no violence period: New Perspectives on Abortion


A Consistent Life Ethic

· Nat Hentoff on Abortion
· Abortion and the American Left

Abortion and the Media

Roe v. Wade

Full list of articles

Abortion and the Media

Abortion and the American Media

Charges of media bias are common for many issues, but ample evidence suggests that, for the abortion issue, this bias is clear and consistent, even by the admission of some major newspaper editors.


Abortion Bias Seeps Into News
A landmark Los Angeles Times investigation that found pervasive bias in the coverage of abortion in American media. 

A four-part study of major newspaper, television and newsmagazine coverage over 18 months, including more than 100 interviews with journalists and with activists on both sides of the abortion debate, confirms that this bias often exists.

John Carmody, Washington Post, October 30, 1989

A study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs in Washington showed that over a period of nine months, the major TV networks used "pro-choice" in 74% of their references to abortion -rights advocates and used "pro-life" in only 6% of their references to abortion opponents. The survey also found that abortion-rights activists were quoted almost twice as often as their antiabortion counterparts. Most frequently quoted on the air were NOW president Molly Yard and NARAL executive director Kate Michelman (16 quotes apiece). The most frequently quoted antiabortion activist was Randall Terry with 8 quotes.

Stereotyping Pro-Lifers
Nat Hentoff , The Washington Post, May 16, 1992

The press has a bent toward stereotyping pro-lifers. Accordingly, many readers and viewers have a decidedly limited sense of their diversity.

Watch the headlines for pro-abortion bias
John Leo, The Tampa Tribune, June 6, 1996

David Shaw, the Pulitzer-winning media critic of the Los Angeles Times, in his long, four-part 1990 series on media coverage of the abortion issue, concluded that reportage on this touchy subject has been uniquely biased in a pro-abortion direction. This was a very serious indictment, one that the media should have felt some obligation to address but didn't. Shaw's series was photocopied and passed around widely, but the media essentially gave it the silent treatment. If he wished to return to the subject, Shaw would have a field day with coverage of the partial-birth issue. Much of it has stayed remarkably close to the arguments and position papers put out by the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League.

Media coverage of abortion debates in the major parties
By Tim Graham, Steve Kaminski, and Clay Waters, Media Research Council

Reporters may be assisting the Democrats by creating the image of a damaging rift in the Republican Party, while the efforts of pro-life Democrats to diversify their party's stance are mostly ignored. In prime-time network coverage of the 1996 party conventions, anchors and reporters brought up the Republican abortion platform controversy on 55 occasions -- but not once did they address the abortion platform debate of the Democrats in prime time.