Kudos to ABCNews.com on Abortion Story

ABCNews.com screencap from June 11, 2008 | NewsBusters.orgI've ripped ABCNews.com recently for some of their stories and story selection -- 'pregnant man' photos, need I say more? -- but I have to give the site kudos today for putting in its top headlines rotation a story about Georgia mother Cindi Cook, convicted of forging a signature on a parental consent form for her son's pregnant girlfriend.

What's more, rather than resorting to the more clinical term "fetus" which subtly denies the sanctity of the unborn life taken by abortion, ABCNews.com editors used the term baby in the headline, "Mom Broke Law to Abort Teen Son's Baby."

Reporter David Schoetz noted that the Northside Women's Clinic may soon be the target of a lawsuit, and quoted from the teenage girl's lawyer who alleged the clinic may well be actively counseling teenage clients on how to circumvent the parental notification law (emphasis mine):

S. Fenn Little Jr., the attorney representing the teenage girl and her family, condemned Cook's behavior and also raised questions about the role of the Northside Women's Clinic, where the teenager had the abortion in May 2007, in the illegal abortion.

"It was very clear from the testimony at the trial that the girl was coerced and very much strong-armed into getting this abortion that she opposed, that her parents opposed and that at one point, the boy opposed," Little told ABC News. Cook's motivation, he said, was a fear that having a child might jeopardize her son's college plans.

The teenage girl told her parents about the abortion about a month after the procedure, Little said, and her parents called the police, triggering the investigation.

Little said he is considering a civil case against the Atlanta-based clinic.

"The issue is going to be whether this particular clinic was essentially soliciting underage girls seeking abortions," Little said.

Under Georgia state law, anyone under the age of 18 who is not married and not in an emergency medical scenario must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at the time of the abortion. The requirement can be waived if certain notification steps are made.

"There are some confirmation steps that you've got to take if there's a note, and they did not do that. They essentially directed Ms. Cook on how to have the abortion without taking those confirmation steps," Little said.

It should prove interesting if ABC News follows up on this story, particularly if a civil suit is filed against Northside and/or criminal charges end up being filed against the clinic for failure to comply with Georgia state law.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters