In tens of thousands of homes and businesses across America recently, four precocious little unborn children came to visit, resting neatly in the palm of a caregiver’s hand. The Time magazine that featured them on its cover was actually seen in newsstands and waiting rooms by millions of people. This is good news on several counts.
For once, it is the popular media that is “showing the truth” about the humanity of the unborn child. Furthermore, a relatively unknown phenomenon – namely the presence and work of pro-life crisis pregnancy centres – has found front-page coverage in a national news magazine. Pro-life activity is frequently portrayed in negative and dismissive tones in the secular media, if it reaches the news media at all, but here is something altogether different in a 10-page article!
The first page, first impression, gives a positive portrayal of a crisis pregnancy centre (CPC) through a story of its activity and a character description of a CPC director. “It’s a baby!” remarks a client after seeing an ultra sound. The director is “kind, calm, nonjudgmental, a special-forces soldier in the abortion wars who is fighting her battles one conscience at a time.”
Though there are a few jabs and negatives further into the article, on the whole, this front-line, baby-saving, pro-life work receives a positive portrayal. The main criticism made is that CPCs give out false or exaggerated information. This is likely true at times, and we can only hope that the guilty will take stock, do their homework and stick to the truth. The featured CPC director counters the criticism well, is articulate and favourably quoted.
The weakest point in the article, other than a few terrible, unflatteringly large photos of CPC workers, is the portrayal of an atypical compassionate abortionist who is willing to sit down for discussion with the local clergyman and pro-lifers to find “common ground.” However, perhaps some of those in the abortion business will take note, move a few steps closer to their abandoned humanity and toward honest dialogue and a search for the real truth.
Ann Wilson is executive director of Aid to Women, a Toronto crisis pregnancy centre.