It's time for another entry in our series of posts on "What is this?"
Not familiar with that category? Here's how our own Terry Mattingly described it a while back:
Several years ago, your GetReligionistas created a new item in our archives list of news "categories." As faithful readers know, we focus on hard-news material produced by mainstream news organizations. The only time that we write about editorial columns, op-ed pieces, academic essays or the like is when they focus directly on issues in our home turf – religion-beat news.
However, every now and then people would send us URLs for items published by religious wire services, denominational magazines or non-profit sources linked to religious causes that – from their point of view – focused on a valid news story that wasn't getting mainstream-press ink. After pondering this dilemma for a while, we began using a "Got news?" headline slug and created a new category.
Now it's time for another category, one that we have been pondering for quite some time. The headline slug is, as you see above, "What is this?" We seriously considered "WTF?" but decided that didn't mesh well with the sober tone that we strive to maintain around here.
This latest item appeared in the Houston Chronicle with this headline:
The costly economics of fetus disposal
When the Supreme Court struck down Texas’ rules for abortion providers last month, the state’s lawyers made arguments about health. But the winning argument was fundamentally about cost: Requiring hospital-like facilities for abortion clinics made it financially unfeasible to operate in many areas, forcing women to travel sometimes hundreds of miles for care. That created an “undue burden,” the five-justice majority determined, rendering the law unconstitutional.
Now, following the lead of states like Indiana, the state of Texas has come up with another regulation affecting abortion providers: Requiring all fetal remains extracted at healthcare facilities to be disposed of through burial or cremation, rather than sanitary waste disposal.
Proponents of the rule says it has to do with “dignity.” But like the now-overturned law known as HB-2, this would have a costly side effect as well.
After reading the full, 380-word item, which is heavily slanted in favor of abortion-rights advocates, a fellow GetReligionista asked this logical question:
Assume this is on the editorial page?
It actually appeared on Page A2 of the Chronicle in what appears to be a news hole.
The main heading on that page is "Daily Digital." So maybe there's a different standard than on a normal news page? But it sure seems like just a case of old-fashioned bias favoring one side on a controversial subject that mainstream journalists have a real hard time covering fairly and accurately.
"What is this?"
For lack of a better explanation, let's chalk it up as one more example of the rampant news media bias against abortion opponents that a Los Angeles Times media writer exposed a quarter-century ago.