Resist Narrow Media Narratives…SeriouslyKiersten Lynch | August 14, 2018
This week the pro-life movement rejoiced with the Senate vote in Argentina passing in favor of the pro-life movement, 38-31.
However, when news of the vote entered the media scene, many articles immediately turned to the Catholic Church as the focus of the issue instead of the advocates themselves. TIME Magazine ran a headline: “Argentina’s Abortion Vote Reveals the Catholic Church’s Deep Fear of Female Desire” and The Guardian put out an article entitled: “Argentina abortion defeat shows enduring power of Catholic church.”
While there is an undeniable Catholic presence in Argentina, the country where Pope Francis was recently bishop, it seems unfair to link the vote to the Catholic Church and nothing more. These media efforts attempt to place the issue within a narrative of a power struggle between the Catholic Church and society; although the language might be sneaky, ultimately these articles are intended to paint the Catholic Church as an institution that hates women, freedom, and pleasure while promoting leftist views that heroically seem to ensure the protection of all of these categories.
And unfortunately, these article slants and biases leave a whole group of people underrepresented and overlooked. Many pro-life advocates fought for this vote through displays and marches, which liberal articles complained about throughout the debate, and yet these groups are left without any credibility given to their efforts and their cause.
What’s more, these articles compare Argentina to Ireland based on the “controlling” Catholic Church as a way to further attack an institution with standards that offend their own, but this comparison has nothing to do with the Catholic Church at all. How can one country that voted to legalize abortion and one country that did not both boast a problem with the Catholic Church? If anything, the disparity between these two votes should prove that this issue is far less concerned with the Catholic Church and more about the wants of individuals within society who are beyond the pulpit.
Credit should be given where credit is due, and it’s unfair for pro-choice advocates to claim their opinions as their own while they attribute pro-life ideas to mere regurgitation of Catholic teaching out of some kind of fear or unconscious habit. The pro-life movement knows what it wants and has its reasons for demanding the protection of all lives. While we can’t always control the way media chooses to portray these issues and events, we can be vigilant about the articles we promote and the way we form our own knowledge about the pro-life movement in all countries. Stay on top of your game, don’t get swayed by biases, and resist media narratives.