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Monday, December 31, 2007

The Abortion Story that Wasn't

In today's "mainstream" media we have not an absence of bias, but a bias of absence.

The latest abortion statistics for South Dakota were released the week before Christmas. Perhaps the most striking thing found in these statistics is in the section where the reasons given for the abortions was provided. The single largest percentage was because "The mother did not desire to have the child." Already large the previous year at 79.5%, it increased even more to 84.6%. Meanwhile, abortions for rape/incest/health constituted a combined 1.9% of all abortions.

So we passed up an opportunity to ban abortion for the 1.9% that meet the criteria of the exceptions demanded by the majority of the voters in 2006.

So 84.6% of abortions in South Dakota were done not for rape, not for incest, not for the life of the mother, and not for the health of the mother, but as retroactive birth control. The child inconvenienced the mother, so the child was disposed of.

We sacrifice the 98.1% that all but the most extreme abortion supporters say should be saved, in order to keep the right to kill the 1.9% that some say don't deserve to live.

Now, about 10 days later, you'd expect to have seen this reported and discussed in any number of places, right? Wrong.

In the Argus Leader on Dec. 22, you finally find mention of this reason 9 paragraphs into the article.

Another Argus Leader story, nothing.

At KELO, nothing.

Sioux City Journal, nothing.

Yankton Daily Press, nothing.

Rapid City Journal, nothing.

Now I'm just curious why almost all the media outlets in South Dakota missed the most impactful statistic in this report, and the Argus Leader only skirted it half-way through their article with no specific number mentioned?

Was it media bias?

Was it that the reporters didn't consider the reasons women are aborting their children--the reasons we continue to have this debate in the first place--to be important?

Was it just a case of the media acting like sheep, with one following essentially the same scant story details as all the others?

Was it just sloppy journalism?


bassfrek1987 said...

Even if Roe V. Wade was even overturned, it would not mean abortion would be illegal. States would decide on the issue. In Fact the only reason why the gov rules the way it did in Roe v. Wade was to set up a national law. Even in SD a person could get an abortion in the case of Rape, Incest, or for the health of the mother. That is why the law was voted down by the people, because it set SD down a path way before Roe v. Wade. A path the voter did not want to go down. So next time maybe you should try to pass a law with exceptions.

Bob Ellis said...

You're right that Roe set up a national law...the only thing is, the judiciary is not supposed to make the laws. Our constitutional form of government was short-circuted when the Supreme Court assumed an authority it did not have.

In response to your statement that next time South Dakota should try to pass a law with exceptions for rape, incest, health and life, that is exactly what is planned for 2008.

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