There are certain topics you just can’t trust the mainstream media with. Abortion is surely one of them. Whenever the MSM deals with the subject, more often than not it is a terribly biased and one-sided affair.
We know why this is, of course. Numerous studies have shown that those in the media tend to be mainly of the left, are for the most part secular, and have drunk deeply from the feminist worldview. So it is not surprising that a pro-death slant will be found in much of the MSM coverage of the issue.
A good example of this was found in the Herald Sun, Saturday, August 25. There in the opinion section was a large two-page spread on the issue, featuring three articles by three different authors. Entitled, “Abortion: Dividing Lines,” it was meant to allow the abortion debate to be played out to its readers.
But consider how the debate was staged. First of all, two of the three writers were pro-death, so from the very beginning, it was a lop-sided affair. Two to one is not exactly a fair and even-handed debate.
But also consider how the various writers were described. We had the infamous Peter Singer, described as “the Ethicist”. We had pro-abortionist Susie Allanson, described as “the Psychologist,” while Denis Hart was labelled “the Archbishop”.
Now what’s wrong with that? While Archbishop Hart did a fine job of defending the pro-life position, it might have been better to allow a pro-lifer not so intimately tied up with the Catholic Church to make the case. In a secular age, simply to have an ethicist and a psychologist pitted against a Catholic will prejudice the debate for many.
That is, many readers will think, here we have two capable professionals, without any religious baggage, taking on someone who is obviously biased: a Catholic. Now I think a religious person can make as good a case as any on an issue like abortion, and I also think people like Singer have their own religious baggage, even if it is secular humanism. But for the average reader, the impression will none the less be given that we have two objective experts versus one bigoted religious fanatic. So the very choice of debaters sets out a very unbalanced debate.
But consider also the arguments. Peter Singer is a well-known atheist, utilitarian and animal rights campaigner. He is also well known as being pro-abortion, pro-euthanasia, and even pro-infanticide.
In his article he is happy to make one concession: “In a strictly biological sense, the opponents of abortion are right to say that abortion ends a human life.” But then he goes on to argue that even though it is a human life, it is not a person, so it still can be bumped off.
I have dealt with this sort of philosophical sleight-of-hand elsewhere. Singer arbitrarily assigns personhood only to those who meet certain criteria. Thus even a new-born baby is not necessarily a person, in Singer’s view, unless it passes certain tests, enabling it to be qualified to live.
He of course dropped this test when his own mother was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Then he waived his secular utilitarian philosophy, and did everything he could to comfort his mother and keep her alive, when he should have freed up her hospital bed for someone more “deserving:” a “real person”.
It is no surprise that when Singer seeks to speak in places like Germany, he is roundly booed, since they know all about eugenics, and the redefinition of personhood. Singer’s worldview has eerie parallels with, and reminders of, the Nazi experiment.
The other pro-death author, Susie Allanson, started off rather poorly. Indeed, it is a sign of not having much of a case to make, when a person instead resorts to name-calling and abuse. And that is what Susie does. She takes Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt to task for an earlier piece he had written on abortion. She said, “I don’t know about you, but I choked on my breakfast as I did a double take on Bolt’s obscene, ignorant and sexist comments”.
Nothing like abusing a person instead of addressing the arguments. The pro-death camp is rather good at this however. They have turned it into something of an art form. They cannot deny the clear medical and scientific evidence about unborn babies, so they have to resort to shouting at their opponents, hoping that will somehow pass for rational argument.
But Susie really shoots herself in the foot big time very early in her article. This is what she says: “I wondered whether our governments would ever fulfil their human rights obligations to women according to UN declarations Australia has signed. These include the right to life, liberty and security (1948), privacy (1966), freedom from discrimination and gender discrimination (1948/1979), health, and reproductive health and family planning (1979).”
Did you get that? The right to life? That is the very thing she wants to deny not only females, but males, when they are in the womb. There is no right to life for the unborn, according to Ms Allanson, yet she says we should be championing such a right!
It obviously did not occur to this pro-abortionist that she had made an amazing blunder here. But clear thinking is not always the hallmark of this crowd. So obsessed are they with pushing their agenda, that they won’t let a bit of intellectual inconsistency get in their way.
It’s amazing how ideology will blind a person to reality and common sense. Ms Allanson is so committed to her “right to choose,” that she has become blinded not only to the major fallacies in her own argument, but the complete barrenness of her worldview.
By having a pathological fixation on such nebulous concepts as ‘choice,’ she ignores the fact that the unborn certainly have no choice in this debate as to whether they live or die. But ideologues and secular humanists were never known for their concerns for real, individual humans, only for abstract classifications of people.
Denis Hart was left to add a little bit of sense and realism to the debate. He rightly noted that we need to help both mother and child: “Many women suffer the terrible post-abortion problems of a troubled soul. Many of their relationships flounder. Our heart goes out to them. Through our social agency networks, we wish to offer alternatives for women who find they have an unplanned pregnancy or who are challenged by the continuing responsibility of parenthood.”
He continues, “Rarely have we found that women really wanted to abort the child within. Society must give them real choices other than abortion. We wish, as a church, to assist here. There is a link between helping women and the child within and the health of our society. Protect suffering pregnant women and you protect society. Offer cheap abortion options and you cheapen the society we share.”
At least he got a hearing. But he was still outnumbered two to one. But I guess we should be grateful for small mercies in the MSM. At least he got to make his case. But the media can and should certainly lift its game here. But just don’t hold your breath.