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An Abortion by Any Other Name: Beatriz and the Global Anti-Choice Spin Machine

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Written by Editor in Chief Jodi Jacobson for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

See all our coverage of Beatriz here.

Yesterday in El Salvador, Beatriz (a pseudonym) had an abortion. The Catholic Church and the international anti-choice movement are desperate to deny this reality, so the anti-choice spin machine is in high gear, engaging in linguistic gymnastics to suggest otherwise.

And much of the media is taking the bait.

Beatriz had a hysterotomy, a form of abortion carried out through c-section, and a procedure of such high risk compared to other forms of abortion, and of such last resort, according to medical experts, it is practically never performed in the United States. What is known beyond a doubt is that having forced Beatriz into a situation of having a late abortion, the government of El Salvador, Catholic Bishops, and anti-choice groups in the country (and those supporting them from the outside) unquestionably privileged a non-viable fetus over the life and long-term health of the primary patient, a woman who wanted to -- in fact begged to -- live.

In parroting what anti-choicers and the government of El Salvador are saying, many media outlets are glossing over and ignoring what actually happened in El Salvador. As a result, otherwise highly regarded media sources such as the New York Times,Salon, the Associated Press, The Guardian, and Reuters are helping to perpetuate lies that defy both medical evidence and public health data and that support dangerous policies under women all over the world continue to lose their lives.

 

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