How the Public is Manipulated: Newsweek Shows Pro-Abortion Bias

Yesterday the Newsweek blog was covering the abortion-in-healthcare debate and it posted this title:

Newsweek Abortion HeadlineNewsweek

What I take issue with is the use of the term “Anti-Abortion Rights Group” when referring to a collection of  groups that includes Americans United for Life and National Right to Life. Why?

  1. It Makes a Pro-Abortion Assumption that the Debate is About Abortion Rights, Not Abortion
    It assumes that pro-life groups main or fundamental position is opposition to abortion rights. While pro-life groups do not believe that a right to abortion exists, a more accurate description is opposition to “abortion,” not “abortion rights.”
  2. It Plays Word Games with the Word “Rights”
    Does anybody want to be against “rights”? It doesn’t matter what “right” it is, it just sounds good to be for rights even if they are ridiculous rights. To make being pro-abortion sound more palatable, the term pro-abortion rights is often used by the media. The same thing is used here by injecting “rights” into the title.
  3. It Ignores the Fact That Abortion Can Exist Without Abortion Rights
    If Roe v. Wade (which established a Constitutional right to an abortion despite no mention of it in the Constitution) was struck down by the courts, abortion could still legally take place. It would just mean that each state would have full freedom in deciding to restrict or permit abortion. For example, there is no specific right to own a computer, but many people do own computers. If a group was opposed to people having computers, they should be referred to as “anti-computers,” not “anti-computer rights” because their advocacy against computers could legitimately exist whether “computer rights” existed to not.
  4. It Assumes the Negative
    It labels those who believe that every human life should be protected as not being advocates for something, but rather against something. Everyone wants to be on the positive and not the negative side of things, and so this subtle tactic is used to make it seem like pro-life advocates are really just negative people against things instead of positive people standing for the value of every human life.
  5. It Ignores the Concept of a Right to Life
    The title could have been written as “Executive Order Wins With Stupak, Loses With Right to Life Groups.” The reason why Newsweek doesn’t want to write in these terms is that it brings up the concept of there being a right to life. The very mention that a “right to life” might exist gives credibility to the pro-life position in a way that Newsweek loathes. Pro-abortion writers will keep the use of the term “right to life” to an absolute minimum which means you will only read it when they are referring to the name of an organization such as,  “National Right to Life.”
  6. It Affirms the Concept of a Right to an Abortion


A Historical Perspective

When we think about early American history, there were those for and against the choice to own slaves. We do not call those who supported the choice to own slaves, “pro-choice,” we call them “pro-slavery.” Likewise, today we accurately describe each position on this debate as pro-abortion/anti-abortion or pro-human life rights/anti-human life rights as those terms describe the true nature of the debate.

Note: Newsweek is owned by the Washington Post, which consistently editorializes from a pro-abortion perspective.

A related piece that I have written on use of language in the abortion debate:
Why “Anti-Choice” is an Imprecise and Inaccurate Term when Debating Human Feticide

  • Courtney

    Well said.

  • Edgar

    I agree with all you said

  • thoughtadventure

    When talking about history, I refer to those who were "Pro-choice on slave ownership."

  • Rafael Ortega

    Yes, you are right! We are demagogical manipulated!

    The only person that need rights is the new being that

    is criminaly aborted.

  • Josh

    Wow, you people are idiots. Nobody is pro-abortion, only pro-choice or anti-choice. Get your heads out of your butts, wake up and realize that there's more important things to fight for that pushing your religious views on others. I don't believe in souls, and they have no brain activity for quite some time. Yes, abortion isn't ideal, but neither is forcing everyone into bringing children into a world that may not be ready to care for them in the loving environment that is needed. It's a personal and difficult decision.

  • Live Action

    "Nobody is pro-abortion"

    Um, watch: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Rh8oz3orpZY

    "I don’t believe in souls, and they have no brain activity for quite some time."

    — Brain waves can be measured at about 6 weeks after development.

    "It’s a personal and difficult decision."

    — Why is it a difficult decision? Is it because a human dies?

  • pinkmommy

    Great point Lila!

    Such hypocrites in Washington…they can trample all over our other constitutional rights but not the sacred so called abortion right – oh no,no,no

  • Emily

    "wake up and realize that there’s more important things to fight for that pushing your religious views on others".

    I think you are the one who needs to wake up Josh! This is not about religion, it is about human rights. It is about the right of a human being from the moment of conception, which is when life begins.

    "I don’t believe in souls, and they have no brain activity for quite some time".

    Can you tell me Josh, when you think a baby in the womb becomes a human being, worthy of a right to life? Is it day 72 or day 140? On what exact day does this miracle happen?

    "Yes, abortion isn’t ideal, but neither is forcing everyone into bringing children into a world that may not be ready to care for them in the loving environment that is needed"

    Thousands of couples all over the world are crying out for children to love and care for, in a loving environment. Every mother has a right to be loved and supported in bringing up her child. These are the issues we need to address. Do you have children? Do you have nieces or nephews? How would you feel if someone decided to murder one or them? Abortion is murder. Not alone that, but it damages the women it purports to help. I know what I'm talking about. I had an abortion thirty years ago and I am still in pain and mourning for the child I lost. What I needed at the time was a supportive atmosphere. I was young and scared and I took the easy option, because it was available. If it had not been available, I would have my child here with me today. In truth, I can never forgive myself for that. Pro choice is a wonderful concept, except when that choice is at the cost of the life of another human being. If I choose to drive my car while drunk, then kill someone, my choice should not be respected. We can gloss over it, cover it up and try to describe it every which way but murder, but it is still murder. I've met many many women who have been irreparably damaged by it. Many more have committed suicide, had nervous breakdowns, ended up on anti-depressants, but organisations like Planned Parenthood will never tell you about those people. Wake up Josh…. abortion is about making money, it is a business and it is not in the business of helping anyone, least of all the babies who die. It is a holocaust!

  • TimT

    La Shawn Barber had an interesting idea: Refer to abortion supporters as 'right to life opponents'.

  • Margaret

    A human life begins at conception. Human development continues just toddler, teenager, elderly. No disease, no war, no hunger, no anything kills more than abortion. No president, no Supreme Court justice, no Congressman/woman and no abortion supporter would volunteer for abortion procedure that includes poisoning, chemical injections in the heart, pulled apart in pieces, vacuumed in pieces, etc and if survive left to die so no one should volunteer innocent, defenseless children. Abortion will never be justified and leaves mothers, fathers, families and society mentally harmed, mothers physically harmed(even breast cancer link to abortion) and some mothers dead. Right to Life is not based on age, size, health, color or age.

  • http://regimeofterror.com mark e

    the press is so partisan it's disgusting