Accuracy in Media

In a piece headlined, “More Than 200 Abortion Clinics Will Close If The Supreme Court Overturns Roe,” HuffPost worries that overturning Roe v. Wade will lead to up to 200 abortion clinics closing.

HuffPost overlooks the fact that this is rather the point of the laws likely after the overturning of Roe v. Wade – that fewer abortions will take place, therefore, there will be fewer abortion clinics. Complaining about the actual purpose does seem to be missing some of the subtlety of the original argument, really.

Well, yes, this might well be true.

“Just over a quarter of abortion clinics in the country will be forced to close, mostly because of trigger laws in the South and Midwest, according to a new report,” HuffPost reported.

“Trigger laws” is a bit of a misnomer. If – perhaps when – Roe is overturned then it will be up to the democratic processes of each state as to what the abortion laws are in that state. Some have already passed laws that do not stand under Roe, but would if Roe were overturned.

It’s possible to have any number of views on abortion itself and that’s not our point here. Nor is whether the Supreme Court is going to overturn Roe, nor even would it be right if it did. What is remarkable here is HuffPost’s assumption – closing abortion clinics is, in itself, a bad thing.

Abortion clinics will close, and the way the piece is written assumes that all readers will agree that this is a bad thing.

That’s clearly and obviously biased. Something that we can check with a very simple test. Given the post-Roe return of abortion to being a democratically decided question, some to many parts of the country are going to restrict access. That’s why those 200 clinics will close. That is, the closures are part of the peoples’ will – which makes the assumption that it’s obviously a bad thing more than somewhat suspect, doesn’t it?

HuffPost is now part of the BuzzFeed empire and still hews to its original line of being a determinedly liberal media outlet. It gains some 63 million visits a month. It’s a significant part of that progressive side of the online media.

This makes it not a great surprise, this position they take on abortion clinics. Even so, this assumption that all will agree that it’s just bad, in and of itself, that 200 will close is remarkable. For the entire point of Roe being overturned, if it is, is that abortion returns to being part of democratic politics. So why would it be bad if the people get what they vote for?




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