Silent No More in the New York Times? Maybe, maybe not

SilentIt is always interesting to see what newpapers do with the counter protestors at abortion-related marches. The rule of thumb at pro-abortion-rights marches is that reporters lock in on the strangest anti-abortion activists they can find. The standard picture is of a row of screaming men in hard hats or, perhaps, a silent line of appropriately dressed priests and pastors.

The key word is “men.”

So I returned to Google this morning to see how many mainstream reporters mentioned the “Silent No More” protestors, an organization for those who have experienced abortion and now — as their signs always say — regret making that choice. (The photo is from an earlier demonstration.) These women are frequently seen at public events, but rarely in news reports. They are not the anti-abortion demonstrators of choice, especially for TV news.

At first glance, it appeared that the main New York Times story included a reference to the “Silent No More” women. However, the version of the story that is currently online no longer includes this edgy material (even though it shows up on Google). If there are readers in the New York City area, did this passage make it into the local dead-tree-pulp edition?

However, there are newspapers out there that did not — for whatever reason — go back and edit out that section of the original New York Times report. Here, for example, is a reference from the Omaha World-Herald:

Several hundred counter demonstrators also gathered along the march route. Deborah Cardamone of Pittsburgh held up a cardboard tombstone bearing the names of women who had died from abortions. Among the victims was her daughter, Marla, who died in 1989 at age 18 after an abortion.

Cardamone, a member of Silent No More, an anti-abortion group of women who have had abortions but are now opposed to the procedure, said her daughter felt as if she had no other choice but to get an abortion.

“I am just here to represent her and all of the other women who didn’t have a choice,” she said. “She was murdered along with my grandson.”

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About tmatt

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Universal Syndicate.

  • Jon S.

    Click on my name below to check out some photos from the event by Bunnie Diehl, who blogs alongside the World Magazine blog. The lack of coherent thought in the signs at the event is … amusing.

  • Will Linden

    Silent No More is not specifically mentioned in the Late Edition, and the counter-protestors are lumped together as waving pictures of “foetuses” and shouting. However, the story quotes Amy Martin, who sounds like one of the SNM contingent who have been posting in the blogosphere.

  • xray

    Thanx for the link Jon S. The lack of cohernet thought in Diehl’s blog is… amusing. Abortion is bad because fat, ugly, lesbians make stupid signs.

  • Jason Pitzl-Waters

    I’m sure the wise “Get Religion” folks know this but the March For Women’s Lives (which is the name of the march) was not a one-issue march and to keep calling it a “pro-abortion-rights march” in your entries while true on one level bespeaks a subtle reframing on your part.

  • Marinda R.

    Hmmm, Jason P-w:

    On all the radio ads advocating that I drop everything and go participate, the only issue I ever heard mentioned was keeping my “abortion rights”; so, that “reframing” originated in the march’s own PR.

  • tmatt


    Well, it simply means that I am following the Associated Press Stylebook, as have most mainstream media in covering the event. It is hard to read reports from either side of the aisle that do not make it clear that abortion was the defining issue of the march. The annual March For Life gets into other issues, too. The total life agenda — for liberals who oppose abortion, as well as conservatives — is certainly more than abortion. But that is the defining issue.

  • Jason Pitzl-Waters

    “But that is the defining issue”

    I concede that it was the defining issue, I just thought it odd that you never mentioned the name of the march, it made it sound like this was some random march that happened at the spur of the moment and not one of the largest organised protest/march in recent memory.

    By the way, I enjoy your blog quite a bit, thanks for all the work you do.

  • Jill

    Not just amusing, Jon S., but sad. Bunnie did a good job with the photography — a decent example of blog-based photo journalism, IMHO. The pictures reveal the true faces of the pro-abortion movement. These people are angry, hard-hearted, and lost. They are to be pitied.

  • Chris Bugbee

    Jill and John S’s uncharitable enthusiasm for them, Bunnie Diehl’s tendentious photo-documentation and commentary of last Sunday’s March on Washington no more represents “reveal the true faces of the pro-abortion movement” than Dana Carvey’s Church Lady on Saturday Night Live reveals the true face of conservative Christianity. Committed believers (as well as committed secularists) are found on both sides of this issue, which is what makes it such a painful divide. Any effort to pretend otherwise is simply tendentious.

  • ELC

    I thought the “reframing” was done by the march’s organizers, who had planned an abortion-right’s march but expanded the field, so to speak, to get a better turnout.

  • Marinda R.

    So, all those pro-legal-abortion ladies in Bunnie’s pictures are guys in drag pretending to be p-l-a ladies so they can make fun of them? The sick &@$%@#*s!

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