How Cable News Keeps Getting It Wrong About Abortion and Reproductive Rights

Evening cable news can’t seem to talk about abortion without relying on men and anti-choice myths.

A 12-month-long Media Matters study of evening cable news programs found that discussions of abortion, reproductive rights, and reproductive health were heavily dependent on male speakers and anti-choice misinformation. In particular, Media Matters found that men were participants in 60 percent of conversations about abortion and reproductive rights, and that 64 percent of statements about abortion that aired during this time period were inaccurate.

Media Matters analyzed evening cable news programs on Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC from March 7, 2016, through March 1, 2017, for segments featuring a substantial discussion of abortion or reproductive rights. The resulting 354 segments were then coded for the mention of one or more of six general topics of conversation: the election, legal issues, religion, anti-choice violence, economic and logistical barriers to abortion access, and state-based legislation. Segments were also coded for the number of accurate or inaccurate statements each speaker made about three topics: the discredited anti-choice group Center for Medical Progress (CMP), Planned Parenthood’s essential services, and late-term abortion.

Based on this analysis, Media Matters identified the follow key findings and coverage patterns about abortion and reproductive rights:

  1. Coverage of Abortion and Reproductive Rights Is Male-Dominated Across All Networks
  2. Evening Cable News Features More Inaccurate Than Accurate Information About Abortion
  3. Disparities Between Discussions of Candidates’ Positions on Abortion Enabled the Spread of Misinformation
  4. Conversations About Legal Restrictions on Abortion Outpaced Those About the Consequences of Limiting Access
  5. Fox News Dominated Discussions About Abortion in Concert With Religion or Faith
  6. Misinformation About CMP Was Spread Almost Entirely by Fox News
  7. All Networks Except Fox News Shared Largely Accurate Information About Planned Parenthood’s Essential Services
  8. Misinformation About Late-Term Abortion Dominated on Every Network

More of the story  By Sharon Kann / Media Matters

Posted by The NON-Conformist

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