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Correcting Bias on HHS Mandate and Assisted Suicide in Today’s Fresno Bee

Today’s Fresno Bee contained two stories with a disturbingly pro-choice slant.

The first story, a New York Times piece reprinted on page 7A, has a headline shouting “Trump rule could restrict birth control.”  The piece discusses a draft version of a regulation the Trump administration is considering adopting, which would grant broad moral and religious exemptions for employers who do not wish to provide coverage for contraception and abortifacient drugs in their employee health care plans.  Obama-era regulations emanating from the Affordable Care Act required all employers to provide such coverage, although many employers (most notably the Christian-owned Hobby Lobby) successfully fought off these requirements through the courts.

The Times story focuses in excruciating detail on the impact the regulatory change will have on women seeking birth control, with copious statistics describing how many women currently get birth control from their employers.  Yet it failed to mention 1. the fact that many of the drugs in question actually end the life of a conceived child, and are thus abortifacient, not contraceptive; 2. the tremendous imposition the regulation presented to the religious freedom rights of Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, and Protestant employers who don’t want to pay for services that are widely available at low cost.  For our part, we sincerely hope the president follows through with his commitments to defend religious liberty, and finally issues this much-needed regulation.

The other story, on 6A, centered around assisted suicide, recently legalized in California.  The Associated Press story reports how 504 persons have made use of “life-ending drugs” since June 2016.  It is noteworthy that the author never uses the term “assisted suicide” at any point.

The story pays lip service to the concerns of “critics” who “say they are concerned that the option will lead to hasty decisions, misdiagnosis and waning support for palliative care” (all of which have occurred in other states that legalized assisted suicide).  Nevertheless, it ends by glowingly relating the story of Betsy Davis, a woman with ALS who was the first to take advantage of the new law, and how happy her family is with this decision.  It is obvious which side the author wants you to fall on.

The story refuses to address some of the key concerns pro-life opponents of assisted suicide have always maintained, particularly the enormous risks legalized suicide poses to people in lower-income and minority communities, who will be faced with difficult choices between expensive palliative care or inexpensive suicide.  It fails to mention the law’s lack of safeguards, its lack of strict reporting requirements, or any of its myriad other problems.

We at Right to Life of Central California want to give you the facts, because most media outlets are simply incapable of reporting pro-life stories in a fully objective or informed fashion.  We hope you’ll continue to support our educational mission!