Tuesday, May 03, 2005

USA Today needs some fact checkers

USA Today has a story on "The Changing Politics of Abortion."

This paragraph struck me:

And both parties are poised to battle over a Supreme Court appointment. The court is split 5-4 in favor of Roe v. Wade. The 1973 decision recognized abortion rights and launched a fierce debate that has threaded through American politics for a generation since then.

5-4? Really. Name the four. Scalia, Thomas, Rehnquist and mysterious fourth is who? Anthony Kennedy? Author of the "sweet mystery of life passage" ("At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life") in Planned Parenthood vs. Casey is now against Roe and legal abortion? Since when? Since he dissented in Stenberg vs. Carhart? How does being against overturning Nebraska's law against partial-birth abortion mean that Kennedy is in favor of overturning Roe. I love how pro-choice organizations assert the court is 5-4 in favor of Roe and then journalists follow their lead with absolutely nothing to back them up.

"Recognized" also seems to be an interesting word when describing how the Supreme Court ruled in Roe as if the right to abortion was in the Constitution all along and was just not recognized by other courts. "Created," "imposed," or "magically discovered" might better fit how the court actually came up with it's decision.

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