never forget a pro-life rally that was held in Washington D.C. a few years back, attended by thousands of people. Dr. James Dobson spoke at the rally and later reported that there was so little news coverage that it was ludicrous. He further pointed out that rallies of much smaller proportions were lavishly covered by the media, especially if they were generally pro- abortion, or just anti-Christian in principle. Can we really attribute these considerations of presenting one story over another as to what is merely "news worthy", or is there something much more premeditated afoot? Some current news items generated by the recent shootings of abortion clinic workers, brought this "coloring" of the news to sharp focus. These seem to fall into some definite categories of subtle ploys used by the press to deliberately drive home it's "politically correct" points. USING TERMS THAT DESENSITIZE THE PUBLIC TO REALITY Long has been the battle of pro-life supporters to combat the language used to describe the unborn. "Fetus", "fetal material", "tissue", "product of pregnancy" and other terms are constantly flung at the public to take away from otherwise unenlightened minds the fact that these are *people* we are talking about. Very little people, but people nevertheless. Read an excerpt from an article entitled "Fetal Transplants Researched". CHICAGO (AP) -- Less than 1 percent of fetal tissue from spontaneous abortion and tubal pregnancies that must be terminated is usable for transplants, a study found. [Implication - "so let's start getting people ready for another source of this 'tissue'". S.W.] Transplants involving fetal tissue offer hope for people with difficult-to-treat ailments such as Parkinson's disease, immunological disorders and spinal cord injuries. [The subtle laying of ground work for justification of abortion - the high dollar biotechnical advantages it could have. S.W.] But research in the area has been controversial because of the fear that it might encourage elective abortions...["Might"?? S.W.] ...Cefalo and the researchers said the future of fetal studies may lie in culturing tissue from a minimum of samples [now babies are being referred to as samples! S.W.], especially with the expected approval of the abortion pill RU-486, which one day could vastly reduce the number of fetuses from induced abortions, he said. ---end of quote--- This last statement is especially chilling in it's implications. Should the research into possible medicinal uses for "fetal tissue" make major breakthroughs in the treatment of Parkinson's and other diseases, and should the "expected approval" of the controversial "abortion pill" come through, there will be even less "samples" available. It is not inconceivable that women would be offered some monetary benefit in becoming impregnated for the sole purpose of "fetal tissue harvest". This "objective" article and others like it are laying a vast labyrinth of groundwork to generate public support of "fetal tissue" as a viable source of fantastic future cures for "mankind". But there's more... UNTOWARD AND DELIBERATE FOCUS ON INFLAMMATORY ISSUES The following article is reproduced in it's entirety. Casualties Of The Abortion War By The Associated Press A list of those slain or wounded in attacks on abortion doctors: --Shannon Elizabeth Lowney, 25, a receptionist at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Brookline, Mass., and Leanne Nichols, 38, a receptionist at Preterm Health Services in Brookline, slain in separate attacks Dec. 30, 1994. Five other clinic employees or volunteers were wounded. John C. Salvi III of Hampton Beach, N.H., was charged with first-degree murder in those attacks after his arrest Dec. 31 following the firing of shots at a clinic in Norfolk, Va. --Dr. Garson Romalis, seriously wounded Nov. 8, 1994, in his home in Vancouver, British Columbia, by a sniper firing an assault rifle. No arrests have been made. --Dr. John Bayard Britton, 69, and his volunteer escort, retired Air Force Lt. Col. James Barrett, 74, fatally shot July 29, 1994, as they drove into the Pensacola Ladies Center. Barrett's wife June, survived gunshot wounds. Paul Hill was sentenced to die in Florida's electric chair. --Dr. George Tiller, shot in the arms Aug. 19, 1993, as he drove away from the Women's Health Care Services clinic in Wichita, Kan. Rachelle ``Shelley'' Shannon was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to 11 years in prison. --Dr. David Gunn, 47, fatally shot March 10, 1993, as he walked to the Pensacola Women's Medical Services clinic. The assailant, Michael Griffin, was sentenced to life in prison. ---end of quote--- No commentary is needed to discern the intentions here. Whereas this list is a reflection of tragic incidents, it is unprecedented in it's implications - "look at all the violence caused by anti-abortion activists - heinous acts that belie their so-called 'rescuing' of lives by the murder and harm of others" it seems to scream. To me, it is a subtle slam at right-to-lifers, to undermine and destroy the credibility of all of us who support the biblical premise that all life is sacred. One of the most effect forms of brainwashing is to "defame" a belief in something or someone by destroying it's credibility. It's hard to tear down something that has a history of impeccable integrity. It's fairly easy to tear down (in the eyes of the public) something that can be shown as corruptible. What better way to lose public and (more importantly) political support for the ban of legalized abortion, than to "prove" it's supporters are hypocrites - which leads us to the next method of media manipulation. AN EFFORT TO UNDERPLAY, DISCREDIT, AND SLANDER BIBLE BELIEVERS Abortion War Hits Front Line By DAN SEWELL Associated Press Writer Abortion opponents show up daily at the clinics in the region where Gunn and Britton practiced. Some are there only to pass out information pamphlets urging women against abortion; they express opposition to violence against abortionists... ...Derzis has developed a close friendship with one regular protester and said ``there are some good, well-meaning people who protest.'' *But* [emphasis added] videotapes made by Scott Morrow, a Birmingham police officer Derzis hires for the days abortions are performed, show protests where emotions grow to fever-pitch.