Washington Post Highlights Win for Student 'Antiabortion Club'

The Washington Post might have surprised its "pro-choice" base on Tuesday morning with a front-page story headlined "Teen Wins Fight for Antiabortion Club at School."  (The "anti" theme continued with the headline on A-12: "Antiabortion Club Might Be First in Region at Public School.") Reporter Theresa Vargas noted that Stephanie Hoffmeier started the "Pro-Life Club" (not the Antiabortion Club) at Colonial Forge High School in Stafford, Virginia. School officials there first refused her request to start the club, and Hoffmeier and the Alliance Defense Fund sued in federal court. The high school looked at the legal case and then allowed the club to meet."Representatives for NARAL Pro-Choice America, an abortion-rights group, did not respond to requests for comment," Vargas also reported. She added "Even some advocates of strict separation of church and state say religious speech by students at public school is protected under the Constitution and federal law."  Ayesha Khan of Americans United for Separation of Church and State acknowledged the difference between government employees and private individiuals.Stephanie Hoffmeier was also pictured on the front-page with her two-tone hair (and her usually-black fingernails are also described):

"Anybody is welcomed no matter what they believe," said Hoffmeier, who has two-toned hair and an affinity for black nail polish. Hoffmeier said she has heard little more than a few skeptical questions about the club from other students....Signs of the teenager's belief were visible all around. A white Bible dominated the coffee table in front of the couch where she sat, contrasting with her black T-shirt. On the front, the shirt proclaimed: "Some choices are wrong." On the back: "Abortion is forever." On her shiny red drum set in the basement were stickers that read "Hard Core Jesus Freak" and "She's a child. Not a choice."

The typical Washington Post subscriber was probably writhing in their chair with discomfort as Hoffmeier and her parents saw God's will in her fight for the club. But the persistent use of "antiabortion" in the article and the headlines is the only cause for complaint in an otherwise straightforward story.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis