Post-Roe, educating the press means answering some very strange inquiries

By Laura Echevarria, Director of Communications and Press Secretary

Editor’s note. This appeared in the October issue of National Right to Life News. Please share this edition with your pro-life family and friends. Share any thoughts with daveandrusko@gmail.com.

It’s never surprising to see the press latch onto the most sensational aspects of a story angle but since the Dobbs decision in June, we’ve seen stories on abortion that have been shocking in how tangential, biased, bizarre, and even unrelated they are to the abortion issue. 

Many media requests we have received are a direct result of misinformation campaigns pushed by pro-abortion groups. While dealing with reporters asking these questions, we’ve found that many reporters do not fully understand the law, do not understand the distinction that an abortion is the deliberate killing of a living unborn child, or they do not have a basic understanding of the development of a baby in utero.

Some of the strange topics we’ve been asked include:

  • the impact Dobbs will have on fetal surgery; 
  • the impact of Dobbs on stem cell research;
  • the impact in a post-Roe world with abortion bans that may cause (any or all of these, depending on the reporter): maternal mortality rates to go up, a decrease in medical colleges training students in abortion, the financial cost to states that deny abortions, and the impact on military recruitment if women are not able to get abortions in the military;
  • Connected to the medical schools’ question was the reporter’s comment that a decrease in medical schools that offer abortion training would—in the reporter’s mind—impact treatment for ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages.

Astonishingly, even after explaining that the point of an abortion is to kill a living unborn baby and that fetal surgery is seen as an unborn-baby-as-the-patient surgical procedure designed to save an unborn baby’s life by repairing a life-threatening condition, the reporter thought Dobbs could cause doctors to fear repercussions if the baby died because of the surgery. 

Reporters asking about embryo stem cell research were told that the most promising research—with known successes—is research based on adult stem cells. 

Our response to reporters asking about maternal mortality rates was to point to studies that showed that maternal mortality was not decreased by abortion and that the way maternal mortality information is compiled is different from how information regarding mortality from abortion is compiled. The idea that “abortion is safer than childbirth” is misinformation put out by abortion promoters.

We were stunned by the reporter who crassly asked about the potential impact on state budgets in light of the Dobbs decision impacting the number of women having abortions in that state. The reporter thought that the burden would be greater in states that passed protective legislation and that those states would have to increase aid benefits. The assumption here was that largely poor women had abortions and that preventing abortions would cause an increase in the state budget to provide aid. 

For this reporter, we responded with information about how much money pregnancy centers save states every year through generous donations from pro-life individuals, churches, and businesses. We also pointed out that human lives cannot be weighed in a balance to determine if those lives have “worth” in the state budget. In addition, our safety/aid nets for women facing pregnancy are riddled with issues because of abortion on demand.

With the question regarding the military, we pointed out that whether a woman entered the military or not likely did not hinge or whether abortion was available. 

And lastly, for the reporter asking about medical schools training abortionists and how this would impact treatments for miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies, this required educating the reporter on medical procedures and abortion. 

And lastly, for the reporter asking about medical schools training abortionists and how this would impact treatments for miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies, this required educating the reporter on medical procedures and abortion. Abortion is the deliberate taking of a human life. In a miscarriage, the baby, sadly, has already passed and is no longer alive so any treatment is not an abortion. In an ectopic pregnancy, the baby implants in the fallopian tube and cannot be saved but the mother can be by removing the fallopian tube and, with it, the unborn baby. Medical doctors have been doing these procedures and treatments without abortion training because they are trained in the same surgical techniques. A doctor doesn’t have to do abortions to know how to treat a miscarriage

Media calls and interviews we receive often involve not only answering the reporter’s question but also educating a reporter about basic fetal development, how federal and state laws work, and what is involved in an abortion. Every encounter with a reporter is an opportunity to educate—if they are willing to listen.