The Media, Hollywood and the Pro-life Cause
By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
Ronald Reagan said, “I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.” In that context, one fascinating banner at the recent March for Life referred to the “survivors” of the abortion on demand mentality. A Christian pro-life ministry exists to rally the living on behalf of those being denied the right to life.
But the odds are that you didn’t hear or read anything about their presence at this massive demonstration.
The group, Liberty Counsel, notes that the controversy over deflating footballs has garnered enormous media coverage, but the annual anti-abortion March for Life on January 22 got little attention.
“The network media snubbed hundreds of thousands of participants who journeyed to Washington, D.C., to mark the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. NBC and ABC completely ignored the March, and CBS dedicated 15 seconds,” Liberty Counsel pointed out in a message to supporters.
The group went on, “The intentional refusal to report on hundreds of thousands of people—dominated by youth—standing for life in our nation’s Capital is irresponsible.”
As both a regular participant in the March for Life and a media critic, I anticipated this virtual black-out. That’s why I went myself, armed with a video camera. If you’re tired of the coverage of deflated footballs, you can watch my short video from the March for Life that captures only a small part of the demonstration. The crowd was full of young people.
I tried to find the most interesting signs and banners, such as, “There’s nothing progressive about killing the innocent.” This banner shows the moral bankruptcy of the modern-day “progressives” who insist that unborn children have no rights.
I also liked “Je suis un enfant un naitre,” French for “I am a preborn child.” Delegations from France and Italy were at the rally.
But while the networks didn’t cover the march, it should be noted that Hollywood last year actually produced a pro-life film, “Gimme Shelter,” with powerful acting performances and well-known actors. The critics panned it. The audiences loved it.
Based on a true story, “Gimme Shelter” is about a pregnant teenager who finds help in a Catholic shelter for unwed mothers.
In real life, Kathy DiFiore turned her own New Jersey home into that shelter for mothers and their babies. She met with President Reagan, who thanked her for what she was doing. In the film, viewers catch a glimpse of the photo of Kathy Difiore and Reagan, taken on January 22, 1988, another anniversary of the March for Life.
DiFiore writes about the day that photo was taken, saying she told Reagan, “You are doing what our Founding Fathers did. You are bringing us back to God’s values. That is what you are doing and we thank you for that.”
Reagan told Kathy DiFiore and other members of the pro-life group meeting with him in the White House that the decision legalizing abortion-on-demand was wrong because “these children are already human beings [and] are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” He referred to remarks he had made in a telephone call to the March for Life, discussing how 24 prestigious doctors had responded to his comments that “These babies are human beings.”
Those were some of the comments he had made about unborn children feeling pain during an abortion. They deserve more attention, now that a vote on the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” was sabotaged by Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC).
At the time he made these remarks, Reagan had said, “there was an outcry—enraged criticism and angry denials. But criticism wasn’t the only response.”
The entire text included these comments about the science behind the observation that unborn children feel pain during abortions. Reagan said, “It so happened that I received a letter signed by 24 medical doctors, including eminent physicians like the former chief of pediatrics at the St. Louis City Hospital and the president of the New York State Medical Society. They discussed recent advances in medical technology and concluded: ‘Mr. President, in drawing attention to the capability of the human fetus to feel pain, you stand on firmly established ground.’”
A master communicator, Reagan effectively rebutted the “progressive” argument that the unborn have no rights. He said, “…our opponents tell us not to interfere with abortion. They tell us not to impose our morality on those who wish to allow or participate in the taking of the life of infants before birth. Yet no one calls it imposing morality to prohibit the taking of life after a child is born. We’re told about a woman’s right to control her own body. But doesn’t the unborn child have a higher right, and that is to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Or would our critics say that to defend life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is to impose morality? Are we to forget the entire moral mission of our nation through its history?”
Today, however, the Reagan vision has been abandoned, even by some in the conservative media.
The Fox Business Network just gave a former MTV personality, who calls herself “Kennedy,” an hour a night to promote her extreme libertarian views. Regarding her abandonment of the conservative label, she has said, “Social conservatism was really bringing me down.” She became a “Gary Johnson libertarian,” named after the pro-pot, former New Mexico governor. Her book features a photo of her virtually naked on a horse, and even the table of contents is marked by obscenities.
Put forward as a role model for young people, she is a supporter of same-sex marriage and “pro-choice” on abortion. That is, “pro-choice” for the mother and not her child.
She says, “Abortion, to me, is an issue of personal responsibility.” No. Based on any objective standard, this issue involves two people.
The Daily Beast reports that Kennedy, “in a notorious appearance as a presenter on the 1994 Video Music Awards—simulated oral sex on her microphone. This, while an unsuspecting Rudy Giuliani, then mayor of New York, stood beside her on camera and, oblivious to Kennedy’s lewd sideshow, blathered on about how great it was to have the awards show back in Manhattan.”
A much better pick for a program on Fox would have been any of the young women leaders in the pro-life movement such as Kristan Hawkins, Lila Rose, or Kristina Garza.
In response to the virtual media blackout of the March for Life, Lila Rose of Live Action said, “The continued media blackout on abortion disregards the primary obligation of journalism: to accurately report, investigate, and tell truth without bias. While mainstream media perpetuate a silence on the March for Life, the unjust killing of 3,000 preborn children in the womb by abortion continues each and every day. We must speak for society’s littlest and weakest members, and give voice to those who are the victims of the greatest human rights abuse of our day.”
Wouldn’t it be great to have a young female pro-life voice like that on either the Fox News Channel or the Fox Business Network?
Instead, the trend is to go in a libertarian direction and play down those “divisive” social issues. Being pro-abortion, pro-gay, and pro-pot is now the “in” thing. This constitutes another attempt at demoralizing the pro-life side.
In his book, Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation, Reagan told pro-lifers not to lose hope. “Despite the formidable obstacles before us, we must not lose heart,” he said. “This is not the first time our country has been divided by a Supreme Court decision that denied the value of certain human lives.”
He added, “…we know that respect for the sacred value of human life is too deeply engrained in the hearts of our people to remain forever suppressed.”
But the abortion industry and its defenders in the media are doing their best to keep this sacred value suppressed, by outright ignoring it.