WashPost's Vozzella Cites Planned Parenthood Doc to Criticize Va. Abortion Regs, Doesn't Tell Readers She's with Group

As we've noted here at NewsBusters, the Washington Post's Laura Vozzella has done her level best to attack Virginia's new strict abortion clinic regulations. Today was no exception as the Post staffer jumped on the chance to cast a Democrat-appointed health official's resignation in protest of the new regs as a move that has "provoked an outcry among the medical community." However the doctor that Vozzella quoted to represent the entire medical professional in the Old Line State is a Democratic donor whose primary place of medical practice is a Planned Parenthood clinic in Richmond.

In her October 19 front-pager "Virginia health official resigns: Abortion clinic rules cited," Vozzella noted how "Virginia's health commissioner" Karen Remley -- a 2008 appointee of then-Gov. Tim Kaine who was retained by Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) -- "abruptly stepped down Thursday over new regulations requiring abortion facilities to meet strict, hospital-style building standards that many clinics contend they cannot afford." Later in her story, Vozzella turned to one Wendy Klein, whom she simply told readers was "an internist and retired Virginia Commonwealth University medical professor who has spoken against the building rules."


"The fact that she [Remley] feels so compromised by undue political pressure -- it's stunning," Klein groused to the Post, adding, "It also makes us that much more vulnerable to the social agenda of the McDonnell administration."

She's entitled to her opinion, of course, but a Web search reveals that Dr. Klein is affiliated with abortion provider Virginia League of Planned Parenthood (VLPP).

According to the practitioner database for the Virginia Board of Medicine, Dr. Wendy Simons Klein, M.D., is employed -- as of June 10, 2012 at least -- to practice medicine at the VLPP clinic on N. Hamilton Street in Richmond, Va., where she sees patients every Tuesday. That clinic performs abortion services, although it is unclear if Dr. Klein is the clinician who does them.

According to the Federal Elections Commission database, a Wendy Klein of Henrico, Va., employed with VLPP donated $500 to Gov. Tim Kaine's Senate race in June 2011.  On June 5, 2012, a "self-employed"'Wendy Klein of Richmond, Va., possibly the same person, donated $500 to President Obama's reelection campaign.

What's more, Vozzella waited to deep into the article to note evidence that Remley may have colluded with the Kaine campaign to strategically resign at such as time as to give the Kaine campaign an opening to attack Senate opponent former Gov. George Allen (R), just hours before their final debate Thursday night (emphasis mine):

Remley’s resignation provided instant fodder in the U.S. Senate race between former governors Timothy M. Kaine, the abortion rights Democrat who first appointed Remley, and George Allen, a Republican opposed to abortion. Just 90 minutes after Remley hit “send” on her resignation e-mail, and three hours before he was to debate Allen in Blacksburg, Kaine was out with an e-mail of his own.

“It’s unfortunate that a political focus on limiting women’s access to health care has prompted her resignation after many years of diligent and faithful service to the Commonwealth,” said Kaine, who has pushed “women’s issues” throughout his campaign.

Allen’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Victoria Cobb, president of the conservative Family Foundation, which has argued that the building standards will protect women’s health, said the timing of Remley’s departure “reeks of political posturing.” She said in a statement that Kaine and President Obama were “desperately trying to wrap themselves around abortion in the misguided belief it will save their campaigns.”

So to review, Vozzella a) failed to disclose Klein's abortion clinic affiliation and partisan leanings and  b) arguably buried the lede by shuffling deep into the article the fishy timing of the resignation email and the quick response by the Kaine campaign.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters