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Jewish World Review August 29, 2003/ 1 Elul, 5763

Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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Media, darlings, your abortion bias is showing again

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | What if the women who helped make abortion-on-demand the law of the land changed their minds? They did.

And what if no one cared? Apparently, no one does.

Or so one might surmise from the media's inattention to the latest motion filed in federal court seeking to set aside the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 abortion ruling, a reversal of which would return abortion jurisdiction to states.

On Monday, Sandra Cano - "Mary Doe" in the U.S. Supreme Court Doe vs. Bolton abortion case, which was a companion case to the more-famous Roe vs. Wade - filed a motion in Georgia to vacate the court's ruling. Like Norma McCorvey of Roe vs. Wade, Cano says she regrets her role in helping legalize abortion and wants to "right a wrong."

McCorvey filed a similar motion in Texas in June. Her case, which included some 5,400 pages of evidence, was thrown out by the district court within 48 hours, but has been appealed to the 5th Circuit Federal Court. The judge must have been a fast reader.

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Despite the enormous importance of Cano's motion, the mainstream media have largely ignored it. A Lexis-Nexis search turned up only one story about the filing, but it was a report by U.S. Newswire, a division of Medialink Worldwide Inc., which is essentially a vehicle for corporate communications.

In the Cano case, the relevant entity is The Justice Foundation, which is representing both Cano and McCorvey. The non-profit foundation historically has offered free legal assistance in cases of school choice, limited government, free market and recently in women's health.

The Justice Foundation concedes that "women's health" means "pro-life" issues and is now the exclusive focus of its work. Which, might we infer, explains why the media are ignoring this latest filing?

Let me be blunt: What we have here is a clear and present bias against the pro-life side of the abortion debate.

There are a couple of reasons for this. First, the majority of people in the media are pro-choice. And, giving the devil his due, reporters hate press conferences and press releases. They don't like being beckoned to appear and report on what feel like propaganda events.

Still. When it comes to one of the landmark cases that changed life in ways we're just beginning to understand, we might deign to note what amounts to a shift in the culture's tectonic plates. It is news.

The Justice Foundation's media director, Anne Newman, said Wednesday that she had received only three or four media phone calls and only six hits on the Web site since Cano announced her filing. Although network affiliates sent reporters and cameras to the press conference, which included testimonials by women who regretted their abortions, only one local station reported the event, according to Newman.

Here's what you didn't learn from the media. The ruling in Cano's case expanded abortion rights beyond Roe's trimester approach based on "health of the mother" considerations. Health has been loosely defined as mental anguish or even financial considerations, thus allowing women to get abortions at any time up to and including "partial-birth."

The gist of Cano's current motion is that, 30 years ago, the Supreme Court didn't consider the physical and emotional effects of abortion on women, primarily because there was no information available at the time. Now, plaintiffs contend, we have 30 years of evidence that abortion harms women. (http://www.operationoutcry.org)

Both McCorvey and Cano, neither of whom ever had an abortion, claim they were used by lawyers on fraudulent grounds. Cano says she never even sought an abortion. An impoverished mother of three whose husband was in jail at the time, she went to a legal-aid office for a divorce and wound up an unwitting and unwilling activist. McCorvey was a drug abuser living on the streets, easily manipulated by her ambitious lawyers, she says.

Whatever these women did or didn't do, they surely were used by savvier sorts for the purpose of securing reproductive control for women. Those of us who were around during those heady days of free love and narcissistic thrall were convinced that the Second Coming could bring no greater news.

The fact that many now think otherwise - based on experience and new evidence provided by advanced technology - is surely worthy of discussion. And of reporting.

The fact that the mainstream media have decided to ignore Cano's case suggests that the media, at least, have made up their collective mind. Once again, it seems, Cano and McCorvey are irrelevant to the larger social "goal" as determined by an elite few.

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