In CNN’s coverage of Tuesday’s vote in the U.S. Senate on the “Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” the network described the legislation as an “abortion restriction,” blatantly lying about bill, which does not restrict abortion at all.
The “Born Alive” bill, which failed to pass 56-41, would have required medical providers to “exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.” Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, told The Federalist the bill itself “does not address abortion, the rights or wrongs of it. What it does do is make sure that we are saving the life of a baby.”
Yet a story on CNN explains how “such measures restrict abortion access by threatening health care providers” who would face up to five years in prison for refusing to care for a newborn infant.
But CNN was not alone in attacking the bill. Last week, Vice News’ Carter Sherman wrote a piece titled, “Senate Republicans Want to Protect Babies ‘Born Alive’ After an Abortion. That Doesn’t Happen.”
Of course it does happen, and part of the problem is that states only report abortion data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on a voluntary basis, creating a major gap in data that Sherman himself concedes. “A 2018 Congressional Research Service paper reported that there isn’t good data on how many later abortions occur because of medical reasons,” he wrote, as if that means these tragedies are nonexistent.
The “Born Alive” bill would attempt to rectify that by requiring states to report cases in which babies are born alive during abortions, giving policymakers a more accurate understanding of how often these cases occur.
“This is life or death information, yet most states don’t collect it. Our bill would require states to report accurate and complete data about abortion, including instances where babies are born alive during abortions,” said Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.
The online publication Insider headlined its piece on the “Born Alive” bill and the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” as votes on “anti-abortion bills based on medical inaccuracies.”
Insider writer Anna Medaris Miller confidently declared when a fetus has “zero chance of survival” in her article on the “Born Alive” bill.
Media coverage of the “Born Alive” bill feels like deju vu. In the same way the media covered for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam when he said mothers and doctors should have the ability to deny medical care to newborns who survive a botched abortion, the narrative remains that any measures to stop infanticide are measures against “reproductive health,” and nothing more.