Since the story was finally forced into prominence late last week, it has inspired a number of eloquent critiques of how the press covers abortion (I recommend reading Carl Cannon and Melinda Henneberger, in particular) as well as various pieces defending the media from charges of bias and pinning the lack of coverage on other factors.
But the most interesting response by far has come from voices on the uncompromisingly pro-choice left. These writers have basically made two interlocking arguments: First, that there was no “liberal media” blackout, because feminist bloggers wrote about the story from the beginning, and second, that if there was a breakdown in mainstream coverage, it was the failure to recognize the ways in which the Gosnell story is actually about inequities in access to medical care and the perverse consequences of abortion restrictions, rather than (as the pro-life side would have it) the inherent horror of the procedure itself. …
But her obfuscation is woven together with a legitimate point. The most rigorously pro-choice writers really did cover the Gosnell case more assiduously than the mainstream media, because they really do see it, not as an embarrassment to the cause of abortion rights, but a vindication of their worldview.
… Thus Matt Yglesias’s conclusion that from a rigorously pro-choice, pro-Roe v. Wade perspective the lesson of the Gosnell horror show is not that the regulations he flouted should have been better enforced; rather, it’s that Pennsylvania needed an ”above-board competitive marketplace with multiple legal providers of late-term abortion facilities,” and the restrictions on late-term abortion unfortunately prevented that marketplace from emerging.