Aborted Fetus Photos: In the New York Times, No Less

The relentless, blanket coverage of abortionist George Tiller's murder and relatively weak coverage of pro-life activist Jim Pouillon's are examples of the media's leftist bias.

Pro-life conservatives weren't shocked, and we didn't expect anything different. But we must give credit where it's due. On Saturday, October 10, the New York Times published an uncharacteristically even-handed, A1, above-the-fold story about Pouillon and other pro-life "street activists." The article featured pro-lifers influenced by Pouillon, including a one-time abortion supporter who once accosted him. Now a pro-life Christian, the man apologized to Pouillon.

Reporter Damien Cave's snark-free article was accompanied by a post on the paper's Photography, Video, and Visual Journalism blog, which included several pictures of aborted babies. Cave, who attended Pouillon's memorial service, wrote:

The photographs are graphic and detailed, showing the fingers or toes of aborted fetuses whose entire frames are no bigger than a cell phone. Since the mid-1990s, they have appeared all over the country — carried as posters by protesters, handed out with pamphlets or, in some cases, mounted like billboards on the sides of trucks. ... Like many others, I often wondered about the source of these images. Who took the pictures? Where did the fetuses come from?

Cave met a woman named Monica Migliorino Miller, who'd found the bloody remains of aborted fetuses and unshredded private medical records in a trash bin outside an abortion clinic. The discovery led to a state investigation, and Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality found that WomanCare improperly disposed medical waste. Miller began photographing the babies. "We felt it was very important to make a record of the reality of abortion," she told the Times.

Miller also said she opposes photos of bloody and torn aborted babies, because she wants to show the "beauty and humanity in the unborn child. ... There should be a sense of pity." Operation Rescue/Operation Save America's Flip Benham disagrees. "It's a nice sentimental argument," he told the Times. "What's important is truth to us; that this is the truth."

Are abortion images news? "Abortion is a hot topic and needs to be reported not from bias held by the individual or the media outlet but simply from the facts," said Erik Whittington, director of Rock for Life, a group that encourages and participates in peaceful pro-life activism and sets up pro-life booths at concerts. "Photos are valuable tools that have been used to report on wars. So why not abortion?"