The media have an “important role to play” with abortion law and could even save lives, according to one pro-life legal leader.
On Wednesday, pro-life legal group Americans United for Life (AUL) hosted “Women Speak 2018: A Symposium on Life Without Roe” in Washington, D.C. The event investigated Roe V. Wade, the Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in 1973, from legal, medical, and cultural standpoints. Afterwards, AUL President and CEO Catherine Glenn Foster spoke with MRC Culture about the role she saw media playing during the overturn of Roe v. Wade and in life after Roe.
“The media has such an important role to play as they report on developments, they report on the law, and they report on the facts relating to abortion and life issues,” she stressed.
That’s because, she added, “the more that we see the truth about abortion, the more Americans’ minds are changing.” As an example, she pointed to a recent Gallup poll released Monday. Among other things, the poll found that Americans who identify as pro-life jumped up to 48% to tie with the 48% of Americans who identify as pro-choice.
“And then, when you look at the number of people who believe that abortion should be legal in either no or very few circumstances, that’s 53%, a majority of Americans,” she said of the poll’s others findings.
In a separate statement Wednesday, Foster wasn’t optimistic about media coverage.
"Don’t look for most of the mainstream media to run headlines saying, ‘Majority of Americans Oppose Roe v. Wade,’” she wrote, “Nor will they tout the fact that more Americans think abortion is morally wrong than are okay with it. And they certainly won’t discuss why the pro-life side is ascendant, climbing 15% since the mid-1990s."
And yet, the media’s influence could save lives with the right stories, she suggested to MRC Culture.
“When you see the media start reporting on information like that, on what’s going on in the courts, in the legislatures, with human interest stories and their peers – women who have chosen life and are succeeding and achieving great things in their lives despite abortion, or irrespective of abortion,” she continued, “all of those are stories that promote life, affirm life, and will begin to save lives.”
She added that the media should “absolutely” report more stories like those.
“We do need more of those positive stories in the media and we need the true facts about abortion, what’s really going on with the statistics, with the data, and with the law,” she concluded. “Because the more people learn about that, the more we see that they do begin to make life-affirming choices and hold life-affirming positions.”