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Saturday, November 18, 2017
HomePolicyMedia and Reproductive Rights

Media and Reproductive Rights

carolroyecrop8Carol Roye, EdD, CPNP, FAAN, is Professor and Assistant Dean for Research at the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing and a Faculty Associate at the Roosevelt House Public Policy INstitute. She is also a women’s health nurse practitioner and a researcher who studies women’s reproductive issues. She is an advocate for protecting women’s reproductive rights, frequently noting media misrepresentations of the facts. Dr. Roye noted two recent media lapses that led her to contact the PBS News Hour and the New York Times. She has shared them with HealthCetera:

PBS Newshour

In response to a piece on the Arkansas abortion law that bans procedures after 12 weeks of pregnancy, Dr. Roye emailed the Newshour’s producers:

“A guest on the Newshour tonight (3/7), a reporter from Arkansas talking about the new abortion law there, mentioned medical abortions, ‘such as Plan B’. Plan B IS NOT an abortifiacient. It can prevent pregnancy, but would NOT CAUSE ABORTION if taken by a pregnant woman. She was thinking about RU-486. There is so much confusion about this issue — please make the correction on air.”

PBS Newshour responded by posting a note with the online video that can be viewed here.

New York Times

On March 11th, the New York Times published an article about an Arkansas State Senator who has been a leading proponent of a law that would ban abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Dr. Roye wrote the following letter to the Times that was not published, telling HealthCetera that she almost never sees letters to the editor on abortion in that paper.

“One might believe that Arkansas State Senator Jason Rapert has a really strong belief in the sanctity of life, because he wants to restrict abortion in Arkansas at 6 weeks after a woman’s last menstrual period, or, typically, 4 weeks gestation. Yet, Mr. Rapert has a 100% rating from the NRA. We know that a gun in the home is much more likely to kill someone in the home, often a child, than an intruder. How does Mr. Rapert reconcile has concern for blastocysts and embryos smaller than a grain of rice when he is willing to put living, breathing children in jeopardy for the sake of gun rights, or more accurately – for the sake of gun manufacturers?”

You can follow Carol Roye on Twitter @CarolRoyeRN or on her web site at

Latest comment

  • Unfortunately, according to reports, in the last ten years (2001-2010), Arkansas has had a rate of gun deaths that is almost 50 percent higher than the national average, and 9th highest of any state in the country. 4291 people killed by guns in Arkansas. As of 2010, Arkansas had the 10th worst gun murder rate in the nation, 25 percent higher than the national average. In 2010, Arkansas had the 3rd worst gun murder rate among women of all 50 states. Weak laws made Arkansas as a favorite state for gun traffickers to purchase guns. Because of weak preventive laws, Arkansas does not conduct its own background checks for sales, does not prohibit the transfer of assault weapons, does not license firearm owners, does not limit the purchase of guns at one time, and does not regulate unsafe handguns and so on.
    While Arkansas was seeking guidance because of weak laws about gun violence it is interesting that there have been recent actions related with abortion and pregnancy. I wanted to state that I totally agree with Prof. Roye’s letter and, I would like to add that it is truly sad to have a Senator who cares more for unborn children than BORN children. In my opinion, there should be more efforts and actions to prevent BORN children first in the state of Arkansas. As an important part of Legislative Branch, the Senator Mr. Rapert must put his efforts mainly to prevent gun violence first which can lead to better outcomes for the health of children and women. A Senator should be able act by putting aside his/her personal beliefs and views.

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