Friday, January 07, 2005

BBC Stealth Edits - The Baby Vanishes

When an unfortunate underclass woman, heavily pregnant, was stabbed to death in Hull, BBC Online had a tragic story.

"Murdered woman's babies also died" - was the headline on an item which began "Twin babies of a pregnant woman who was stabbed to death in a Hull street both died in the attack, police said."

Babies ? What ? Hang on a minute - isn't it the Vera Drake opening today ? It's only a foetus, after all - an 'insentient blob' (© J. Hari 2004). Better change that headline.

21 hours later the headline reads "Extra time to quiz stab suspect". The babies have disappeared from the first paragraph as well.

Polly is on top form with her Vera Drake piece. . How about 'no woman ever wanted an abortion ?'. That's right, Polly - just like no man ever wanted to fill the car up with petrol.

But Ms Stevenson's sad fate illustrates Polly's point. "Whenever abortion is hard to get, thousands of desperate pregnant women end up dead".

And remember - organisations like Life offer 'pro-life propaganda'. Whereas the fictional Vera Drake is, according to Polly 'excellent social history' about the 'bad old days'. After all, "Ask any woman ... from those pre-60s liberation times and they all have stories to tell about sex and terror for themselves or friends."

The older members of my family can talk about little else.

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