abortion restrictions

Texas is making it more difficult for women to get abortions, and Politico can't hide its concern

Texas is making it more difficult for women to get abortions, and Politico can't hide its concern

Politico reports this week on "How Texas is beating the Supreme Court on abortion."

This is a typical mainstream media treatment of abortion, as the news organization tells the story almost entirely from the perspective of pro-choice activists.

Yes, Politico quotes a few pro-life sources. But mostly, the piece frames the issue in terms favorable to the abortion-rights side.

Let's start at the top:

AUSTIN, Texas — When Texas lost a major abortion case before the Supreme Court last year, the state’s conservative lawmakers didn’t back down.
Republicans who control both chambers of the Legislature responded with about four dozen new anti-abortion bills this session, positioning the state to continue to be one of the most restrictive in the country, where women in large swaths of Texas are hundreds of miles from the nearest provider.
One proposal would ban a common second-trimester procedure. Another would bar state funding for abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood. A third would require fetal remains to be buried or cremated.
Meanwhile, dozens of clinics shuttered under the now-quashed law have remained closed, unable to muster the resources to reopen in a politically hostile, regulation-heavy environment. Texas has become the model for states that want to chip away at legal abortion until it is outlawed, while dodging court precedents that knock down laws.

Did you catch that phrasing in the last sentence?: chip away at legal abortion until it is outlawed. Is the legal really needed there? Why not not simply say chip away at abortion until it it outlawed? Am I reading too much into it or does that single word hint at Politico's pro-abortion mindset on this report?

Throughout the story, the issue is cast in terms of women having to drive farther to terminate pregnancies ... abortion clinics being forced to close down ... and pro-choice activists being galvanized to speak out.

Did anyone at Politico consider a different kind of framing, one focused, say, on the reduced number of abortions in Texas and why pro-life voters welcome this trend? Probably not.

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What is this? Houston Chronicle reports on 'costly economics of fetus disposal'

What is this? Houston Chronicle reports on 'costly economics of fetus disposal'

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

The lede:

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The key to understanding the Supreme Court decision on Texas abortion restrictions

The key to understanding the Supreme Court decision on Texas abortion restrictions

Big news today out of the U.S. Supreme Court: As the Washington Post reports, the court — in a 5-3 decision — struck down Texas abortion restrictions that had caused more than half the state's abortion clinics to close.

As always, abortion is one of those topics that mix politics and religion, no matter how hard people try to keep the topics separate. 

The New York Times notes:

The decision concerned two parts of a Texas law that imposes strict requirements on abortion providers. It was passed by the Republican-dominated Texas Legislature and signed into law in July 2013 by Rick Perry, the governor at the time.
One part of the law requires all clinics in the state to meet the standards for ambulatory surgical centers, including regulations concerning buildings, equipment and staffing. The other requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

How important is this decision? The Daily Beast is pretty excited, calling it "the biggest victory for abortion rights since Roe V. Wade."

Meanwhile, Rod "Friend of this Blog" Dreher of the American Conservative is less enthused (see his new post "Abortion Forever"), but he, too, attaches great significance to the ruling:

The bottom line, it seems to me, is that the Supreme Court will never let any state restriction stand meaningfully in the way of the Sexual Revolution. Ever. No federalism, no democracy, not when it comes to defending the Sexual Revolution.

So what should news consumers look for in the media coverage of this decision?


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