Honestly, there was a time about a decade ago or so when I briefly thought that mainstream journalists were making progress when it comes to offering balanced, accurate, fair-minded coverage of abortion issues. At one point there even seemed to be a growing awareness that abortion was not one of those issues that could be labeled as a strictly GOP vs. Republican issue. I mean, there are pro-life liberals out there.
During that time, I had a chance to ask the progressive Catholic pundit E.J. Dionne a question related to this topic during a Pew Forum event inside the Beltway, focusing on faith and politics. I asked him why laws and court decisions here in America protecting abortion rights at all stages of pregnancy were stronger than those in Europe. I think my phrase was "how did America end up to the cultural left of Sweden on abortion?"
A key element of Dionne's answer was that abortion-rights supporters here continue to feel threatened by the strength of their opposition, especially among conservative religious groups. Thus, they resist all efforts at compromise. There is no middle option as, to some degree, there is in parts of Europe.
The news media plays a key element in this fight, of course. You can really see this whenever there is a new threat to the current abortion-rights regime. Take, for example, the the coverage of Catholic activist David Daleiden and the undercover videos released by his Center for Medical Progress project.
Honestly, in this case your GetReligionistas have needed some kind of standing art or logo pointing readers toward the classic "Abortion Bias Seeps Into News" series back in 1990 by media critic David Shaw of The Los Angeles Times. Once again, let me note that Shaw was a supporter of abortion rights and it's crucial that his work was published in a mainstream newspaper.
I could write another piece contrasting the level of press coverage of a grand jury in Texas indicting Daleiden with the coverage produced by the news that all of the charges had been dropped.
I could do that, but I really don't have to -- because M.Z. "GetReligionista emerita" Hemingway has already done a slam dunk on this issue, over at The Federalist.