'Conservative Christian' vs. 'Doctors and Women’s Rights Advocates' on Abortion in Arizona

Veteran New York Times reporter Erik Eckholm covered a lawsuit filed by "women's rights advocates" against new restrictions on abortion in Arizona: "Lawsuit Tries to Block New Arizona Abortion Law." Favorable treatment for the pro-abortion side was evident in Eckholm's labeling and source disparity.

A supporter of the law, Cathi Herrod, was identified as president of "a conservative Christian group" and given three paragraphs to make her case, while Nancy Northup of the Center for Reproductive Rights, and Dr. Paul Isaacson, a Phoenix abortionist were granted seven paragraphs to state their case, with the added benefit of not being slapped with an ideological label.

A group of doctors and women’s rights advocates challenged Arizona’s new abortion limits in a federal lawsuit on Thursday, claiming that they violate the Constitution and pose a threat to women’s health.


Thursday’s lawsuit, filed in United States District Court in Phoenix, might bring the first major courtroom test of pre-viability time limits that have recently been adopted in eight other states. They have become a prime tactic of the anti-abortion movement as it seeks to chip away at Roe v. Wade.

Legislators in these states have cited evidence -- disputed by major medical societies -- that the developing fetus can feel pain.

Eckholm previously dismissed the idea that a fetus may feel pain in a June 2011 defense of abortion.