Media covering March for Life should spotlight dire consequences of restricting abortion

Image of the U.S. Capitol with anti-abortion protest signs in front

Citation Ceci Freed / Media Matters | Aleteia Image Department via Creative Commons

During this year’s March for Life, media should ask critical questions of the anti-choice movement and provide context about the impacts of abortion restrictions it espouses.

On January 24, the annual anti-abortion rally will take place in Washington, D.C., with the theme: “Life Empowers: Pro-Life is Pro-Woman.” But rather than adopting policies that “empower,” abortion opponents actually promote extreme limitations on individual choices, including advocating for the overturning of Roe v. Wade or almost complete bans on abortion with no exceptions for pregnancies as the result of rape or incest.

When media outlets cover the March for Life or interview abortion opponents this year, they should explain or ask guests about the actual consequences these restrictions will impose on people trying to access abortion. For example, the Center for Reproductive Rights has explained that the Supreme Court overturning Roe would mean:

Almost half of the states likely would enact new laws that are as restrictive as possible or seek to enforce current, unconstitutional laws prohibiting abortion. States would then be divided into abortion deserts, where it would be illegal to access care, and abortion havens, where care would continue to be available. Millions of people living in abortion deserts, mainly in the South and Midwest, would be forced to travel to receive legal care, which would result in many more people being unable to access abortion for a variety of financial and logistical reasons.

For states like Alabama that have passed bans on abortion (although that law has been temporarily blocked from going into effect), survivors of rape and incest would be unable to access care and doctors could face lifetime prison sentences for performing an abortion.

When media cover the March for Life this year, outlets should highlight the potentially dire consequences of abortion opponents’ policies and not fall for the anti-abortion movement’s attempts to paint such restrictions or bans as “empowering” in any way.