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NY Times Article on Abortion Misleading; LifeSiteNews.com Uncovers the Truth There are two important issues involved in this story. One concerns journalistic integrity. The other reveals the motives behind some pro-abortion advocates, in this case a UN-accredited non-governmental organization called Ipas that sells portable abortion devices over the telephone and operates in Latin America, specifically in this instance El Salvador where this drama unfolds. Is this organization, and others like it, protecting the rights and welfare of women or trying to make a buck to the detriment of women and their unborn infants?
Read the NY Times article here
See LifeSiteNews.com's original report:
"New York Times Caught in Abortion-Promoting Whopper - Infanticide Portrayed as Abortion"
New York Times Ombudsman Admits Paper Was Caught in Misrepresentation by LifeSiteNews.com
By John-Henry Westen
NEW YORK, January 2, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Byron Calame, the Public Editor (ombudsman) at the New York Times, in a 1,500 word article published on December 31 in the New York Times, admits that LifeSiteNews.com was correct in exposing a grievous error in reporting by the New York Times Magazine.
In November LifeSiteNews.com published an article titled, "New York Times Caught in Abortion-Promoting Whopper - Infanticide Portrayed as Abortion." Based on information from Julia Sol de Cardenal, a pro-life leader in El Salvador, LifeSiteNews.com pointed out that the cover article in the NYT magazine of April 6 claimed falsely that some women in El Salvador were imprisoned for thirty years for illegal abortions.
The author, Jack Hitt, provided as an example the case of Carmen Climaco, a woman whom he visited in prison in El Salvador. "The truth," said Hitt, was that Climaco "had a clandestine abortion at 18 weeks . . . something defined as absolutely legal in the United States. It's just that she'd had an abortion in El Salvador."
Pro-life leaders provided LifeSiteNews.com with the actual court ruling from the Climaco case. The ruling, which LifeSiteNews.com published in full, cited forensic evidence concluding that, rather than an abortion, it was a case of infanticide of a full-term baby who had breathed prior to strangulation.
The New York Times public editor credits LifeSiteNews.com readers with providing the impetus for his corrective article. "Complaints about the article began arriving at the paper after an anti-abortion Web site, LifeSiteNews.com, reported on Nov. 27 that the court had found that Ms. Climaco's pregnancy ended with a full-term live birth," says Calame writing in the Times. "Seizing on the misleading presentation of the article's only example of a 30-year jail sentence for an abortion, the site urged viewers to complain to the publisher and the president of The Times. A few came to me," he writes.
LifeSiteNews.com readers who brought forward their concerns, had their emails rebuffed with form-letter responses from the Times indicating that there was "no reason to doubt the accuracy of the facts as reported."
Calame notes in his article that Hitt admits to not having even read the final court ruling in the Climaco case. Calame adds that the ruling is readily available. "But obtaining the public document isn't difficult. At my request, a stringer for The Times in El Salvador walked into the court building without making any prior arrangements a few days ago, and minutes later had an official copy of the court ruling," says Calame. Adding that, "It proved to be the same document as the one disseminated by LifeSiteNews.com."
Calame points out further that Hitt admits to having his interview with Climaco translated by an unpaid translator from the pro-abortion group IPAS. In addition to abortion advocacy, Cardenal - the pro-life leader in El Salvador - points out that IPAS stands to profit financially from the legalization of abortion in El Salvador since it sells vacuum aspirators used for abortion and incomplete abortion.
Calame concludes, "One thing is clear to me, at this point, about the key example of Carmen Climaco. Accuracy and fairness were not pursued with the vigor Times readers have a right to expect."
Nevertheless, the editors at the New York Times are not yet ready to admit their error. Calame reports that Gerald Marzorati, the editor of the magazine while he admitted that after seeing the ruling, "we would have qualified what we said about Ms. Climaco" would neither issue a correction or Editor's Note. He would not even raise the issue of the courts' findings to those who received their "no reason to doubt" responses.
To respectfully express concerns to the New York Times:
Arthur Sulzberger Jr., Chairman & Publisher:
Scott H. Heekin-Canedy, President, General Manager
See Calame's full article in the New York Times:
New York Times Likely to Dump Ombudsman after Abortion Bias Exposed
By John-Henry Westen
NEW YORK, January 4, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The New York Times is seriously contemplating removing its public editor (ombudsman) position which was instituted in 2003 to be an independent voice for the public within the paper in order to maintain credibility. The new move comes in the wake of current public editor Byron Calame's confirmation that LifeSiteNews.com was correct in asserting the Times made a major error in reporting on criminal penalties for abortion in El Salvador.
The first recorded mention of the intention to axe the position was raised at a December 15 New York Times meeting where Times' executive editor Bill Keller raised the idea. That meeting was held about a week after Calame began asking very uncomfortable questions of senior editors at the Times, and receiving in response terse replies rejecting his warnings that the NYT magazine had been caught in a serious error which deserved correction.
