I paused a bit before putting this post up because the last thing an AP reporter needs is some guy on the right telling him he did a good job. I suspect that it's not a resume enhancer.
That said, there are two reasons not to to ignore Terence Chea's coverage of the Saturday's Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco. The first is how it contrasts with Brett Zongker's dismissive and incomplete coverage of the far larger DC March for Life the previous Wednesday. For starters, Chea appropriately described the San Francisco march as "massive"; Zongker's story covering a much larger throng in the hundreds of thousands had no comparable adjective. Put the two stories side by side, and the average reader might believe that the West Coast march was larger. Equally as interesting, Chea's accurate description of relatively minor legislative changes in abortion-related laws since Roe v. Wade make a mockery of the left's "war on women" battle cry. I'll compare the two stories after the jump.
Here's Chea on the size and makeup of the West Coast crowd (bolds are mine throughout this post):
ANTI-ABORTION ACTIVISTS MARCH IN SAN FRANCISCO
Many thousands of anti-abortion protesters from across California marched through downtown San Francisco on Saturday, calling for restrictions on a medical procedure that was legalized more than 40 years ago.
A massive and diverse crowd of protesters rallied in front of City Hall before marching down Market Street to Justin Herman Plaza for the 10th annual "Walk for Life West Coast." They chanted "Pro Life" and carried signs that read "Defend Life" and "Women deserve better than abortion."
... San Francisco police did not immediately provide an official crowd estimate, but at one point marchers stretched across more than a mile of Market Street, the liberal city's main thoroughfare.
Here's Zongker on the DC crowd; note that the story's headline is vague as to which side was demonstrating, that the AP reporter failed to note that President Obama's position was diametrically opposed that of the marchers and Pope Francis, and that he made it seem as if it was a young people-only event:
THOUSANDS BRAVE COLD FOR ABORTION PROTEST IN DC
Thousands of abortion opponents confronted wind chills in the single digits Wednesday to rally and march on Capitol Hill to protest legalized abortion, with a signal of support from Pope Francis.
The annual "March for Life" is held every January on the anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion. The event draws many Catholic high school and college students from across the country for a series of events and prayer vigils that led up to a rally and march on the snow-covered National Mall.
Francis, who has emphasized a broader focus on poverty beyond divisive issues, [*] sent his support for the anti-abortion march.
"I join the March for Life in Washington with my prayers," the pope tweeted. "May God help us respect all life, especially the most vulnerable."
President Barack Obama also issued a statement Wednesday, saying the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision is a chance to "recommit ourselves to the decision's guiding principle: that every woman should be able to make her own choices about her body and her health."
The president also said the nation should resolve to protect a woman's access to health care, her right to privacy and to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies.
[*] — For the record, abortion is not a "divisive issue" in the Catholic Church. It's an objective moral evil.
Chea's unfortunately accurate characterization of the history of what has actually been done to try to limit the damage of legalized abortion since the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 was also telling:
Over the last several decades, anti-abortion groups have focused on placing relatively small restrictions on abortion, especially in conservative states with Republican-dominated legislatures. But lawmakers in those states are under increasing pressure from activists to take stronger action to limit abortion.
But California, which has a Democratic governor and Legislature, expanded abortion access last year with a measure that allows nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and physician assistants to perform a type of early abortion.
In other words, those who scream "war on women" at every perceived cross word have really had their way for over 40 years, and (it's certainly not pleasant to note this, but it's true) not all that much has been done to limit the damage. This is not to denigrate the brave pro-life people who are on the front lines every day, nor to deny that they have saved many pre-born babies' lives. They are this century's civil rights heroes. But they would be among the first to agree that their work of returning the country to the principles of its Founders, which first and foremost includes the recognition of the God-given right to life, is far from done, and that a long slog lies ahead.
So what is it that causes the left to make a heroine of someone like Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, who filibustered a law which did little more than make sure that babies which are viable outside the womb get the human rights protections to which they are entitled (while the millions who aren't viable still get none), and objected to making sure appropriate medical care gets provided to the soon-to-be former mother if something goes wrong? They were so unhinged during the later stages of their protests in Texas that some even brought jars of human excrement to hurl at opponents.
From all appearances, they don't care whether abortion is safe or rare — only that it's legal without even the most basic of common-sense safety precautions.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.