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.”