Tuesday, February 21, 2006

"Late-term" vs. "Partial-birth" Abortion

Note: see my April 2007 update on this issue at


There are clear differences in how an abortion story is being covered. The Supreme Court has agreed to review the constitutionality of a federal law banning a certain type of procedure. Fox News ran an AP story and CNN wrote their own article. CNN uses language that is less favorable towards the federal law while Fox is more favorable. Here are three examples:

1. CNN uses the term “late-term abortion” frequently in its article including its headline. Fox on the other hand never uses that term but uses the term “partial-birth abortion.” CNN notes that “partial-birth abortion” is a term used by critics.

2. There is quite a difference as you can see in how the procedure is described:

CNN: Abortion rights groups object to the term "partial birth," and even "late-term abortion," saying the procedure is done before the fetus is viable and is performed only in the second or early third trimester, usually within 12 to 15 weeks of the start of pregnancy.

Doctors call the procedure an intact dilation and extraction, or "intact D and E."

FOX: The federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act prohibits a certain type of abortion, generally carried out in the second or third trimester, in which a fetus is partially removed from the womb, and the skull is punctured or crushed.

3. CNN quotes the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America who is against the federal law. In fact 21% (by word count) of the article is devoted to Planned Parenthood’s views. Fox notes opposition to the federal law by the president of the National Abortion Federation; 4% of its article. CNN does not quote any non-governmental groups that are in favor of the ban. Fox quotes the chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, 5% of its article.

Links to articles:



1 comment:

Steven Fankhauser said...

My nephew was born exteremely premature;in the late second trimester. You should've seen him in the hospital just after being born. He was such a beutiful little boy. He had all his fingers and toes and looked just like any other baby just smaller. He is now 6 years old and more energetic than my own 6 year old. For anyone to say a fetus in that stage or in the third trimester is not viable should come meet my nephew.