Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Counting Commentaries On Roe V Wade

Today’s the 35th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision of Roe V. Wade. For me, it’s an anniversary that is both worth celebrating and also a good time to take an annual stock of our pro-choice rights.

Since newspapers love anniversaries I wanted to see what is running in the country’s op-eds and editorials today about Roe V. Wade, and reproductive rights in general. I’m only looking at op-eds and editorials (not news articles and not items like newspaper blogs). And I’m only looking at January 22. I’ll be updating the list consistently throughout the day, the plan is to examine at least two major papers in every state, but also to survey some smaller papers.,

So far here is what I’ve found: Out of 41 papers surveyed (so far) only 7 ran anything about Roe’s anniversary. Here is the breakdown so far.

Washington Post
One column “Political Orphans In 2008; Is There Space for Our Pro-Life Ethic?” by a Catholic couple, Liz McCloskey and Peter Leibold, who bemoan the fact that the Democratic party -- which they feel is a better fit for their values than the Republican party -- is dismissive and unwelcoming to their anti-choice views.

LA Times
One column “Abortion's battle of messages; It's not 1973. Pro-choice forces must adjust to regain the moral high ground” by Frances Kissling, a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, is the former president of Catholics for a Free Choice and Kate Michelman is the former president of NARAL Pro-Choice America and the author of "Protecting the Right to Choose."

A pro-choice editorial “Roe, 35 years later; The landmark abortion ruling is established law. Overturning it would cause severe upheaval.”

Denver Post
One column “Abortion Debate Is Changing” by a regular Denver Post columnist, David Harsanyi. It’s emphasis that abortions should be rare and suggests that the morning after pill be a "palatable compromise to later-term abortions."

Philadelphia Inquirer
Two columns (one pro-choice, one anti-choice) The anti-choice column, “Violating Rights of Unborn” is by Marybeth T. Hagan, the author of "Abortion: A Mother's Plea for Maternity and the Unborn."

The pro-choice column, “Let's Support A Set of Choices” is by Melissa Weiler Gerber is executive director of Women's Way, and Ann Fessler is author of The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade.

Chicago Sun-Times
One editorial “After 35 years, foes erode 'Roe'”

Tallahassee Democrat
One pro-choice column, “Rather than attacking abortion rights, help prevent the need,” by Staci Fox, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of North Central Florida.

Akron Beacon Journal
One column “A Growing Aversion To Abortion” by a Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman. Entirely anti-choice.

Papers without any editorials or op-ed columns on Roe’s Anniversary
Albuquerque Journal
Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Republic
Atlanta Constitution Journal
Austin American Statesman
Baltimore Sun
Boston Globe
Boulder Daily Camera
Chicago Tribune
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Dallas Morning News
Houston Chronicle
Jackson Clarion Ledger
Kansas City Star
Las Vegas Review Journal
Lincoln Journal Star
Louisville Courier-Journal
Madison Capital Times
Miami Herald
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Nashville Tennessean
New York Times
Omaha World Herald
Pittsburgh Review Tribune
Raleigh News & Observer
Reno Gazette-Journal
Salt Lake Tribune
San Francisco Chronicle
San Jose Mercury News
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Times
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Petersburg Times

Stay tuned for more updates…
-- Rachel Joy Larris

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