Friday, February 24, 2006

Highs and lows at the Beeb

Today, in an article headlined Could this be the end of Roe v Wade, the BBC's Clare Murphy discusses South Dakota's passage of a law apparently designed to eventually challenge the Supreme Court's infamous abortion ruling from 1973. The article is in many respects a rehash of another Murphy article which TAE noted and praised back in November, but it is worth praising again. Murphy explicitly notes something that the pro-abortion lobby (and its proxies in the media) goes to great lengths to obfuscate, namely that an end to Roe v Wade does not mean the end of access to abortion in the US. She even notes:

But the battle would take place in state legislatures, and that, to an increasing number of pro-choicers, may be no bad thing.

It would force them to argue their case with voters at the state level, so the thinking goes, and stop them relying on unelected courts to impose their views. Abortion rights would finally have a firm, democratic foundation.

The fact that current abortion policy has been imposed by courts rather than elected representatives, thus removing it from the arena of political compromise, is the single most important cause making abortion the highly contentious and polarizing issue that it currently is. An end to Roe will be the first step in establishing an abortion policy which will help prevent the festering of political grievances that judicial-fiat rulings tend to engender.

Murphy should be commended for presenting a reasonable and balanced profile of the abortion issue as it currently stands in the US, and for avoiding the more typical BBC meme of using the issue as a hook on which to hang yet another story about the rise of the dreaded religious right.

Less commendable was the BBC's response to TAE today on another abortion article. Earlier this week the BBC ran an article on the Supreme Court's decision to hear an appeal of a lower court's ruling that the federal law banning partial-birth abortions is unconstitutional. The opening line of that article claimed that "The US Supreme Court says it will rule on whether to uphold the first federal ban on an abortion procedure since terminations were made legal in 1973." This implies that there was a federal ban on abortions prior to 1973, which is simply untrue. Prior to 1973, abortion policy was decided by state legislatures, and hence whether or not abortion was legal varied from state to state. In many states abortion was already legal even before Roe, a point which, if understood, tends to put the lie to the alarmist claims of the pro-abortion lobby regarding the possible end of Roe.

TAE pointed this out to the BBC via its on-line complaints procedure, and today the BBC responded with the following:

I understand you feel that the opening paragraph in a BBC News article about
abortion in the USA is factually incorrect.

I can assure you that factual accuracy is the essence of news reporting and the BBC aspires to the very highest standards of journalism but in many cases, particularly with breaking news stories, facts can be scarce or conflicting.

Nevertheless I do realise the frustration this supposed error must have caused. Therefore please be assured that your complaint has been registered and placed on an audience log which is made available to all members of the BBC and a copy of your e-mail forwarded for the attention of the BBC News team.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact the BBC with your complaint.

Regards
Louise O'Doherty
BBC Information

Have you got that? It is apparently the considered judgment of Ms O'Doherty that the status of abortion in the US prior to 1973, and the nature of the court ruling that has been the subject of intense analysis and debate for 23 years (update: ahh, I mean 33!) since then, is in fact a "breaking" story about which facts are "scarce" and/or "conflicting". Either that, or Louise is nothing more than a computer program pumping out automated responses to e-mails that no one ever reads or pays any attention to. Either way, it rather shows the BBC's claims to "research" the issue, "listen to your concerns", and "learn from all complaints" to be the farce that they apparently are.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad for the fetus-humpers' argument that there's no such thing as a "partial-birth abortion." It's called a D&X, and contrary to what the anti-choice crowd says, it's only ever done in the case of a severely deformed baby that wouldn't survive, such as an anencephalic one. And, contrary to the right's opinion that all women who have abortions are chyuld-hatin' sluts who go get scrapes as easily as they order takeout (I guess that includes their own womenfolk), any woman who has remained pregnant well into the ninth month obviously wanted a baby.

But, oh, that's right...gotta keep that sucker on life support at taxpayer expense for 20+ years until it expires on its own, because "GAWWWWWWD IS TEH AUUUUUTHOR OF LYYYYUFFFF!!!" Even if it doesn't have a brain. Well, I guess it could always go to work for NewsMax or WingNutDaily or something...

6:46 PM  
Blogger Jack Bauer said...

Anonymous is, of course, a moonbat know-nothing or liar. Probably both. And you can tell he's a psycho by his use of the term "fetus humper". Ay, what a grand lad he is. So tolerant.

The term "partial birth abortion" is used to describe a procedure that should be properly described as infanticide --that's baby murder, moonbat anon.

This is what happens while the baby's head has led the birth canal, but its body remains, the "doctor" (or should one say D. Mengele) punctures the head with a sharp needle, then sucks the brain out.

Of course, the extreme left wing moonbats who are obsessed with killing babies (they're always against capital punishment for child killers, fox-hunting and fishing though) get hysterical at the thought that some actual human beings might think this is a disgusting procedure worthy of the Nazis -- like anon.

