Pro-life organization Heartbeat International featured in pro-abortion publication
Heartbeat International and its network of nearly 2,000 life-affirming pregnancy help locations were featured at Cosmopolitan.com in a major article written by undercover reporter Meaghan Winter and published in partnership with The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute late Monday.
The article, “’Save the Mother, Save the Baby’: An Inside Look at a Pregnancy Center Conference,” was released on the eve of Heartbeat International’s 44th Annual Conference—the largest in the organization’s history, with more than 1,000 in attendance in downtown St. Louis. The Cosmo article highlights, at length, the biblically rooted pro-life convictions shared by those serving in pregnancy help organizations.
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Although she did not reach out to Heartbeat International for comment or identify herself as a reporter, the organization was aware of Ms. Winters’ plans as an undercover reporter prior to the 2014 Annual Conference. Heartbeat International also notified affected members of its nearly 2,000-member affiliation group via email prior to Ms. Winter’ arrival to pregnancy help locations in Arkansas and Central Ohio in the past year.
“Meaghan has shown a great deal of courage and integrity by entering our world, which in many ways breaks the mold for a pro-abortion journalist,” Heartbeat International President Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D., said. “Her article shows that she experienced first-hand the care, compassion, and quiet conviction of the women and men who work every day to empower women to make the healthiest decision for everyone involved in an unexpected pregnancy.”
“Even though Meaghan makes it clear she does not agree with Heartbeat International’s life-saving vision—to make abortion unwanted today and unthinkable for future generations—she deserves a great deal of credit for the courage and vulnerability it has no doubt taken her to write this story.”
Featuring the lead cut-line, "We might be the very first face of Christ that these girls ever see," which was a quotation from a speaker at the 2014 Annual Conference in Charleston, S.C., the Cosmo article relies heavily upon quotations from Conference speakers, including prominent pro-life voices Abby Johnson, Kirk Walden, and Priests for Life’s Fr. Frank Pavone.
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In the article, Ms. Winter does present an unbalanced representation of the body of existing research related to the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual effects of abortion. She also cites information on the government funding of certain aspects of pregnancy help organizations while failing to compare the $1.5 billion of taxpayer dollars Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortions in the U.S., received from 2010-12.