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The GW Patriot welcomes Opinion submissions from student leaders on campus. Rosemary Holt, Co-President of Colonials for Life, writes:
‘Newspapers of record’ are few and far between these days when it comes to accurately representing the abortion issue, and the GW Hatchet is no exception. This lack of journalistic integrity on reporting on abortion among university news outlets is a threat to the future of neutral media, especially since university writers and editors go on to work for big name media outlets. If they learn that they can get away with it in college, what is to stop them from doing the same after they graduate?
No longer can anti-abortion activists sit back and allow these news organizations the ability to downplay and shape the abortion narrative in an attempt to determine the morality of abortion. Our efforts must begin at the university level.
Just as Roe v. Wade was a decision of judicial activism that overstepped the powers of the judicial branch, so too is this pro-abortion bias.
One cannot look at the images used or read the GW Hatchet article on the recent March for Life without feeling as though the March had equal representation of anti-abortion and pro-abortion individuals, which gives an utterly false representation of the event. The printed caption to the two images that ran with the story clearly shows bias to this as well. “Demonstrators on both sides of the abortion debate took to D.C. streets last week to stand up for their separate causes around the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.”
The two images printed with the story also paint a false picture of what the anti-abortion and pro-abortion movements currently look like. The pro-abortion image is young girls smiling, while the anti-abortion image is old women frowning. This picture ignores the fact that the vast majority of pro-life attendants are high school and college students. The image also ignores that Nancy Keenan, head of NARAL Pro-Choice America and the oldest abortion lobby, stepped down due to the increasing “intensity gap” between pro-abortion and anti-abortion youths.
The GW Hatchet is not required to applaud the pro-life movement, but they should accurately represent events as they occurred. Hundreds of thousands of individuals marched against abortion Friday January 25th and only approximately 100 individuals counter-protested. This fact was not accurately reported in the GW Hatchet article.
During the annual Law of Life Summit, hosted by Ave Maria Law School, Jeanne Monahan, the president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, said, “We don’t have to manipulate our story at all. We don’t even really have to do convincing. All we really have to do is present things as they truly are, because abortion is a profoundly unreasonable stance, to be pro-abortion.”
The GW Hatchet reported one thing correctly: The anti-abortion lobby is the strongest ever. Despite having the most extreme pro-abortion U.S. president in history, 2012 was a huge success in furthering human rights. We now have 27 state legislatures under complete pro-life control, 24 states are governed by pro-life governors, and last year alone there were over 200 pro-life laws passed on a state level. This year, 2013, is already proving to be another record year with Mississippi becoming the first abortion-free state since Roe v. Wade.
It is up to pro-life activists to engage the media on anti-abortion issues and to repeatedly demand they give an accurate and unbiased account of the truth. If we are not courageous enough to start by calling out our university’s news outlets, then we can never expect change.
No matter how the abortion debate is framed by the GW Hatchet or the mainstream media, this is an issue the anti-abortion movement is winning from the ground up and we will not back down until human abortion is abolished.
The opinions expressed in this piece are those of the author, Rosemary Holt.