When I saw this on Twitter on Sunday I wondered how long it would be before someone took it down.
I took a screen shot and when I checked back shortly afterwards the tweet had gone. It was replaced by another with a photo of Justice Minister Andrew Little who is introducing legislation legalising abortions.
No doubt someone realised this photo was an inappropriate one to accompany such a story.
But it, unintentionally, gave a little balance to the debate by illustrating the intellectual inconsistency of one of the pro-abortion arguments – that it’s just a bunch of cells, a fetus, not a baby.
How can it be a baby when, as the photo shows, it’s wanted and loved but not a baby when it’s not; a baby if it is lost in a miscarriage and that is a reason for deep grief, but not a baby when it’s an abortion; or a painful experience when a baby dies in utero and a simple medical procedure getting rid of some cells when it’s aborted?
It can’t but we’re unlikely to see much if any discussion of this in the media, if coverage since the news broke is anything to go by. Everything I’ve read or heard so far accepts a woman’s right to choice with no consideration of a baby’s right to life.
There is an irony that Newshub’s exclusive breaking of the news showed some balance, albeit unintentionally, with that photo because as Karl du Fresne points out anyone looking for it in coverage of the debate shouldn’t hold their breath :
. . . As the abortion debate heats up, we can expect to see many more examples of advocacy journalism for the pro-abortion case. Overwhelmingly, the default position in media coverage is that the abortion laws are repressive and archaic and that reform is not only overdue but urgent.
But at times like this the public more than ever look to the media for impartial coverage. Is it too much to expect that journalists set aside their personal views and concentrate instead on giving people the information they need to properly weigh the conflicting arguments and form their own conclusions?
That accidental photo could well be as close as much of the coverage gets to impartiality and balance on this issue.