The New York Times just provided us with another example of why the term “fact check” has been degraded by partisanship to the level of “fake news.” The paper’s editors pompously attempted to “fact check” President Trump’s justified outrage at Senate Democrats blocking a bill that would have required doctors to provide life-saving medical care to babies born alive during abortion procedures. They accused him of “misleading” people by saying it amounted to doctors “executing” babies. They apparently forgot that a “fact” is not the same thing as “a feeble attempt at spin based on subjective opinion.”
The best "correction" they could come up with is that late term abortions are “rare,” only about 1% of all abortions (and so what? They misled their readers by not mentioning that that’s still 10,000 such procedures a year, in a nation where the vast majority of citizens think it should be banned by law entirely.) They also nitpicked that the doctors don’t actively “kill” the babies, they just let them die naturally by doing nothing to save them. Talk about a distinction without a difference!
I wonder if the Times editors have ever heard of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act of 1986? It’s the federal law that requires hospitals that accept Medicare (meaning virtually all of them) to provide emergency medical care, including helping women in labor, to any patient regardless of ability to pay, until the emergency is stabilized. If they oppose making doctors provide care for babies born alive and in need of emergency treatment, then do they oppose the EMTALA as well?
For the Times’ future reference, here are some actual facts, and a few questions they might want to ponder:
A baby that has already been born is not a “fetus” nor a “clump of cells.” It’s a human being.
Providing care to that human infant in no way infringes on the “reproductive rights” of the mother or her health. By that point, she’s already reproduced, and the baby is no longer connected to her body in any way.
The percentage of Americans who die by homicide is 0.0049%. Is the extreme rarity of murder of non-infant humans an argument for legalizing it?
A doctor who refuses or delays emergency care to a critical patient may be sued for medical malpractice. If it’s malpractice to deny life-saving emergency care to an adult, why is not also malpractice to deny life-saving emergency care to a baby?
In this editorial from last July opposing work requirements for Medicaid recipients, the Times’ editors seemed to agree with the common liberal premise that health care is a human right:
Why then does a human baby not have a right to it?
It’s ironic that the same paper that’s now trying to trivialize infanticide by dismissing it with semantic nitpicking ended that editorial with this paragraph in defense of Medicaid for poor people:
“A country’s deepest values are reflected in how it treats its most vulnerable citizens. So as officials consider the future of Medicaid, they must ask themselves: Is this how America is going to be?”
What citizen is more vulnerable than a newborn baby in need of lifesaving medical care? The Times editors who would deny that must ask themselves: Is this how YOU are going to be?