During congressional hearings on partial-birth abortion, Brenda Schafer, a registered nurse for 13 years, testified before a Senate committee on her horrifying experience attending a partial birth abortion. The following is an except from her testimony:

"(The doctor) delivered the baby's body and the arms, everything except the head. The doctor kept the baby's head just inside the uterus. The baby's little fingers were clasping and unclasping, and his feet were kicking. Then the doctor stuck the scissors through the back of his head, and the baby's arms jerked out in a flinch, a startled reaction, like a baby does when he thinks he might fall. The doctor opened up the scissors, stuck a high-powered suction tube into the opening and sucked the baby's brains out. Now the baby was completely limp."

4:08 PM  
Anonymous mamapajamas said...

True, Jack. I'd like to add here that doctors have testified that there is NO situation where a partial-birth abortion is safer than a cesarian section since the shoulders, not the head, are the hardest part to deliver, so the "save the mother's life" by killing the baby with its head undelivered is a crock.

In any case, the article is mainly about abortion in general, and the status of Roe v Wade. The BBC's error was the notion that abortion was illegal before Roe. It wasn't illegal federally, it was considered to be in the jurisdiction of the States because it isn't specifically identified in the Constitution as a federal matter.

If Roe is overturned, abortion is NOT going to be made illegal automatically, it will merely return the decision to the States, and I can't think of ANY state that would outlaw abortions altogether. Virtually all of them will undoubtedly keep the "mother's life" caveat intact, even if it's banned otherwise. And a number of states will not ban anything about it at all. So you can't get an abortion for convenience in Utah, where the Mormons run things? So go to California, which will undoubtedly keep abortions legal.

The overturn of Roe would put the descision back under the power of the states, where our voices are 50 times louder than they are in Washington. And that's the way a democracy should run.

Want to keep abortions legal at the federal level? Write a Constitutional amendment saying so, and then try to get it ratified. THAT is the legal way to do it. Roe was always an illegal, unConstitutional decision that bypassed the people in favor of judicial fiat.

11:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's the (ab)use of language which is the thing to savour. Lousie "understands" that "you feel" the intro is inaccurate. How soothing, Louise understands your feelings.

But Louise, it's not about feelings, it's about accuracy. There's a right answer and a wrong answer, and the BBC has the given the wrong answer.

And later on, "I do realise the frustration this supposed error must have caused." You can almost picture her trembling lower lip, the tear-drop perhaps just beginning its sad journey down her cheek as she writes it.

Someone might perhaps point out that the BBC Complaints procedures are not there as some therapeutic help for poor, sensitive Scott, but as a means for calling to account an arrogant organisation staffed by people who seemingly can't tell truth from their own invention.

What's needed is not therapy for Scott, but discipline and standards for the BBC's journalists. Oh yes, and an organisation willingness to apologize without weaseling when they are caught getting it wrong.

- Michael Taylor

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, fundie fetus-humpers, for proving my point. "OMFG! He's [actually, I'm female] a moonbat! He wants to kill DA PWESHUS BAYYYYBEEEZZZ!!!!!!"

No, I just to control my own fertility, fucknut. And no, "keep your legs crossed" isn't the right answer. I'm an adult female and, as such, I deserve to have a good shag now and then without having to turn into a goddamned baby machine. Maybe this is alien to you ghod-botherers, but some of us females have no maternal instincts whatsoever and DON'T WANT CHILDREN.

"Use birth control," you say? Ya. Your side's trying to take that away too (cf. "Pharmacists for Lyyyyuffff").

As for Brenda Schafer, unless she happened to work for a doctor with a particularly shoddy practice, I wonder how much the fetus-humping movement is paying her to come up with that bullshit. I also note that when I enter her name into Google, I get a measly four pages of hits...the majority from anti-choice "ministries." My friends who are doctors and nurses disagree with her assessment of D&X.

Oh, and I'm also pro-capital punishment, pro-hunting, and pro-fishing. Not to mention pro-war in Iraq, anti-taxes, and pro-gun. But please, keep on spewing your dittohead talking points. I like it when anti-choice retards shit their pants in terror at the idea that women might go unpunished for having (and enjoying!) non-reproductive sex.

Which we won't, no matter how hard the patriarchs try.

1:29 PM  
Blogger Scott Callahan said...

Pro-choice anon,

I would generally delete such a profanity laced tirade, but I think your views deserve to be aired. In fact, I think your views, and particularly your way of expressing them, ought to get much more exposure. It would be very, very useful, I think, if you were to become a prominent and public spokesperson for legal abortion. You would do wonders for the cause.

Until that happens, however, allow me to disabuse you of one faulty notion under which you seem to labor. You suggest that your embrace of legal abortion is derived from a desire to "control my own fertility". I hate to break this to you, but if you are in need of an abortion due to an unwanted pregnancy, you've already failed to control your own fertility. The issue at that point is simply a question of what you are going to do with the result of your failure, or what is more commonly known as a baby.

SC

2:20 PM  
Blogger Jack Bauer said...

Scott --

Thanks for breaking your decency rule and publishing the harpy's moonbat leftoid rantings. Anyone who uses a phrase which imagines sex with an unborn child has way more problems than even her posts hint at.

She is against torture though (based on erroneous information it must be said). She just doesn't extend that golden rule to babies. Or fish.

It's a funny old world.

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