The Washington Post

A case of both-siding

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In her July 24 Sunday Opinion column, “The unbearable cruelty of no-exception abortion bans,” Kathleen Parker managed the seemingly impossible: giving “both sides” treatment to the case of a 10-year-old rape victim forced to cross state lines to get an abortion. Though professing sympathy for the child victim, Ms. Parker found demagoguer­y on both sides of the issue. Evidence for her claim? “Pro-choice activists didn’t hesitate to use her tale to remind everyone of all the horrors that the Supreme Court hath wrought.” But that’s not demagoguer­y; it’s simply fact-based advocacy.

Ms. Parker assigned equal blame to pro-choice “fanatics” for the no-exception laws passed by antiaborti­on extremists. No evidence was given for her extraordin­ary “equal blame” claim, either. The lesson? Sometimes the apparently indefensib­le is exactly that. And balanced journalism means acknowledg­ing a onesided case where it occurs, not inventing two sides where they don’t.

Richard N. Mott, Arlington

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