With information from contacts in El Salvador, LifeSiteNews.com pointed out that the cover article in the NYT magazine of April 6 claimed falsely that some women in El Salvador were imprisoned for thirty years for illegal abortions. LifeSiteNews published the full court ruling in the case which showed that rather than being jailed for a clandestine abortion - as the Times magazine asserted - the case study cited actually concerned infanticide of a full-term baby. (see coverage: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/jan/07010208.html )
Calame describes his struggle with the editors of the Times in the pages of the paper saying, "After the English translation of the court ruling became available on Dec. 8, I asked Mr. Marzorati (NYT magazine editor) if he continued to have 'no reason to doubt the accuracy of the facts' in the article. His e-mail response seemed to ignore the ready availability of the court document containing the findings from the trial before the three-judge panel and its sentencing decision."
Calame also struggled with the Times' standards editor. "I asked Mr. Whitney if he intended to suggest that the office of the publisher bring the court's findings to the attention of those readers who received the 'no reason to doubt' response, or that a correction be published," writes Calame. He notes that no decision to issue a correction had been made despite the overwhelming evidence.
Soon after these exchanges the December 15 meeting occurred where the intent to eliminate the public editor position was raised. In his December 31 publication of the article exposing the NYT magazine story errors, Calame concludes, "One thing is clear to me, at this point, about the key example of Carmen Climaco. Accuracy and fairness were not pursued with the vigor Times readers have a right to expect."
Calame told LifeSiteNews.com that his personal position at the Times was not in question since his "non-renewable, two-year contract to serve as public editor ends May 8, 2007."
LifeSiteNews.com contacted Times spokesman Abbe Serphos for comment, but she did not respond by press time.
Speaking with the New York Observer about the Times' contemplation of removing the position, Calame said, "I have been critical of the newsroom. I've also praised the newsroom, and I think that Bill Keller has been-quite obviously-unhappy with some of the things I've written."
"It seems to me that the high degree of independence that has been given to the public editor at The New York Times makes it a situation that inevitably causes criticism," continued Calame.
He concluded his remarks to the Observer stating: "So it is not a surprise to me that The New York Times-that Bill Keller, the executive editor, and Arthur Sulzberger, the publisher-would want to sit down and think about whether they want to have a public editor."
Our New York Times expose continues to generate interest. Today, LifeSiteNews editor John-Henry Westen was interviewed on the Talk Radio Network's Jerry Doyle program about the Times story. The Talk Radio Network is heard by millions of U.S. listeners. The word now is that New York Times management is considering getting rid of its Public Editor (Ombudsman) whose one-half page article in Sunday's New York times concurred with the LifeSiteNews.com findings.
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From Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM)
UN NGO at the Center of New York Times Reporting Scandal
By Samantha Singson
(NEW YORK — C-FAM) It has been revealed by Canadian-based LifeSiteNews.com that the New York Times published a grossly inaccurate story about abortion in El Salvador and that it was assisted in the incorrect story by a notorious pro-abortion group. Times freelancer Jack Hitt’s April 2006 story, “Pro-Life Nation”, reported on a woman serving a 30-year jail term for supposedly having an illegal abortion. To get the story, the Times relied on a translator from a UN-accredited non-governmental organization called Ipas that, among other things, sells portable abortion devices over the telephone.
The Times writer was trying to make a point about what happens when countries have pro-life laws; that women go to jail for having abortions. The problem with the story is that it is not true. The woman, Carmen Climaco, was not jailed for having an abortion, but for strangling to death her newborn infant. Court papers revealing this were easily obtained by LifeSite who then complained to the Times. Two Times editors defended the piece as accurate.
Ipas, the pro-abortion group in collusion with the inaccurate story launched a fundraising campaign to “help Carmen [Climaco] and other Central American women who are suffering under extreme abortion laws.”
A UN-accredited NGO since 1998, Ipas works “to enhance women’s reproductive choices and to eliminate unsafe abortions” and “to expand the availability and accessibility of medical equipment and supplies that health professionals need to deliver high-quality reproductive health services.” To this end, Ipas sells and distributes the manual vacuum aspirator (MVA), a portable abortion device.
A pro-life expert from Latin America told the Friday Fax, “Ipas is doing a lot of damage in our countries. Their aim is to legalize abortion in El Salvador, in Nicaragua and all of Latin America because they want to sell their abortion vacuum machines in huge quantities. They shouldn't have the status of an NGO since they are really dealers, they distribute and profit from selling these machines.”
Last Sunday, the New York Times ombudsman reported on the scandal and concluded that LifeSite was right and the Times was wrong and reported further that the Times had no plans to print a retraction or correction of the story. The Ipas website did not mention the Times’ inaccurate portrayal of the Climaco case, despite benefiting from a fundraising campaign based on the false story. The Ipas’ website refers to the ombudsman’s report only as calling “attention to the tragic situation faced by women in El Salvador who must make crucial reproductive choices.”
Copyright 2006 - C-FAM (Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute). Permission granted for unlimited use. Credit required.