After Kansas passed SB 95, “The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act,” I’ve taken numerous calls from the media about the new law. Those phone interviews inevitably end with a final question to me, “What’s next?”
Mentally, I respond AARGH! This is the kind of question reporters ask a sports team manager after a winning season so he can offer hints about trading players, new game tactics, and other items meant to keep fans interested.
But pro-life advocacy is not a game where we try to keep pro-lifers engaged by teasers about next year’s legislative agenda. Pro-lifers are keenly interested in what is taking place right now even as they are thoroughly engaged for the long haul–until Roe is undone.
Rather, what I have been telling reporters is that Kansans for Life is focused on pursuing the public education campaign about SB 95 which has been muzzled by the mainstream media.
Our immediate concern is clarifying what exactly this law does by revealing what factually occurs in a dismemberment abortion. Most news reporting has failed to explain to readers that SB 95 outlaws abortions in which living unborn children get torn apart in their mother’s wombs with sharp metal tools until they bleed to death.
There is some surprise when I point out to them that even though the bill was signed into law on Tuesday—no small feat by a long stretch, believe me — the impact of this law cannot fully be appreciated until the facts about it, which have been largely suppressed, become widely known.
With rare exceptions, the mainstream media has partnered with abortion advocates to hide the facts about this barbaric, inhumane “procedure,” and have framed their reporting to talk about anything but what happens and to whom. This is the same obfuscation that occurred in the decade prior to 2007 when the Supreme Court upheld the ban on the gruesome partial-birth abortion method.
Do I have examples? Many. Here’s one.
The day after Gov. Sam Brownback signed the bill banning dismemberment abortions into law, what was on the front page of the Topeka Capital Journal (the sole newspaper for the capital of Kansas)? News (and photos) about an upcoming local high school play.
On page 2, the headline in the Capital Journal read “Brownback signs abortion bill.” [WHAT abortion bill?] The subhead in small, fainter type did say “Legislation bans ‘dismemberment’ procedure in state.” The continuation of the story on page 3 had a large two- line header, “Abortion: legal action may follow.” This advances the abortion industry’s prized meme—abortion is nothing but politics and lawsuits.
Just imagine if the second headline had read instead, ‘Illegal to tear apart unborn babies.’ Better yet, imagine if thousands of people sipping their morning coffee saw that truth on the front page.
Since its introduction in January, SB 95 has routinely been headlined as a ‘ban on a common form of abortion’ or a ‘ban on second-trimester abortions.’ That inability to convey the crucial point of the law was demonstrated in the Tuesday Associated Press article used by most mainstream TV reports and other international outlets. In that story, the opening sentence read that Kansas had banned, “a common second-trimester abortion procedure that critics describe as dismembering a fetus.”
“That critics describe?” Well, what is the average reader to think about that? That the “critics” (assumed to be pro-life advocates) are creating meanings that don’t exist? Accurate news reporting would have quoted the law’s definitional section:“knowingly dismembering a living unborn child and extracting such unborn child one piece at a time from the uterus through the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments.”
Note, also, the 2000 Stenberg ruling, where Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy quoted abortionist LeRoy Carhart. In describing this abortion “technique,” Carhart used the terms ‘dismember’ and ‘dismemberment.’ Yet, the public is told that only abortion “critics”— not the law itself, or abortionists, or judges –have chosen the terms. The implication, of course, is that we made it up!
The ENTIRE point of the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act is to wake up America to the true victim of abortion- the inhumanely shredded unborn child! It is not, as the media prefers to discuss, how abortionists and their spokeswomen feel.
Note to media: once you fully and accurately explain this law and its impact, we might start thinking about next year’s agenda.