The Pink Ribbon’s Black Eye

In a New York Times editorial, Ross Douthat capably points out the descrepancy between the sentiments of the nation regarding abortion and the way the media reports it:

But if you’ve followed the media frenzy surrounding the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation’s decision — which it backpedaled from, with an apology, after a wave of frankly brutal coverage — to discontinue about $700,000 in funding for Planned Parenthood, you would think all these millions of anti-abortion Americans simply do not exist.

From the nightly news shows to print and online media, the coverage’s tone alternated between wonder and outrage — wonder that anyone could possibly find Planned Parenthood even remotely controversial and outrage that the Komen foundation had “politicized” the cause of women’s health. …

Three truths, in particular, should be obvious to everyone reporting on the Komen-Planned Parenthood controversy. First, that the fight against breast cancer is unifying and completely uncontroversial, while the provision of abortion may be the most polarizing issue in the United States today. Second, that it’s no more “political” to disassociate oneself from the nation’s largest abortion provider than it is to associate with it in the first place. Third, that for every American who greeted Komen’s shift with “anger and outrage” (as Andrea Mitchell put it), there was probably an American who was relieved and gratified.

Indeed, that sense of relief was quantifiable: the day after the controversy broke, Komen reported that its daily donations had risen dramatically.

But of course, you wouldn’t know that from most of the media coverage. After all, the people making those donations don’t exist.

George Grant similarly summarizes recent trends in his forward to R.C. Sproul’s book Abortion:

Public-opinion polls conducted during the first year of the Obama administration found that 51 percent of Americans now call themselves “pro-life.” In addition, the number of Americans who favor making it more difficult to obtain an abortion is up six percentage points in just five years. In 2005, 59 percent of respondents agreed it would be good to reduce abortion. Today, 65 percent take this view…. Yet another poll found that 58 percent of Americans say abortion is morally wrong most of the time. Just 25 percent disagree, and the rest have no opinion. The poll found women are more strongly pro-life than men, with 64 percent of women asserting that most abortions are morally wrong, a view shared by 51 percent of men.

The reversal of the Komen Foundation’s decision to stop supporting Planned Parenthood indicates that though most Americans oppose abortion, the most influential Americans do not. Or the influential people who do oppose  abortion do not do so effectively or publicly enough yet. But as power shifts away from big government entitlementists and down to people who actually represent the views of Americans, those profitting from the abortion machine will be out of work.

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