Whenever media coverage is fair, pro-life case for life shines

By Dave Andrusko

NARAL-Prez-HogueElsewhere today at NRL News Today, NRLC Director of Communications Derrick Jones writes about the media coverage of the 45th National Right to Life Convention. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Outside the immediate context of our three-day educational extravaganza in New Orleans, what, in general, would constitute a balanced story on abortion? You could argue, for example, that such a report would include comments from both sides, commentary from a “neutral” third party, and an unwillingness to caricature the pro-life perspective.

Using those criteria, a ten-minute report on ABC’s Nightline more that fills the bill. And in this case it advertently goes above and beyond.

Let’s talk about ABC reporter Gloria Rivera’s piece, which is built around interviews with two young female pro-life leaders (Live Action President Lila Rose and Students for Life President Kristan Hawkins ) and a rebuttal (so to speak) from NARAL President Ilyse Hogue (http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/video/young-faces-anti-abortion-movement-32348116).

Rivera begins her story using the 2015 March for Life as a backdrop. It would be impossible to think of an event that better illustrates how young people are flocking to the pro-life side. The March, held each year in Washington, DC, attracts a huge audience–estimates range from 100,000 to 250,000– most of whom are young folks.

But the best part of the program is poor Hogue’s rebuttal. Even though Rivera is priming Hogue with sympathetic questions, seated passively on a chair in a studio, the contrast between her remarks and the pro-lifers’ high energy responses is impossible to miss.

Sure the young women are “charismatic” and “look great,” she concedes. But their core beliefs, Hogue insisted, are “old and outdated and still out of touch with mainstream Americans.”

Hogue’s told Rivera that pro-lifers “abandoned” their old message (or more specifically, old messaging) because we were “losing.” But because our “core beliefs” are out of touch with the American people, all it’s really accomplished is to rally the “silent majority.” (I guess passage of hundreds of laws that pro-abortionists such as Hogue lament on a daily basis doesn’t count.)

Let’s deconstruct what Hogue is saying and see if there are any points of contact between her arguments and reality.

The reason the Pro-Life Movement could endure years in the desert (see presidents such as Clinton and Obama) is because of the rightness of our cause, our multi-front operation that extends from the local neighborhood through the state legislatures to the halls of Congress, and our willingness to win what we can today (and just a little more than anyone expected!) and come back to take the next step forward in the next legislative session or the next election.

Hogue is right in that our core message hasn’t changed: we are in it for the unborn baby and her mother, and we are in it for the long haul. The difference is that over 42 years of abortion on demand have come with a steep price–over 57 million unborn lives lost and untold numbers of women emotionally and physically maimed– that is so egregious that, coaxed by the pro-life movement, the public is moving steadily in the direction of life.

Hogue’s argument, in effect, is that we have overshot the mark, causing a reaction. But in fact, the only “silent majority” is the American public, a majority of which opposes the reasons for which at least 90% (maybe 95%) of all abortions are performed.

Come to any of National Right to Life’s annual conventions, or to our office where interns and members of the NRLC Academy are learning how to argue the case for life, and you will see why every so often NARAL gets so frustrated it allows the truth to escape: they are fading, our Movement is thriving.

Quick final thought. The (almost) obligatory “neutral” third party was absent from Rivera’s report. Why is that important? Because almost without exception, this “expert” will hew to the pro-abortion line while donning the mask of objectivity.

Great NRLC convention, great Nightline report.