Are facts really sacred for The Guardian?

Once again, the framing of abortion by mainstream news sources is deeply problematic. Adrian Horton in The Guardian online, “It’s not a little child: gynaecologists join the fight against six-week abortion bans”, quotes Dr Jen Hunter’s description of a fetal heartbeat as the “throbbing of some human tissues”, which is never challenged and renders the article seriously faulty.

You could, for example, describe an adult “heartbeat” mechanistically (and reductively) and the result would look very similar: the valves between chambers in a body’s internal organ snapping shut, making a thumping noise. However, that fails to capture exactly what is happening and the unique human life being sustained. Never once does the article mention the amazing fact that a “fetal heartbeat” is throbbing up to 121 times per minute.

There is also no reference of the Democrat-backed bills to allow effectively unrestricted abortion up until birth, most notably in New York, which illustrates the refusal of the pro-abortion lobby to see any shred of humanity in the unborn baby and celebrates their destruction.

The closest to any sort of “balancing” viewpoint is underneath in the “Related Stories” section where there is a link in “related stories” to the story of one person who supports “heartbeat bills”, Janet Porter. However, most of the article sets out to discredit her by association other controversial issues (homosexuality) and persons (Ray Moore), rather than actually quoting any arguments for defending life from the moment of conception (or the “heartbeat” being detected).

For example, the “zygote” (formed when sperm fertilises egg) is composed of human DNA and other human molecules with a genetic composition that is absolutely unique, different from any other human that has ever existed, including that of its mother (thus disproving the claim that what is involved in abortion is merely “a woman and her body”).

In that fraction of a second when the chromosomes form pairs, the sex of the new child will be determined, hereditary characteristics received from each parent will be set, and a new life will have begun.

Moreover, at about 22 days after conception the child’s heart begins to circulate his own blood and at just six weeks, the child’s eyes and eye lids, nose, mouth, and tongue have formed. None of this is mentioned in either article.

Finally, a survey of U.S. obstetricians and gynaecologists reported in February 2019 found that while nearly 3 out of 4 had a patient who wanted to end a pregnancy in the past year, fewer than 1 in 4 were willing and able to perform one themselves. How representative are the views of Dr Jen Hunter, which the Guardian article presented as authoritative and incontrovertible. Note the views of Dr Donna Harrison: “We have two patients: both the unborn child and the mother. As physicians, we’ve taken the Hippocratic oath… So we don’t kill our patients.” That is just one example of a perspective that could have provided an important balance to Adrian Horton’s one-sided propaganda piece.

We must ask again how committed are Guardian journalists to their “Facts are sacred” dictum and how concerned they really are about fair, balanced journalism.

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