A couple of weeks ago, pro-lifers were elated when Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed Georgia’s heartbeat legislation into law. This law legally protects unborn children after a fetal heartbeat can be detected – usually around six weeks’ gestation. As such, Georgia became the fourth state, along with Ohio, Mississippi, and Kentucky to enact such a law. The passage of this bill, along with the recent pro-life legislation in Alabama that would ban most abortions, has significantly raised the salience of sanctity of life issues in recent weeks. Unfortunately, much of the subsequent commentary and analysis from the mainstream media has generated far more heat than light.
However, the most disappointing commentary of the past week came from Kirsten Powers whose editorial appeared in USA Today on Tuesday May 14th. Many pro-lifers have appreciated Powers’ previous op-eds. Her April 2013 editorial chastising the mainstream media for their unwillingness to cover the trial of notorious late term abortionist Kermit Gosnell generated a great deal of debate and discussion. It also appeared to increase the number of reporters covering both Gosnell’s misconduct and the trial itself. Additionally, in June of 2015, Powers wrote an editorial for USA Today criticizing Planned Parenthood after undercover videos revealed abortion doctors discussing the harvesting of aborted body parts for medical research.
That said, Powers recent USA Today column about the Georgia heartbeat bill reads like a Planned Parenthood press release. In her editorial where she expresses opposition toward the legislation, she rehashes the tired trope that pro-lifers only pay “lip service to caring for women.” Unsurprisingly, she makes no mention of the 3,000 pregnancy help centers, funded by pro-lifers, that are assisting countless women with unplanned pregnancies every day. She cavalierly dismisses overturning Roe v. Wade as a strategy to reduce abortion. Instead, Powers claims that universal health care and Medicaid expansion are proven strategies for lowering abortion rates – but fails to provide any empirical evidence to support this claim.
Even worse, Powers doubled down on Twitter. She took issue with a tweet by Live Action which argued that heartbeat bills enjoy popular support. However, public opinion on abortion is nuanced, and it is unsurprising that Powers could find a differently worded poll question that showed less public support for this type of legislation. Powers then downplayed abortion regret citing the UCSF/Bixby Turnaway Study which purportedly found that 95 percent of post-abortive women felt that abortion was the right decision after 5 years. However, that study was conducted by researchers who favor legal abortion. Furthermore, approximately 62 percent of women declined to participate in the study, and of those that did – only about half completed all the follow-up interviews.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael J. New