Conservatives can't help but scoff at National Public Radio calling its evening newscast All Things Considered. On January 25, they aired a segment on the potential reversal of Roe v. Wade that sounded like an abortionist's commercial.
They told the heart-tugging story of a poor couple getting an abortion in Boise, Idaho. It had all the liberal lingo in the title: "Abortion restrictions may tighten, when many already struggle to access the procedure".
Anchor Ari Shapiro warned "for many people seeking this procedure, there are already serious barriers to access. Reporter Katia Riddle accompanied one Idaho family navigating these obstacles." It began:
KATIA RIDDLE: The night before her abortion is a hard one for Mercy Ventura-Gonzales.
VENTURA-GONZALES: I'm terrified. I'm scared.
RIDDLE: Also, there's guilt, grief, anger with herself. But one thing the 23-year-old is not feeling is doubt. This is the right choice, she says.
She and her boyfriend Cody Simms have "been together since they met in a homeless shelter in Washington four years ago. They spent many nights sleeping on the street." Then they moved to Twin Falls, Idaho, and had their son Axle, 2.
RIDDLE: They're working restaurant jobs now, living week to week in motels. Another child could tip their precarious balance. Ventura-Gonzales says this pregnancy feels far different than her first.
VENTURA-GONZALES: I'm not attached, you know? Is it crazy to feel like I know their spirit will come back to someone that can handle them? It's not me, and I'm sorry you chose my body.
RIDDLE: Idaho is one of about two dozen states poised to ban abortions if Roe falls. In that scenario, Ventura-Gonzales would likely have to travel to a clinic in Oregon for this procedure. That's an additional five hours of driving. She predicts the consequences will be dire for patients like herself.
VENTURA-GONZALES: Abortions are not going to stop. They're not going to stop. And people are going to be doing them illegally and in more unsafe ways.
Nobody on NPR can consider which is worse: A five-hour drive for the mother, or death for the baby. There's no question for liberals.
As the woman enters the clinic, there's one muffled piece of balance. A street protester yells from afar "Please change your mind." Four brief words to consider. Ventura-Gonzales said she would be an "adult about it" and not shout back.
Then came the abortion promoters:
RIDDLE: This whole trip -- the car, the hotel, the gas, the abortion itself -- costs more than $1,200. It's far too much for the couple, but they received financial assistance from a nonprofit called Northwest Abortion Access Fund.
ARIEL HARD: When we talk about post-Roe, like, I tend to say we're already there.
RIDDLE: Ariel Hard is a volunteer with the organization. They help people arrange travel and pay costs for abortion. She says the two-hour journey that this couple took is short compared to some they help.
HARD: We often have people coming from, like, Utah and Montana and those kinds of places, and they're driving. And that's, you know, 10 hours, 12 hours.
RIDDLE: These long travel distances could double or triple if Roe is overturned, says Rebecca Gibron. She's the CEO of Planned Parenthood for the Northwest Region.
REBECCA GIBRON: What is already a troublesome process will become almost insurmountable.
After the baby is dead, Riddle put a happy bow on it, concluding: "She climbs into the passenger seat and holds a warm compress to her abdomen. Ventura-Gonzales wears a T-shirt that she recently salvaged from a box of free clothes on a sidewalk. On the front are the words, 'I'm strong, I'm beautiful.'"
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