Bozell Column: Poor Planned Parenthood?
As much as liberals decry major corporations that act as if they’re above the law, there’s always quiet when the subject is Planned Parenthood, America’s number one corporate provider of abortions. During its 2005-2006 fiscal year, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America performed a record 264,943 abortions, reported a tidy profit of $55.8 million – and received a record high in taxpayer funding of $305.3 million.
This is one corporation the media hold in the highest regard. They’re not "merchants of death." That would be the tobacco companies, or gun manufacturers, or hamburger joints. These are the heroic "providers" of "a woman’s right to choose."
They’re also sleazy in their business practices. In Aurora, Illinois, Planned Parenthood planned to build the biggest abortion clinic in the country, but they lied by omission to the city. Throughout the construction process, the McDonald’s of the abortion industry applied for permits by listing the owner as "Gemini Office Development," not as Planned Parenthood.
ABC News to the rescue! Barbara Pinto filed a report on the September 19 "World News," suggesting black was white. "Planned Parenthood denies they've deceived anyone," she stated, adding that their spokesman in Chicago said they were "entirely truthful." Pinto proceeded to blame Aurora’s officials for being dimwitted: "None of the city officials or elected officials were aware that Planned Parenthood would be the tenant in this building. That, despite the fact plans they approved included a surgical center, bulletproof glass and numerous security cameras." ABC ended by quoting the clinic’s neighbors wishing the pro-lifers would stop protesting: "I just wish that they'd go home. I'm tired of seeing their signs."
Down the highway in Kansas, Johnson County District Attorney Phil Kline just filed 107 charges against Planned Parenthood, charging that its clinic in Overland Park, Kansas performed unlawful late-term abortions. Kansas state law holds that abortion is legal only when a doctor affirms that the baby is not viable to live outside the mother’s womb. If the baby can live, then two doctors must attest the abortion is necessary for the woman’s physical or mental health. That’s why clinic records are an issue.
The 23 felony counts allege that Planned Parenthood submitted false "pregnancy termination reports" to a court on August 21 in response to a subpoena. District Court Judge James S. Vano agreed there was probable cause to think crimes had been committed and set a November 16 court date. Planned Parenthood faces more than $2.5 million in potential fines.
But you’ll not see a story virtually anywhere on this budding scandal because the press studiously avoids scrutiny of its liberal sacred cows – or focuses its guns on that person who would dare to get in their way. They’d lionize a state official attacking crisis-pregnancy centers that try to talk women out of abortions. But investigate the abortion industry, and you’re a national disgrace.
In 2005 Kline was demonized by glossy national magazines like GQ as the man "who will do anything to stop abortion." In that GQ article, his local Planned Parenthood adversary, Peter Brownlie, was allowed to make the ridiculous claim that, "Planned Parenthood, by its efforts to prevent unintended pregnancies, has prevented more abortions than any anti-abortion group that has ever existed. They talk. We do."
So pro-lifers should applaud Planned Parenthood – for not killing every baby it encounters.
Now comes another ABC News story on its website, with a fresh liberal tilt. ABC’s Emily Friedman began by suggesting Kline was "either an agenda-driven prosecutor operating outside the law or one of the best friends the anti-abortion rights movement has ever had."
Not only are pro-lifers not "pro-life," they’re not even "abortion foes." They’re now – in a news report, remember -- "anti-rights." Friedman unloaded the critical comments of liberals: not just Planned Parenthood’s Brownlie, but Kansas professor Burdett Loomis (whom even she noted was a strategist for the Democratic governor of Kansas in 2004), and Kim Gandy, the boss of the National Organization for Women, who lionized Dr. George Tiller, the champion of hideous third-trimester abortions, as "one of the very few who has the courage to do this kind of work."
A Kline spokesman tried to rebut the claims of "critics," but it was hopeless. The overall tone of the piece was how Kline is not only ruining the "choice" of third-trimester abortions for desperate women, his pro-life agenda is ruining the Republican Party on the plains. ABC’s expert analyst? Professor Loomis the Democrat, who concluded the article: "I think even within the Republican Party, this is a guy who has probably outlived his welcome."
Planned Parenthood is a formidable force in national (and state) politics. One major reason is networks like ABC, news outlets that don’t really care whether this corporation plays by the rules, as long as the abortion assembly line keeps running.