In a shocking turn of events this week, the leak of a draft Supreme Court draft opinion showed the overturning of Roe vs. Wade. Last time this happened at the Supreme Court the networks lamented how “devastated” pro-abortion groups were.
It was April 18, 2007 and the Supreme Court, by a 5-4 ruling, upheld a ban on partial birth abortion. The ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts all fixated on the new “restriction,” not a pro-life win. On ABC’s World News, Jan Crawford (now with CBS) lamented, “Scores of women gathered at the Supreme Court to protest. Abortion rights activists were devastated.”
She worried, “Today's decision represents a seismic shift. For the first time since Roe versus Wade, the court said the government could ban a specific type of abortion procedure.”
Showcasing liberal fears of things to come, NBC Nightly News journalist Chip Reid explained that “abortion rights activists worry this may be only the start of a campaign to limit abortion rights.
The MRC Vice President for Research and Publications Brent Baker explained at the time:
The ABC and CBS stories were the least balanced since, after giving about equal time to quotes from justices on both sides and advocates on each side, the two networks added another pro-partial-birth abortion perspective. ABC's Greenburg featured the view of an “abortion provider” and CBS's Andrews showcased a woman, whose baby would have suffered and died after birth, who had a partial-birth abortion and, in tears, declared: “It's wrong for this law to exist at all. Nobody could agonize over the decision more than my husband and I did.”
Still, while biased and generally upset about the ruling, the journalistic response from reporters was nowhere near as hyperbolic as they would be in 2022 when it became clear the Supreme Court might overturn Roe vs. Wade. Journalists are even trying to hide their horror now as they shill for the pro-abortion left.
For more examples from our flashback series, which we call the NewsBusters Time Machine, go here.