Accuracy in Media

Mashable, a news media website that reaches millions of young people each month, published analysis by Alice Cartwright headlined “How telemedicine can fill the void left by ‘abortion deserts’,” yet the outlet offered no alternative analysis or reporting to her push for what she called “an exciting option” to expand abortion services. Mashable also offered no analysis discussing adoption as an alternative to abortion and no pro-life voices to counteract her criticism of pro-life lawmakers whose constituents elected them to enact legislation fitting with their values.

“Telemedicine for medication abortion has become an exciting option for increasing access to abortion care for early abortion,” Cartwright wrote. “Unfortunately, legislatures nationwide are trying to prevent the expansion of telemedicine for abortion, despite its impeccable safety record. In Kansas, for example, lawmakers recently passed the Kansas Telemedicine Act, which allows for insurance reimbursement for telemedicine services, but explicitly excludes abortion. It also has a clause that allows the entire law to be nullified if the abortion ban clause is struck down, making access to reproductive health care a bargaining chip in the effort to expand healthcare more broadly through new technology.”

Mashable allowed Cartwright to normalize abortion as a routine medical procedure, despite its hugely controversial nature, with some 68 percent of Americans saying they support some or all abortion restrictions.

“Through systematic searches, we learned what the average person would find if they “Googled” “abortion clinic near me” in every state and major city in the United States, and the results were daunting,” Cartwright wrote. “The research revealed 27 ‘abortion deserts,’ cities in the U.S. that are 100 miles or more from an abortion clinic. These 27 cities are spread out across 15 different states in the Midwest and South. Some states require women to come for pre-abortion counseling and then mandate a waiting period of up to 72 hours before the abortion, requiring two round-trips to the clinic. For what other basic medical care would we think it’s ok for people in the U.S. to travel 400 miles? These barriers are frankly too much for some women to overcome, but by examining technological advances in medicine, we can find one way to alleviate these concerning results.”

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