PORTLAND — The communications director for Oregon Right to Life (ORTL) isn’t mincing words about what she perceives as an intentional local media bias against the pro-life cause.
“It’s gross negligence,” stated Liberty Pike in a press release issued just hours after an estimated 1,000 supporters of the pro-life position gathered at Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square Jan. 19 for the annual Roe vs. Wade Memorial and March.
“Today, Oregonians made time in their lives to come and share their beliefs in the public square, literally. What little media did come went to great lengths to make sure only one side of the conversation had accurate representation.
“They should be ashamed to call themselves journalists. Thankfully, we don’t need them as much as we used to. Social media and cameras are in everyone’s pockets.”
Specifically, Pike said Portland Tribune and Oregon Public Broadcasting trivialized and distorted the event while other media outlets ignored it entirely. Despite more than 1,000 in attendance, she said, the Tribune described the event as “sparsely-attended” and OPB called the attendees “a handful of visible opponents” to a non-permitted counterprotest of less than 100 people organized by socialist groups. Pike said the Tribune originally described the pro-life crowd as “outnumbered” but removed that word after photos were sent showing otherwise.
“I have heard people say that journalism is dead,” said Pike, who also emceed the event. “After today, I believe it. One member of the media refused to interview me for our side of the story. She then came back and aggressively said, ‘You have 30 seconds, what do you got? Give it your best shot.’ I asked her what outlet she was with and she refused and insisted I ‘give it my best shot.’ I asked again who she was with and she stormed off.”
Pike said three other reporters were approached by Oregon Right to Life staff offering an interview, but they “rejected the chance to write a balanced story.”
Co-sponsored by Oregon Right to Life, Christian News Northwest, Oregon Family Council and Mater Dei Radio (KBVM-FM in Portland and KMME-FM in Eugene), the rally and march marked the 46th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion throughout pregnancy.
Speakers included Archbishop Alexander Sample of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland; retired Portland-area pediatrician Dr. Joan Sage; Morgan DuVal of the Students for Life chapter at Corban University in Salem; Becky — who prefers to be publicly known only by her first name — of the StandUpGirl.com pro-life ministry affiliated with ORTL; ORTL lobbyist Jessica Stanton; and Marc Estes, pastor of Portland’s Mannahouse Church (formerly City Bible Church).
Sample noted with regret the “heartbreaking defeat”in November’s general election of Measure 106, which sought to halt state funding of abortion in Oregon. “It was a sad moment for me, and I know, many of you,” he said. But he praised the pro-life crowd for a strong turnout despite such “ups and downs” in the effort to change hearts and minds.
“We must not lessen our efforts,” he said. “We will not be silent. We will be peaceable, respectful and prayerful, but we will speak.”
DuVal pointed out that the Corban Students for Life chapter is one of 1,200 nationally, and 24 in Oregon.
“My generation is going to turn the tide of abortion in this country,” she said. She acknowledged that opposing abortion is not always popular, but said, “The pro-life cause is too important to be silent.”
Becky of StandUpGirl.com has been featured on the website for 18 years, sharing her own story of being frightened and confused by her unexpected pregnancy as a young girl. “I decided to keep my baby and raise her, and I’m thankful every day that I did,” she said.
She said the website, which shares many similar stories, has had 136 million visitors. “It is changing the hearts and minds of an entire generation,” she said.
Estes cited Psalms 139: 13-17, in which King David of Israel describes how each person is divinely created.
“One thing I know for sure, as I look at the infallible Word of God, God is not confused about this issue — life begins in the womb,” Estes said.