Media progress praises the new abortion law but avoids mentioning Irene Montero


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Today we could focus this section by analyzing how the right-wing media harshly attacks the new Abortion Law that is expected to be approved in the coming days, in the face of the favorable position held by the progressive media. But that is an approach, let’s say, quite obvious: no one can call attention (and, in that sense, perhaps not contribute much), verify that the right is positioned against and the left in favor. As this is very obvious, I want us to try to spin a little finer and look at the position in which each media block places the Ministry of Equality and Minister Irene Montero, promoter of this step forward in the legislation of the right to abortion.

The right-wing media, in its pieces contrary to the new Abortion Law, places Irene Montero at the center of criticism, both in the headlines, as in the text, and in the chosen photographs. Look. News from The World. Headline: “Irene Montero finalizes the reform that will once again allow minors under 16 and 17 years of age to abort without parental permission.” Photography: Irene Montero. ABC News: “The Government will monitor with inspectors that abortions are performed in all communities and in public hospitals.” Photography: Irene Montero. Another from ABC: “The future Abortion Law, in ten very quick keys.” Photography: Irene Montero. The Reason: “abort without the yes of the parents”. Photography: Irene Montero (with a face of few friends). Onda Cero, Atresmedia radio: “Abortion Law: the controversial measures contained in the new reform”. Photography: Irene Montero.

The intention is quite obvious: starting from the premise that the readers of these right-wing newspapers may generally have opinions contrary to this new law, the Minister of Equality is placed in the spotlight, through large photographs, seeking to generate in the readers a feeling of rejection towards his figure. So far, everything is very predictable. But let’s now see how media progress comes from the PSOE’s orbit, because there things become a little more sophisticated.

To understand what we are explaining, we must remember the enormous reluctance that the PSOE had to lose control of the Ministry of Equality in favor of Podemos, because of what this implied in terms of giving up the banner of feminist politics in Spain. This resistance is expressed very often, for example, when the PSOE has publicly disqualified the main laws of the Ministry of Equality (it happened with the trans law but also with the law only if it is yes), or when it has “counterprogrammed” Montero leading on their own to Congress laws that “stepped on” the legislative projects of the Ministry of Equality, as happened with the so-called Law of equal treatment. That permanent political battle of the PSOE to try to dispute the feminist advances to the Ministry of Equality is key to understanding why the media ecosystem of the PSOE treats this issue in the way it does and why something happens that is very striking (or not so much if we take into account what I have just told): while the media right, as we saw before, illustrates its information on this law with photographs of Irene Montero, media such as El País, SER, Televisión Española or La Sexta report on the new Law of Abortion in a favorable way but without using photographs and practically without mentioning Minister Irene Montero at any time.

For example, El País today carries this issue on its front page, but Irene Montero does not appear in the photograph or mentioned even once in the text on the front page. And the same thing happens with the two news items on the subject published by the Grupo PRISA newspaper. Yesterday’s news: “The new abortion law will allow the termination of pregnancy from the age of 16 without parental permission.” Today’s news: “The keys to a law beyond abortion: a permit for the last month of pregnancy and up to five days off for painful periods.” No trace of the Minister for Equality in the photographs, or in the headlines, or in the subheadings, or practically anywhere. And the same thing happens with other media in the same orbit: both, RTVE and the SER chain illustrate their digital content on the new abortion law with photographs of demonstrations or ultrasounds and with headlines that do not mention Montero. The truth is that it is quite striking.

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