Sunday's New York Times carried an extensive editorial on abortion and its political future. The piece, entitled "Frank Talk About Abortion," is anything but frank, because it contains falsehoods, ignores (when it does not casually dismiss) those who don't hold to the Times far-left liberal line.
[T]he current debate about so-called partial birth abortion has produced some strange and unfortunate consequences. Among the most disheartening is the widespread impression that the pro-choice movement does not regard abortion as a serious matter, and that women seeking to terminate a pregnancy require a condescending reminder from Congress to understand that the fetus they are carrying is a potential life.
Of course the pro-choice movement regards abortion as a serious business matter. Planned Parenthood and other clinics make millions each year from killing babies. It's also amusing (and sad) that the Times considers it a "condescending reminder" when it is the people at Planned Parenthood who won't show sonograms to women seeking abortion for fear that such a sight might traumatize them and cause them to reconsider their "choice" of abortion.
Now that the debate has moved from Congress to the courts, the public could benefit from a fuller and franker discussion about abortion policy. The profound nature of the issue must be acknowledged. But it must also be made clear that few understand its practical, heart-wrenching dimensions better than the doctors who perform the procedures, and the people fighting in a difficult political environment to preserve a woman's hard-won right to decide whether she will carry a pregnancy to term.
Of course, the debate over abortion started in the courts -- and that's the problem -- 30 years after Roe v. Wade was decided, there is no other issue in American politics that is so polarizing.
Of course, the Times desires a frank discussion, but immediately limits those invited to the debate to abortion doctors and Kate Michelman and her ilk. Men cannot possibly understand, nor can any of the women who oppose abortion. Women in crisis pregnancy centers are also barred from the Times' frank discussion.
The rest of the editorial reads much like NARAL talking points:
The frequency with which the partial-birth abortion procedure occurs is minimized.
It is hard to imagine a doctor performing such a procedure on an almost fully developed fetus except under the most drastic medical circumstances. And, although no definitive statistics exist, the evidence suggests no doctor does.
No doctor does? Define "almost fully developed." Flash back to The Record of Hackensack, N.J.:
A report in The Record of Hackensack, N.J., last September sparked controversy when it reported that doctors at just one clinic in suburban Englewood estimated using the controversial procedure in about half of the 3,000 abortions they perform each year on women in their 20th to 24th weeks of pregnancy. A normal pregnancy is about 40 weeks.
If the Times wants to truly have a public debate about the issue of abortion, it could start by listening to the other side.