ABC Disparages Pro-Life Pharmacist’s Choice to Have Large Family

[Update, 10:15 am, 12 August: Pro-life blogger Jill Stanek, who is a central figure in the story of Barack Obama's support for infanticide, gave a deeper explanation of Megan Kelly's background on her blog on Monday evening.]

ABC correspondent Gigi Stone’s report on Friday’s World News lined up two liberal women against a pro-life pharmacist in a segment on the controversy over whether pharmacists have the right to refuse to fill prescriptions for contraception. She later reported in a condescending tone about how the family of the pharmacist has nine children [see video at right; audio available here].

Stone introduced the first woman, Megan Kelly, as a "married mother." Several years ago, as Stone described, Kelly "tried to fill her monthly birth control pills [when] a pharmacist refused."

In her sound bite, Kelly explained her reaction to this refusal: "It's very, very shocking and very unsettling and one of those moments where, you know, as like a female, you're not sure if you want to cry, if you want to get really mad."

Though Stone did report that Kelly had filed a complaint with the state of Illinois over the pharmacist’s refusal, she oversimplified how the Democratic-controlled state government responded. In April 2005, Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich instituted an "emergency rule" which forced pharmacies "to accept and fill prescriptions for contraceptives without delay," as the Washington Post reported at the time. Instead of reporting this detail, Stone merely stated that "the state of Illinois... now requires pharmacies to fill all prescriptions. California and New Jersey recently enacted similar laws." She also omitted how Kelly now campaigns for government-mandated stocking of contraceptives at pharmacies.

The ABC correspondent later lead into the sound bite of the other woman, Katherine Humphrey of Planned Parenthood, by stating how "[s]ome women's rights advocates say women who are denied will seek out unsafe alternatives." Humphrey then gave her take on the issue: "Without access to this essential health care, women's health and their lives are at risk." Contraception is "essential health care"?

Substitute anchor Kate Snow, hinted at ABC’s liberal leanings on the topic when she introduced Stone’s report: "Increasingly, the corner pharmacy is no longer stocking a product used by many Americans -- birth control. The pharmacy owners say they have a right to withhold products and services they find objectionable. But critics say these drug stores are trampling on the rights of women to obtain safe and legal contraceptives."

The full transcript of Gigi Stone’s report from Friday’s World News:

KATE SNOW: Increasingly, the corner pharmacy is no longer stocking a product used by many Americans -- birth control. The pharmacy owners say they have a right to withhold products and services they find objectionable. But critics say these drug stores are trampling on the rights of women to obtain safe and legal contraceptives. Now, some lawmakers are getting involved -- with our 'Closer Look' tonight, here's ABC's Gigi Stone.

GIGI STONE (voice-over): Kay pharmacy in Grand Rapids, Michigan, looks like any other pharmacy. But there are some things you won't find -- no condoms, no birth control. Owner Mike Koelzer sent this letter to his customers, telling them he would no longer be filling their prescriptions for contraception.

STONE (on-camera): You feel so strong enough about this you're willing to lose business?

MIKE KOELZER, OWNER, KAY PHARMACY: I was and will be willing to lose the business, in order to not be a part of something that I don't agree with [sic].

STONE: Individual pharmacists refusing to sell birth control is not new. But this is a new front in the culture war. Privately-owned pharmacies refusing to sell birth control or contraceptives, because it violates their religious beliefs.

STONE (voice-over): A group called Pharmacists for Life claims it is a growing movement. This deeply disturbs married mother Megan Kelly. When she tried to fill her monthly birth control pills, a pharmacist refused.

MEGAN KELLY: It's very, very shocking and very unsettling and one of those moments where, you know, as like a female, you're not sure if you want to cry, if you want to get really mad.

STONE: Megan filed a complaint with the state of Illinois, which now requires pharmacies to fill all prescriptions. California and New Jersey recently enacted similar laws. But in most states, pharmacies can refuse to sell anything they don't want to. Some women's rights advocates say women who are denied will seek out unsafe alternatives.

KATHERINE HUMPHREY, PLANNED PARENTHOOD: Without access to this essential health care, women's health and their lives are at risk.

STONE: But independent pharmacy owners who object to contraception argue they have a right to what to decide what they sell, and people should able to choose for themselves. The Koelzers have chosen not to use birth control. They have nine children. Gigi Stone, ABC News, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

SNOW: You can join the debate and vote on whether pharmacies should have the right to refuse to sell birth control. That's at ABCNews.com.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center