NYT Misrepresents Gender Breakdown on Abortion Policy, Norma McCorvey’s history
- NYT ignorantly repeats tired left-wing memes about abortion history
- Sabrina Tavernise omits altogether the shocking pro-life conversion of Norma McCorvey, who was “Roe” in Roe v. Wade
- NYT gives entirely one-sided, unbalanced, history of abortion law
OUR RATING: #FakeNews. This is what you’d expect on CNN playing to an empty airport.
Indicted Outlet: Sabrina Tavernise | New York Times | Link | Archive | 5/7/22
It’s been a long time since anyone seriously thought the New York Times was the ‘newspaper of record’ and covering ‘all the news that’s fit to print’ or whatever else. Of course anyone with a pulse knows that they are biased and covering for the tired left-wing agenda, but when it comes to abortion policy, the omissions and half-truths are still stunning.
I was still surprised here when Reporter Sabrina Tavernise purposefully omitted the history of “Roe” from Roe v. Wade Norma McCorvey where she became a pro-life activist for decades.
McCorvey was “Roe” of Roe v. Wade, spending the last two decades of her life as a strong pro-life figure, and the historical omissions and cherry-picked history didn’t end there. This report was unbalanced and filled with misrepresentations.
- Missing Context
The biggest omission in this show was that nothing was even briefly noted about Norma McCorvey’s pro-life conversion in the 1990’s.
Tavernise says that Part 2  of her series will show Norma McCorvey’s ‘complicated role in the culture war’ but the first episode includes absolutely no mention of McCorvey’s decades of pro-life activism. This is major missing context for any listener who doesn’t bother to listen to the second episode.
Also, oddly, the second episode doesn’t include the promised ‘complicated history’ of McCorvey.  Instead, Tavernise interviews abortionists instead. So the editorial decision to present an entirely unbalanced and misrepresented view of Norma McCorvey is even less defensible. They gave a history of McCorvey that leaves out some of the most interesting pieces: her conversion story.
There is a basic obligation to faithfully relay the history of one of the key participants without shorting the parts that don’t always neatly add up.
Norma McCorvey was, by all accounts, a complex person. The NYT piece even admits that she was a “flawed” figurehead for abortion rights. McCorvey’s life had a wide variety of contradictions. And even after her pro-life conversion, McCorvey’s situation was complex. For instance, her oldest daughter came out in favor of legal abortion even though that meant her youngest sibling would have been killed. 
McCorvey died in Texas in 2017 at the age of 69. She was litigating Roe v. Wade as a pro-abortion litigant when she was 26 in 1973. 21 years later, she would publicly convert to a pro-life position, in 1994. By 1995 she had been baptized as a Christian. By 1998, she had become a Catholic. She published two pro-life books, “I am Roe” in 1994  and “Won by Love” in 1997.  She spoke as a pro-life speaker around the country from 1994 onwards. By the time her health was failing about five years ago, a pro-abortion documentary crew claims that she had a quasi-deathbed confession that she was only pro-life for the money and that it was not a genuine conversion all this time.  The documentary just recently came out.
People who worked with her in the pro-life movement dispute these final claims by McCorvey as portrayed in the documentary. 
Unsurprisingly the media typically portrays McCorvey’s last minute deathbed confession as legitimate, but her 20 years documenting the lies and crimes of the abortion industry as a pro-life speaker was not credible or newsworthy.
Almost the entire show was giving the personal history of Norma McCorvey right up until the moment of Roe v. Wade. And perhaps that’s of interest, but in a 25 minute show they could certainly work at least one sentence in there to mention that this complex person later did a complete about-face on this critical issue.
There’s no way to defend the enormous missing context to this story.
The show spends a considerable amount of time showing Republicans who were once pro-abortion and then became pro-life, such as Ronald Reagan. Reagan signed the second state abortion laws into place while Governor of California.
Beyond the personal story of Norma McCorvey, the show also makes it seem as though abortion just dropped out of the sky in 1973 and there was no more extensive history and controversy behind the practice. It is presented with the presumption that America was always anti-abortion and then feminism came around and liberalized abortion laws.
Yet induced abortions were common in 19th century America, as author Frederick Dyer explains :
MOST PEOPLE ARE SURPRISED to learn that induced abortion was common among married Protestant women in America in the middle of the 19th Century. This is testament to the effectiveness of the campaign against abortion that began in 1857. Dr. James Mohr in his Abortion in America: The Origins and Evolution of National Policy, 1800-1900 described how this “physicians’ crusade against abortion” changed state laws and public attitudes, with the result being a substantial reduction of abortion by 1900, at least among married women.
Horatio Storer  was a pro-life advocate during the late 19th century, resulting in the laws outlawing abortion through his advocacy. The New York Times completely omits any of this history. It doesn’t fit the narrative that neatly lines up with feminism soundbites to say that the anti-feminist age of the 19th century had legal and common abortions in culture and law.
