A recent Washington Post story that was intended to turn readers against Texas' heartbeat abortion ban actually did the opposite by presenting powerful pro-life arguments, several pro-life activists say.
The Monday story spotlighted a young Texas woman who learned she was pregnant 48 hours before the law went into effect. It prohibits an abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected.
The story included multiple photos of the twin babies, Kendall and Olivia, including a close-up picture of Kendall's tiny feet. It quoted a pro-life pregnancy resource center's warnings about the potential complications and side effects of abortion. It also quoted the woman's mom as calling the babies a "miracle from the Lord."
The headline read, "This Texas teen wanted an abortion. She now has twins."
"This article from the @washingtonpost presents the most amazing pro-life argument I think I've ever seen ... and it's entirely unintentional," tweeted Ian Haworth, a writer for the Daily Write and a speaker for Young Americas Foundation.
🧵 This article from the @washingtonpost presents the most amazing pro-life argument I think I've ever seen...and it's entirely unintentional. 🧵— Ian Haworth (@ighaworth) June 20, 2022
It truly is an amazing read. Here's a thread of some highlights.https://t.co/s46iQDCl8E
"More accurate headline: This Texas teen considered killing her twin children. The Texas Heartbeat Law saved their lives. Now she can't imagine life without them," said Lila Rose, founder and president of the pro-life group Live Action.
More accurate headline:— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) June 21, 2022
This Texas teen considered killing her twin children. The Texas Heartbeat Law saved their lives. Now she can’t imagine life without them. pic.twitter.com/j71QxaU4aR
Pro-life commentator Allie Beth Stuckey posted a link to the article with a comment about the law, "Sounds like it's working then. Praise God."
Sounds like it’s working then. Praise God. https://t.co/43n9snCOwd— Allie Beth Stuckey (@conservmillen) June 20, 2022
The young woman in the story, named Brooke, was 18 at the time of her pregnancy test and was taking real estate classes, having dropped out of high school three years earlier. The story described how her first ultrasound took place at a pro-life pregnancy resource center. The ultrasound was free. She took a free parenting class. Pregnancy center workers followed up with Brooke via text, although she decided not to go back.
Haworth noted that the story includes "negative subjective language like 'restrictive'" – referencing the law – "while the headline image includes two BABIES."
Brooke and her boyfriend have married. He is joining the Air Force. After he is assigned, she will follow him.
The twins are now three months old. Brooke, while taking care of her newborn babies, "struggled to articulate her feelings on abortion," the story said.
"On one hand, she said, she absolutely believed that women should have the right to choose what's best for their own lives," the article said. "On the other, she knew that, without the Texas law, her babies might not be here."
Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages/EKSTAZA
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.