Accuracy in Media

Large parts of the American media are entirely misinforming readers about Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R – S.C.) proposed Federal law concerning abortion.

The repeated statement is that this is a ban on abortions after 15 weeks. This is not entirely true. But this claim is made in the New York Times: “Mr. Graham’s bill, which would prohibit doctors from performing the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy.” That is incorrect.

But this is repeated in Glamour (the same piece then being run by Teen Vogue): “Senator Graham introduced legislation on Tuesday, September 13, that would ban all abortions nationwide after 15 weeks, per The New York Times.” No, It wouldn’t.

We even have at NowThis News the White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, announcing on air, that the law would have “no exceptions for health, rape or incest, that’s just what his bill would do….” which is a flat out untruth. For also at NowThis we have Graham speaking and stating that there are exceptions for the health of the mother, rape and incest. In the NowThis written piece, the point is made as well: “Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has introduced a new federal anti-abortion bill today that would ban the procedure after 15 weeks, with exceptions for rape, incest, or the pregnant person’s life.”

BuzzFeed News also gets it right: “‘I think we should have a law at the federal level that would say, ‘After 15 weeks no abortion on demand, except in cases of rape, incest, [or] to save the life of the mother,’ and that should be where America’s at,’ Graham said.”

We can even check with the proposed law itself. The exceptions start on page 11: “EXCEPTIONS.—Subparagraph (A) does not apply if— ‘‘(i) in reasonable medical judgment,  the abortion is necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, “ and so on.

Significant portions of that American media – those safeguards of democracy and freedom – are somewhere between grossly ill-informed and grossly misleading, possibly even perpetrating misinformation, on what is being proposed.

It’s possible to weep for that rock of democracy that is the media when both the White House press secretary and the New York Times are out-reported, out-truthed, by the likes of Buzzfeed News and NowThis. It’s also possible to get angry about it and that’s likely to be more productive.

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