[Who could fail to be unemotional over realization that human lives are being brutally destroyed in a nearby building? Expressed emotion is not necessarily a preamble to violence. S.W.] In one, a protester begins leaping into the air and shouting, and another speaks in tongues. ["Look at these ridiculous displays - who in their right mind could take these people seriously," this statement seems to imply. "Surely such actions only punctuate the idiocy of these people and their cause". S.W.] ``I'll die for what I believe in, will you?'' a protester on tape shouts at Derzis, adding: ``You're going to.''... ---end of quote--- What is ominously missing in articles of this kind is the FACTS of abortion. The tactic here is to take the reader's focus away from the true issue of the murder of the unborn, and place it on the protestors - always putting them in the worst light possible. These recent shootings and killings have only added more material for the media to publicize to discredit the whole right-to-life movement. PLAYING UPON PEOPLE'S FEELINGS Slain Doctor's Son Fights On BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- The slaying of Dr. David Gunn outside a Pensacola women's clinic in 1993 eliminated a prolific abortion provider. But in its aftermath, a new voice arose -- that of David Gunn Jr. ``David Jr. has really become a national spokesman and a symbol,'' said Ron Fitzsimmons, spokesman for the National Coalition of Abortion Providers. ``He knows it, and he knows how to use that role.'' [So does the media... S.W.] Gunn, now 23, has been featured in national advertisements for abortion rights groups and stays busy on the talk show and campus lecture circuits... ...``I can't just be quiet,'' Gunn explained. ``I really believe that I'm trying to keep someone else from being hurt.'' [He would make a great pro-life activist where his focus on the murder of the unborn as well. S.W.] He was always ``pro-choice,'' he said, but became active in the debate only because ``we're dealing with murders now. ["Now"? - as if the whole abortion issue wasn't about murder to begin with! S.W.] They're talking about killing human beings and calling it justifiable homicide.'' [This statement could be rewritten to say, "They're talking about killing human beings and calling it abortion". S.W.] Gunn's talks remind listeners that the doctor's slaying cost him and his sister a loving father, and he also talks about the violence and warns ``that it could happen here.'' [Now folks, believe me, I am in great sympathy for the man in the tragic loss of his father...but is he using it as a platform to justify further murder of the unborn?? Please read on S.W.] He believes his father was the victim of a conspiracy by anti-abortion extremists, though activists deny it. He also serves as a rallying figure for those in the abortion business. He led a procession of abortionists to the spot where his father was killed, and has served as an escort at clinics undergoing mass anti-abortion demonstrations in Little Rock, Ark., Jackson, Miss., and here... ...He does think often about his father. ``I just miss him,'' he said. ``I would trade anything to have him back.'' ---end of quote--- I can somewhat identify. I had an abortion in 1979 because I believed my mother when she told me it wasn't a "baby" until you could feel it move. "It's just a blob of cells," she said. I had gotten myself pregnant at an "inconvenient" time in "embarrassing" circumstances. I finally came to the decision to abort my baby through the influence and assurance that it "wasn't a baby yet". So, believing those around me - who were no doubt influenced by the media at that time, and taking the "easy" route, I had an abortion. Only when I became a Christian in 1985, did the full horror of what I had done start to sink in. Through the ministry of "Last Days", founded by the late Keith Green, I began to understand the truth about abortion. As I looked through the pictures in their magazine of aborted babies, the full realization that it was NOT just a blob of cells hit me like a ton of bricks. I too would trade anything to "have him" (or her) "back". I don't blame David Gunn, Jr. for wanting to vindicate his father's untimely death. I can understand the need he has for doing *something* he feels is worthwhile to somehow assuage the pain he feels over his loss. But to use the issue of abortion to do this is, in my mind, a sorely misguided use of his energies. He could have just as well entered the fight against violent crime in this country. But I guarantee you, he would not have been as successful on getting on talk show and campus lecture circuits, had this been his emphasis. Please understand -- I in no way condone the killing of ANYONE for any reason. The killings of these doctors and workers is as abhorrent to me as any murder would be. My whole point is that the media has a powerful position to sway the minds of the American public in what they present and in the way they present it. Be assured; the deliberate use of media, in subtle and not so subtle ways, is a constant and intentional method of gaining public support for the continued slaughter of the unborn.

In His Name: Sandy Winn Tucson, Arizona - the never ending beach swinn@gas.uug.arizona.edu jexy18a@prodigy.com swinn@iclnet93.iclnet.org All my words are my own and do not reflect the views of my employer, the University of Arizona.

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