Can the AP be trusted to cover the abortion debate fairly?

At some point, the AP Twitter feed actually sent out a tweet with the pro-choice hashtag #StandWithWendy. Higher-ups suggested such a move was not-so-smart.

But then the AP was sending out still more alarmed, if completely unsubstantiated, notes about the Texas legislation that made the Planned Parenthood press releases seem tame by comparison.

The stories out of Texas routinely failed to mention how U.S. late-term abortion laws compare to other countries (we’re one of only seven countries in the world that permit abortions after 20 weeks) as well as the recent context of abortion doctors such as Kermit Gosnell and Texas’ own Douglas Karpen or details about clinic conditions.

This is not a new problem (The Los Angeles Times published an absolutely devastating expose of the abortion coverage problem in 1990!). It does seem to be getting worse, though. The Associated Press is a good journalism brand that is being tarnished by shoddy coverage of the pro-life movement even as coverage of pro-choice activists and their arguments could not be more favorable. Let’s hope some higher-ups recognize the need to fix this problem. If there aren’t reporters who can cover both the pro-choice and pro-life movements fairly, perhaps the AP can hire some reporters who can balance out reporters David Crary and Philip Elliott, who seem to be struggling in their efforts to fairly cover pro-life activists and the larger movement. Without better journalism at the national level, it may be difficult to encourage the same in the local bureaus.