The Washington Post is no opponent of economic regulation. But dare to touch the largely unregulated abortion industry and it's quite a different story.
In a 23-paragraph Metro section front-pager entitled "Stricter Va. rules on abortion gain,"* Post staffer Anita Kumar --see our archive on her bias here -- noted in her lead paragraph that "the Virginia Board of Health overwhelmingly approved far-reaching regulations for abortion clinics" yesterday that "some operators say could shut down many of the state's 22 facilities" when they go into effect at the end of the year.
Kumar (pictured at left) presented the new regulations as the cause of sadness and righteous indignation among opponents. In her third paragraph the Post reporter noted NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia official Tarina Keene had "teared up after the vote" and in paragraph seven Kumar quoted an unidentified man railing against the "government dogs" who "should know better."
Although Kumar noted a recent poll shows 55 percent of Virginia voters support "requiring clinics to meet hospital-type regulations" and observed the hearing was marked by "passionate public testimony from residents split over the regulations," Kumar only quoted two supporters** of the regulations compared to five opponents.
It wasn't until paragraph 16 that Kumar noted the bipartisan support for the new regulations as the state Board of Health is comprised of nine members appointed by Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell and six by his Democratic predecessor, former DNC chairman Tim Kaine.
Three of Kaine's appointees joined McDonnell's appointees, one voted against the regs and two "were absent from the meeting."
*The online headline is different: "Va. Board of Health approves stricter rules for abortion clinics"
**Kumar also quoted a spokesman for Gov. McDonnell, Jeff Caldwell, but his was a neutral quote: "We will review the regulations as approved by the board in the weeks ahead."