WaPo Labeling Bias Pits Conservative Pro-lifers vs. 'Women's Health Advocates'
In a below-the-fold August 22 front page story, the Washington Post cast a "controversial" new federal regulation aimed at safeguarding the consciences of medical professionals as pitting "conservative groups" and "abortion opponents" against "[w]omen's health advocates."
Right off the bat Post staffer Rob Stein skewed his article -- "Protections Set for Antiabortion Health Workers: Opponents Denounce Proposed Regulation Allowing Federal Officials to Pull Funding" -- leftward:
The Bush administration yesterday announced plans to implement a controversial regulation designed to protect doctors, nurses and other health-care workers who object to abortion from being forced to deliver services that violate their personal beliefs.
The proposed regulation, which could go into effect after a 30-day comment period, was welcomed by conservative groups, abortion opponents and others as necessary to safeguard workers from being fired, disciplined or penalized in other ways. Women's health advocates, family planning advocates, abortion rights activists and others, however, condemned the regulation, saying it could create sweeping obstacles to a variety of health services, including abortion, family planning, end-of-life care and possibly a wide range of scientific research.
Stein went on to cite the objections of an official with Planned Parenthood, but failed to note that the organization profits heavily from providing abortion services:
"The Bush administration's proposed regulation poses a serious threat to women's health care by limiting the rights of patients to receive complete and accurate health information and services," said Cecile Richards of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. "Women's ability to manage their own health care is at risk of being compromised by politics and ideology."