The guiding principle of the New York Times: if it doesn’t fit the agenda, act like it doesn’t exist.
Maybe if Tavernise read the New York Times, she could learn that abortion history is a bit more complicated than it just showing up around the same time as Gloria Steinem and the feminist movement. 
“State laws prohibiting abortion at all stages of pregnancy, Justice Harry Blackmun wrote in the opinion, were not of ancient or even common-law origin, but dated mostly to the late 19th century. Before that, he wrote, citing various scholars, abortion early in pregnancy was legal in most states.”
Reporter Tavernise ties abortion legal permissiveness to the mid-20th-century development of feminism as a social and political movement, implying that pro-life politics emerged not as a way to counter the horror of legal abortion but as a way to reject feminism. This is just a left-wing trope completely unsupported by the history. It’s also disproven by poll numbers showing that women are not pro-abortion and men are not pro-life as a general rule, the actual demographic trends don’t fit left-wing fantasies. 
The other part of the story that gets overlooked, is that there were two abortion legal decisions that were critical to legalizing abortion in 1973 released on the same day: Roe v. Wade but also Doe v. Bolton.
Norma McCorvey was “Roe” in Roe v. Wade and Sandra Cano  later identified herself as “Doe” of Doe v. Bolton. Roe says that abortions are only permissible in the first trimester, and possibly in the second trimester, but must always be allowed for reasons of ‘health’ of the expecting mother. Doe importantly defines ‘health’ to mean effectively anything. Doe creates an exception that swallows the rule created by Roe.
Yet abortion advocates would rather not acknowledge that US abortion laws are the most permissive in the world. It was ‘news’ in the New York Times just this week. 
Both McCorvey and Cano later became personally pro-life and politically powerful pro-life speakers. Both McCorvey and Cano filed a request with the Supreme Court to overturn their cases on the basis of fraud.  Their request was denied, but their personal witness and testimony were powerful to many. That history is completely ignored.
And of course no one ever wants to talk about the late Dr. Bernard Nathanson,  co-founder of NARAL, who performed tens of thousands of abortions including one on his own wife killing his own child, before finally changing his mind on the matter  after he saw something horrible. He hooked up an ultrasound machine to watch the baby die as the abortion was being performed, and watched the baby scream in pain in the wound, in the ultrasound.  He had a conversion of the heart, and having to account for the things he participated in, was certainly not easy. The impact of his conversion, and of his video evidence of “the Silent Scream”  is predictably completely left out.
So, to recap:
1) Norma McCorvey’s pro-life conversion is completely omitted, causing a misrepresentation
2) The critical component of Doe v. Bolton is completely omitted
3) The history of abortion law and policy is completely omitted prior to 1973
4) The conversion of other former pro-abortion leaders like Nathanson is left out
5) Reporter Tavernise promises to give more about McCorvey in ‘part two’ but then just interviews abortionists instead
This is not just #fakenews it’s also just trash. When you’d learn more by not reading or listening to a reporter at all, you know you’ve failed pretty hard.
OUR RATING: #FakeNews. This is what you’d expect on CNN playing to an empty airport.
1 ] https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/11/podcasts/the-daily/roe-v-wade-abortion-providers.html
2 ] https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/11/podcasts/the-daily/roe-v-wade-abortion-providers.html
3 ] https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/jane-roe-daughter-fears-supreme-court-abortion-decision-draft-take-us-rcna27173
4 ] https://www.amazon.com/Am-Roe-Life-Freedom-Choice/dp/0060170107/ref=pd_sbs_sccl_2_1/144-1142891-6105206?pd_rd_w=YPF2I&pf_rd_p=4b6b5072-e9bd-4f30-a3af-a1f5d52978ec&pf_rd_r=KATYMQZT5EY8G6XE4HT6&pd_rd_r=e0624977-a275-4c8d-bc53-d7314af277c6&pd_rd_wg=CJXey&pd_rd_i=0060170107&psc=1
5 ] https://www.amazon.com/Won-Love-McCorvey-Speaks-Conviction/dp/0785272372
6 ] https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/jane-roe-from-roe-v-wade-made-a-stunning-deathbed-confession-now-what/2020/05/20/fad9d296-9a09-11ea-89fd-28fb313d1886_story.html
7 ] https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/may-web-only/norma-mccorvey-jane-roe-v-wade-friends-tell-story.html
8 ] https://www.uffl.org/vol%209/dyer9.pdf
9 ] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horatio_Storer
10 ] https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/04/arts/roe-v-wade-abortion-history.html
11 ] https://www.vox.com/2019/5/20/18629644/abortion-gender-gap-public-opinion
12 ] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandra_Cano_(Mary_Doe)
13 ] https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/22/upshot/abortion-us-roe-global.html
14 ] https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/fl-xpm-1989-04-23-8901210437-story.html
15 ] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Nathanson
16 ] https://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/22/us/22nathanson.html
17 ] https://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2011/02/2806/
18 ] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Silent_Scream
Join the conversation
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.