For almost as long as there have been two parties, there have been accusations of mainstream media bias. Conservatives know it’s real. Liberals insist it’s imagined. Bias is evident not only in how events are covered but also in what is covered—and more importantly what is not covered.
Consider two events from last week. First, in North Dakota the governor signed into law bills that would ban abortions when a fetal heartbeat is present and when the procedure is sought solely because of the baby’s genetics. The media, including most major outlets, went into a frenzy to stir up controversy, often casting pro-life conservatives in a negative light.
Then later in the week in Florida, lawmakers held a hearing about a bill to protect the lives of babies born during an attempted abortion procedure. The bill requires the abortionist to provide medical care to the newborn. It might seem obvious that a newborn should be cared for—but not to Planned Parenthood.
They sent a lobbyist to the Florida legislature to testify in opposition to the bill. Here are some excerpts between the legislators and the lobbyist, Alisa LaPolt Snow, published earlier in the Weekly Standard. They pretty much speak for themselves.
Rep. Jim Boyd: “If a baby is born on a table as a result of a botched abortion, what would Planned Parenthood want to have happen to that child that is struggling for life?”
Snow: “We [Planned Parenthood] believe that any decision that’s made should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician.”
Rep. Daniel Davis: “What happens in a situation where a baby is alive, breathing on a table, moving? What do your physicians do at that point?”
Snow: “I do not have that information. I am not a physician. I am not an abortion provider. So I do not have that information.”
Rep. Jose Oliva: “You stated that a baby born alive on a table as a result of a botched abortion that that decision should be left to the doctor and the family. Is that what you’re saying?”
Snow: “That decision should be between the patient and the health care provider.”
Oliva: “I think that at that point the patient would be the child struggling on the table, wouldn’t you agree?”
Snow: “That’s a very good question. I really don’t know how to answer that. I would be glad to have some more conversations with you about this.”
You can watch the shocking exchange here—because you certainly didn’t see it on the news, a prime example of media bias.
And that bias is so upsetting because this largely uncovered event has serious implications.
Not once in her testimony did the Planned Parenthood representative say the newborn baby has a right to life. Not once did she say anyone has a duty to care for the child. Whether the living, breathing child survives is up to the adults in the room because, as we now know, Planned Parenthood doesn’t believe the baby has rights.
Planned Parenthood is an organization that receives taxpayer funding, including millions from the federal government. They also enjoy the unwavering support of almost all elected Democrats.
The President, the Senate Majority Leader, the House Democratic Leader, and the Chair of the Democratic National Committee (in whose home state this hearing occurred) made funding Planned Parenthood an issue in the 2012 campaign. They should now all be held to account for that outspoken support. If the media won’t, then voters must ask the pressing questions: Do these Democrats also believe a newborn has no rights? Do they also endorse infanticide?
I certainly hope not. I hope this is a place where we can all find common ground. Surely, all Americans can agree that a newborn deserves immediate medical care—and, if necessary, emergency care—regardless of the circumstances of birth.
As a proud pro-life Republican, I firmly believe that an unborn child has a right to life. I realize there are those who disagree, but I never thought there was a debate over whether a newborn child had a right to life. Some may not believe life begins at conception, but don’t we all agree life begins at birth?
Liberals often attack conservative lawmakers for casting a wary eye toward federal and state funding for Planned Parenthood. They can’t seem to comprehend why anyone would oppose giving taxpayer dollars to the abortion provider. Maybe now they can understand.
In the last election, Republicans were repeatedly asked about whether they supported cutting funding to Planned Parenthood. It’s time Democrats are asked whether they still support funding an organization that refuses to care for a newborn.
And this case of blatant media bias—cover-up really—should also be cause for some thoughtful self-examination among journalists.