Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Abortion: Parental Consent

“The House passed a bill that would make it illegal to dodge parental-consent laws by taking minors across state lines for abortions…” That is the start of both articles by CNN and Fox. Much of the opening and closing is exactly identical and that is not surprising since they both attribute their articles to the AP. However, Fox’s article is longer and has additional information not in CNN’s article. So, what happened here? I can think of three possibilities: (1) The AP put out different versions of the articles at different times; or (2) Fox added information; or (3) CNN deleted information. I do not know what actually happened. Here is a summary of the extra in Fox’s article:

* Quotes from President Bush’s statement praising the House’s actions.

* Information about a Democratic supporter: “In another sign of the measure's new support, Democratic Rep. William Clay of Missouri, who staunchly favors abortion rights and voted against the measure in the past, voted for it on Wednesday. Clay said he switched in response to an outpouring of support for the bill from constituents in his St. Louis district. "This bill simply says that a parent has a right to know if their child is having surgery," Clay said.”

* Vote totals by party.

* This statement: “If passed by the Senate and signed by the president, the policy would represent the fifth measure since Bush took office in 2001 aimed at reducing the number of abortions.”

* A number of exceptions; i.e., life of the mother, waivers of parental notification, and “minors who have signed a written statement saying that she is a victim of sexual abuse by a parent and can back it up with documentation of having reported that abuse to a state authority.”

* This statement: “The House rejected two Democratic amendments that would have added immunity from prosecution and civil suits confidants of the minor who help transport her — such as grandparents and clergy — and others involved in the violation, such as taxicab and bus drivers.”

There was one statement in CNN’s article that was not in Fox’s: “Supporters of the interstate abortion bill say it would be worthwhile if it prevented a single abortion.”

Links to the articles:,2933,154809,00.html

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