Leftist corporate media appear to be on a quest: to describe what they portray as the disastrous effects of pro-life laws in places like Texas and Mississippi. But such a campaign provides the pro-life movement a monumental opportunity to support the highlighted organizations and women in need.
CNN in October featured a piece on Texas women “forced to make rushed decisions or travel hundreds of miles to access health care.” NBC News published a feature on Texas abortion clinics “fighting to survive.” Time blared that “Texas’ abortion law could worsen the state’s maternal mortality rate.”
Many such articles seek to falsely portray the pro-life movement as singularly focused on ending abortion while leaving helpless pregnant mothers out in the cold. “Stopping women from having abortions was the easy part,” said The Washington Post. “What came next would be much harder. Those 3,000 babies were going to need diapers and formula and any number of more expensive items, too.”
Crisis pregnancy centers like San Antonio’s Allied Women’s Center, the Post notes, are experiencing shrinking funds as they deal with a flux of pregnant women seeking financial help given less access to abortion in the Lone Star State. Pro-life advocates can of course shake their heads at these ham-fisted attempts to discredit their cause and label them hypocrites. But we can also view this critical coverage as an opportunity.
The Media Is Raising Awareness For Us!
For every expectant mother corporate media highlights as a victim of anti-abortion legislation, and for every crisis pregnancy center or pro-life organization experiencing higher demand, pro-lifers can rise to the occasion. Indeed, we can turn the tables on the left by helping the very people and organizations the media bring to our attention.
Take the Allied Women’s Center in San Antonio, run by longtime pro-lifer Tere Haring. “I don’t want an ultrasound machine,” she told the Post. “I want tons of diapers. Buy me $20,000, $40,000, $50,000 worth of diapers because if you have a woman who comes in with four kids — yeah, looking at the baby, she realizes it’s a human being.” Well then, let’s give her money for diapers, car seats, and rent. Or if you live nearby, volunteer to help!
Or consider the Post’s Nov. 16 feature on evangelical women preparing for a future after a potential reversal of Roe v. Wade, including Aubrey Schlackman, the founder of a new “maternity ranch,” aimed at helping women (and families) who need material and spiritual support before and after having a child. Although the article portrays an implicit condescension towards evangelicals for believing in things like sexual complementarianism, it also offers readers a chance to help those on the front lines of the Texas abortion fight. That’s especially the case given that leftist media are already maligning Schlackman’s ranch as an alleged manifestation of “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
A Chance To Prove Media Slander Wrong
Across the country, Texas’s abortion debate is reviving leftists’ antagonistic rhetoric against the pro-life movement and crisis pregnancy centers, from The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Columbus Dispatch, The Daily Californian, and Ms. Magazine, among others. Such journalistic activism is part of a longstanding critique of the pro-life cause as hypocritically only concerned about children until the children are outside the womb.
These arguments typically take the form of that presented by pro-abortionists Claire Provost and Inge Snip, who in an op-ed earlier this year accused pro-life activists of not caring about maternal safety concerns like decreased access to health care.
It’s easy to be cynical and frustrated by such efforts to malign the pro-life cause, which, truth to be told, aims to protect the most vulnerable population in America: the unborn. Yet the left has unknowingly given us an excellent tool to prove how wrong they are about us.
With every feature or op-ed that seeks to paint us as hypocrites unconcerned with newborn babies and their mothers, we are given the precise information required to help those in need. Imagine what it would mean for every crisis pregnancy center or pro-life group to receive a bump in funding after any article that seeks to use them for pro-abortion politics.
How You Can Help
If pro-lifers are serious about the possibility of overturning Roe v. Wade, we need to treat the aftermath of a potential Supreme Court reversal of the 1973 decision the same as the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. After that natural disaster, Christians by the thousands rose up to provide large-scale, long-term mission trips and ministry efforts to help those in need and rebuild destroyed communities.
I participated in two such mission trips to the Gulf Coast in the months after Hurricane Katrina, to Pass Christian, Miss., and New Orleans. Both experiences were personally and spiritually transformative.
Perhaps leftist corporate media is correct that the pro-life movement has focused more on overturning pro-abortion legislation and court rulings than on helping those women (and fathers and children) who need help after choosing to bring new life into the world. It’s not hard to see why: ending a legal regime that allows the murdering of millions of American children needed to be the preeminent objective.
Yet the pro-abortion left has been wrong in its claim that we are deaf to the cries of the impoverished or overwhelmed who choose life — millions of dollars have been spent, and will be spent, on those persons’ needs.
Moreover, we can thank the corporate media for its negative and patronizing coverage of the Texas abortion law. They are giving us the very names and organizations in need of our help before and after Roe falls. What better way to express our appreciation for their generous help than to support those on the front lines of the pro-life cause?