The Corner

Media

New York Times Reporter Spreads Lies about the Pro-Life Movement

(Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

On her Instagram account, where she boasts more than 45,000 followers, New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz has taken to sharing false and unsubstantiated attacks on the pro-life movement.

Lorenz is billed as a “technology reporter” who covers “internet culture,” but she appears to spend most of her time on social media, working on such important projects as criticizing tech CEOs with the help of factual errors, complaining about being scrutinized for said criticism and errors, and broadcasting controversial social-media posts from a minor.

Just yesterday, Lorenz shared several posts from pro-abortion feminist Liz Plank, all of which contained inaccurate and intentionally vague assertions about the nefarious pro-life movement. A few examples:

  • “In 2018, pro-life centers posing as clinics that explicitely (sic) lie to patients seeking abortions received a total of $40.5 million in taxpayer dollars across 14 states.”
  • “The pro-life movement doesn’t only spend your money on disenfranchizing you, it’s a war on the poor.”
  • “The pro-life movement has exacerbated a public health crisis disparately hurting mothers and children of color.”
  • “We’ve been conditioned to believe that the pro-life movement protects personal beliefs, but the pro-life movement doesn’t reflect people’s religious beliefs, it created them. The anti-abortion movement was carefully crafted it the 1970s years after Roe, by a handful of racist evangelicals who needed an issue to latch onto and school segregation began losing in the court of public opinion. Google it.”

This last one, my personal favorite, is clearly a callback to this GQ article, which, among other factual errors, insisted that George Wallace was a Republican, and which several of us here at NRO debunked. There are so many absurdities wrapped up in this claim that it’s difficult to pick just a few, but the clearest issues are, first, that the anti-abortion movement in the U.S. most definitely preceded Roe, and second, that it should be obvious to anyone without a vendetta against pro-lifers why an expanded pro-life movement might be required “years after Roe.”

Perhaps most revealing of all is this misconception: “that the pro-life movement protects personal beliefs.” This is, of course, not what any pro-life person has “conditioned” anyone to believe. The contention of the pro-life movement is not, and never has been, that we ought to be left alone in private with our idiosyncratic personal beliefs about abortion. It is that abortion ought to be illegal because it intentionally ends the life of a human being.

Utter falsehoods like those crafted by Plank and spread by Lorenz serve a key purpose of the abortion-rights supporter: to ignore or deny, by any means necessary, the sincerity of the pro-life movement, so as not to have to grapple with the heart of our argument.

I’ve written publicly about this issue for several years now, and one of the most frustrating aspects of our debate is how often abortion-rights advocates refuse to grant that I sincerely believe abortion is wrong because it ends a human life. Instead, they accuse me of opposing abortion because I don’t care about or want to control women — interesting theories, considering my gender — or force my religious beliefs on others.

The converse of this argument would be if I insisted that anyone who supports legal abortion is motivated primarily by a desire to watch unborn babies die by the hundreds of thousands, rather than acknowledging that, though I think they are misguided, most supporters of legal abortion don’t believe in fetal personhood and strongly support women’s autonomy.

These sorts of falsehoods coming from abortion supporters are perhaps the best evidence of the strength of the pro-life argument. It is far easier to spread myths and lies about pro-lifers, dismissing us as crazy religious zealots, than to confront the possibility that our argument is true and that abortion is unjust killing.

It should surprise no one to see these myths coming from an ostensibly unbiased Times reporter like Lorenz.

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