CBS Frets Over 'Tough' Abortion Law Being Upheld, Skips What Ruling Actually Means

While the CBS Evening News on Thursday and Good Morning America on Friday allowed mere seconds to explain a court ruling upholding "tough" "new abortion restrictions" in Texas, only Fox News fully detailed what the decision and law actually do. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Evening News guest anchor Sharyn Alfonsi briefly informed, "A federal appeals court today upheld Texas' new abortion restrictions, among the toughest in the nation. Many abortion clinics have closed since the law was passed." 

On Friday's GMA, Amy Robach did a little better, noting, "The law requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and then restricts the availability of abortion-inducing drugs." But GMA offered a mere 18 seconds and CBS a scant 15 seconds. In contrast, Fox and Friends covered the story three times. Plus, Fox and Friends First co-host Heather Childers described it as "a win for pro-lifers in Texas." 

American Newsroom reporter Casey Stegall went in depth, noting, 

CASEY STEGALL: It means the state of Texas can now go forward with implementing all of that abortion law that was passed here last summer, not parts of it. Let's bring you up to speed on what the restrictions actually look like. It bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.  

It requires abortion clinics to upgrade their facilities to surgical centers and it mandates that doctors carrying out these procedures have admitting privileges at a nearby hospitals in case something goes wrong. Now, a few months ago, a lower court ruled that this controversial law jeopardized women's health because some 20 abortion clinics in this state have already been forced to close. As you can see, this has sparked a lot of protest.  But yesterday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans overturned that ruling, disagreeing with the lower court's ruling, saying the law can be implemented to the fullest extent. You might say this is a win for the pro-life side.

Transcripts of some of the various news briefs are below: 


GMA

3/28/14

8:04am ET

ROBACH: And a Texas law placing new restrictions on abortion will remain in place for now. A federal appeals court has upheld that law overturning a lower court ruling. The law requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and then restricts the availability of abortion-inducing drugs. The battle is likely headed to the Supreme Court. 

CBS Evening News

3/27/14

6:49pm ET 

SHARYN ALFONSI: A federal appeals court today upheld Texas' new abortion restrictions, among the toughest in the nation. Many abortion clinics have closed since the law was passed. The appeals court says the law does not impose an undue burden on the life and health of a woman.

Fox and Friends First

3/28/14

5:09am  

HEATHER CHILDERS: A win for pro-lifers in Texas. A federal appeals court upheld the state's tough abortion restrictions, saying they do not put women's health in jeopardy. The new rules passed last summer sparked protests all across the country, or across the state capital as well. They are the toughest restrictions in the country. So far, 20 clinics around Texas have been closed. Governor Rick Perry praised the decision, saying that is good news for women and the unborn. 

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org