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Daily Mail Pulls a Fast One

John on May 20, 2008 at 10:56 pm

I read the Daily Mail…daily. I really enjoy it and especially the fact that it seems less dogmatic on abortion than other British (and especially American) newspapers. That said, I was pretty disappointed by the photo accompanying this article.

The story is about the argument in Parliament over whether to reduce the “time limit law” which limits abortions in the UK to 24 weeks or less. The current proposal is to drop it down to 22 weeks based on the increasing survival rates of premature babies before 24 weeks.

This photo is there presumably to illustrate one aspect of that discussion, i.e. what a fetus looks like. It ran with the following caption:

Historic: MPs will today vote on whether the abortion limit should be lowered from 24 weeks

An uninformed reader would likely assume that this photo represents a typical 24 week old fetus like the one being discussed in the story. And wow, it looks barely human. Are we really fighting to protect this barely recognizable proto-human?

Only this isn’t a 24 week old fetus. Judging from the appearance, I’d guess this is a 6-7 week old fetus, something not discussed at all in the story. If you doubt my expertise (and I wouldn’t blame you) feel free to look at the illustrations on this site for expecting moms. If you don’t object to actual photos (of healthy live babies in utero) check this site.

As you can see on either site (but especially the photo site), the photo above looks like a 6 week old fetus. This is before many women are even certain they are pregnant. Presenting this photo with the misleading caption makes it look as if pro-lifers have pushed their arguments to extremes. This looks barely human!

In reality, this is what a 24 week fetus looks like…

Now, that puts a little different spin on things doesn’t it?

I’ve contacted the Daily Mail asking for a correction or, barring that, an explanation. We’ll see if they decide to admit their mistake or perpetuate their error.

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Category: Pro-Life |

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