This week, the Supreme Court permitted the state of Kentucky to implement a law that required doctors to show and describe ultrasound images of the developing fetus, in addition to playing the sounds of the fetus’s heartbeat to women who seek an abortion. BuzzFeed’s article on the decision, headlined, “The Supreme Court Allowed A Kentucky Law Requiring A Woman To Listen To A Fetus’s Heartbeat In Order To Get An Abortion,” focused on the pro-choice argument against implementing the law.
BuzzFeed’s article briefly referred to defenders of the Kentucky law and quoted one of their lawyers, who told the Supreme Court that “[the law] does nothing more than require that women who are considering an abortion be provided with information that is truthful, non-misleading and relevant to their decision of whether to have an abortion.” BuzzFeed included a statement from the American Civil Liberties Union, which was supporting the complaint to the courts and later quoted one of its attorneys. The ACLU attorney told BuzzFeed that the law is “absolutely not” an example of what could happen in future abortion-related legal challenges.
Unlike BuzzFeed, NBC News’s recap of the law’s implementation included quotes from antiabortion and Republican sources. NBC News included a tweet from the Kentucky state GOP, which called it a “HUGE win for the pro-life movement!”
BuzzFeed also did not include the appropriate legal terms for the reader, instead referring to the decision as a ruling and a rejection of the pro-choice argument that it was violating the First Amendment. NBC News, on the other hand, noted that the Supreme Court declined to rule on the law without comment. Meaning, the Supreme Court permitted the law’s implementation and will not comment on the law itself.