The New York Times is a great paper, a great website. Possibly it is the greatest of both, though it is just so pretentious when their reporters and writers are mandated to call it The Times. But that’s another story for another day. The New York Times is editorially liberal and that’s fine as well. This rarely impacts the quality and objectivity of its journalism.
That said, wouldn’t it be refreshing if just once The New York Times ran one of its editorials that wasn’t so blatantly absolutist when it comes to abortion?
As most no doubt know by now, anti-abortion/pro-life advocates went undercover as they met for food and drinks with a doctor from Planned Parenthood. Over wine the doctor casually spoke about extracting organs and tissue from a fetus during an abortion. It was pretty stark in its callousness toward at least some form of human life or developing life or potential life. But this, of course, was entirely avoided by The New York Times in its editorial.
The New York Times had the perfect situation – I would call it, obligation – to address abortion even-handedly. Dare I say it could have provided some reasonable perspective on the issue of abortion.
For instance, it could have asked, do we want to have a society in which the extraction of organs and tissues from a fetus is casually discussed over wine by someone considered a medical authority?
An argument often used for the collection and use of fetal organs and tissue is that they are vital to research. Research is obviously a good thing. But research does not trump all else. Late-term abortion can terminate viable life and likely causes some form of pain. (Do we really want to take on the chance on the latter?)
Planned Parenthood always downplays this fact, stating that there is just a small percentage of late-term abortions. Think about that. Officials at Planned Parenthood don’t deny the taking of life in late-term abortions or the possibility of inflicting pain on the most defenseless. They somehow rationalize killing because, well, there are so few. Few? The most conservative estimate is that at least 1,000 fetuses/infants are killed this way every year. Forgetting that the real number is likely much higher, have we truly gotten to the point in our society where so many are discarded so easily?
Instead of being abortion absolutists, why didn’t The New York Times note that very, very few individuals are universally pro-life/anti-abortion or universally pro-choice/pro-abortion?
Why does abortion remain the most intense of issues over thirty years after Roe v. Wade? Because most people support legalized early-term abortion and most people support outlawing late-term abortion. But we certainly didn’t read this in the latest NYT editorial.
It is sad that such a great paper has an editorial board that is so very slanted and closed when it comes to abortion. All its holier-than-thou criticism of others who may be the same from the other side of this issue is rendered rather hollow.