Martha MacCallum Promotes "Pro-Life" Abortion Shaming?
Reported by Priscilla - April 21, 2011 -
While today's right wing doesn't appear to have a problem with tax dollars funding abstinence programs that don't work, they do have a problem with tax dollar going to anything that provides reality based information about sex, birth control, and abortion to our young people. They want these topics, if presented at all, to be couched in terms of moral approbation for those youth who engage in sinful, sexual activity - and even worse, have an abortion, which the "right to life" claim is "murder" of a "baby." As the mouthpiece for the anti-choice movement, it wasn't surprising to see Martha MacCallum conduct a discussion about the latest faux outrage in the anti-choice movement which is directed toward a Massachusetts state funded website, "Mariatalks.com," which has been produced since 2008 with combined state and private funds. ($100,000 annual grant). Because the site talks about abortion in a non-judgmental and scientific manner and advises youth about the judicial bypass on "parental notification," the very judgmental pro-lifers are upset because there's no stigma on abortion. While MacCallum's discussion met the "fair & balanced" criteria for discussion, it was very apparent that MacCallum was promoting the "right to life" view. So "fair & balanced" - or more propaganda messages from Fox "News?"
MacCallum, subbing for Megyn Kelly on "America Live," set the message immediately in describing how the website "seems to downplay the seriousness of abortion." The chyron underscored the agitprop: "Taxpayer Dollars Funding Website That Downplays Abortion."(This was shown throughout the video) While admitting that there was some "good, informative stuff" on the website, she then cited the page which says that getting an abortion "is much easier than it sounds." Her guests were Linda Thayer, vice-president of educational affairs for "Citizens for Life" and Sally Cohn, founder of "Vision Lab," a "grassroots think tank." MacCallum said that, as the mother of a teenage girl, she wants young women to have necessary information; but she found it "disturbing" that the website says that "it's not as bad as it sounds." Thayer said that the website "subverts" the intent of "parental consent" because the judicial bypass was intended to be a bypass and this is a "road map." She didn't like the clinical description of abortion as "emptying out the contents of the womb." MacCallum murmured yeah, as Thayer presented anti-choice talking points which MacCallum validated by saying "you make a great point." MacCallum felt that the website was saying that after an abortion, "your body can go back to the way it was before. Like bingo. Never Happened." (The anti-choice credo is that all women who have abortion suffer from "post abortion syndrome" which the medical community has debunked).
Kohn praised the website for presenting scientific material. She asserted that the website is about information and not just about abortion. She added that if they don't get the information from the website they'll get it somewhere else. MacCallum said that she didn't "hold to that argument" and shouted that the abortion information was "disturbing" and that she had a problem with the websites "wording" about the body's rejection of a pregnancy because it is "glossing over that issue in a very big way." Kohn commented that the same people who are complaining about the website, promote abstinence only education. MacCallum said that the website had no information about abstinence and added "Don't you think that we should teach them both." Kohn responded that kids need a place to access reliable information.
There is an anti-choice meme, which has been the basis for anti-choice legislation, that women must be shown sonograms of the fetus so that they can change their minds. Thayer echoed this in her comment about how kids need to be shown sonograms of fetuses. She told a story of how one of her former students, who had undergone an abortion, was "consumed with regret" when she was shown sonograms of fetuses.
Comment: Nice to see that Martha MacCallum is doing her best to advance the "pro-life" agenda. But wait, isn't MacCallum part of Murdoch's crack "fair and balanced" "news" team?!