No AP Labeling for Liberals Making Teenage Sex Easier, Without Parents Knowing

Here’s another dispatch where one-sided ideological labeling helps underline the liberal argument that they are merely for "science," while the conservatives are all about ideology. Associated Press reporter Larry Neumeister announced: "The Food and Drug Administration let politics cloud its judgment when it denied teenage girls over-the-counter access to the Plan B morning-after pill, a federal judge said Monday as he ordered the FDA to let 17-year-olds obtain the medication."

Neumeister did not seem to consider that making high doses of contraceptive medicines available to high-school juniors is in part a social decision about child sexual activity without parental consent. The liberals in the case were not labeled. While the AP writer made room in his story for conservatives, they were labeled repeatedly:

– "The morning-after pill is a source of tension for social conservatives who held great sway in the Bush administration and who believe the pill is tantamount to abortion."

– "The FDA said it is reviewing the judge's decision. Women's groups said it's unlikely that the Obama administration would appeal. Social conservatives decried the ruling."

– "The conservative Family Research Council said the judge's decision bowed to ideological pressure from the left."

That sentence is the only time Neumeister mentions a "left" in this ideological battle. The feminists and abortion-rights activists are presented as non-ideological believers in science first:

– "Susan Wood resigned as the top FDA official for women's health in 2005 to protest agency delays in issuing a decision on the morning-after pill. Now a professor at George Washington University's school of public health, Wood said the ruling represents a vote of confidence in the FDA's scientific staff."

– "In February 2001, the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals and 65 other organizations petitioned the FDA to make Plan B available over the counter to all, regardless of age."

– "The lawsuit was filed in 2005 by the Center for Reproductive Rights and others...’Today's ruling is a tremendous victory for all Americans who expect the government to safeguard public health,’ said Nancy Northup, president of the center."

Neumeister did not explain that the "Association of Reproductive Health Professionals" began as an educational branch of Planned Parenthood in 1963, and the groups still hold conferences together.

Or that Susan Wood is a "hero" of the George Soros-funded Open Society Institute and other lobbies of social liberalism, and went on a Bush-bashing speaking tour.

Or that the Center for Reproductive Rights is deeply committed to abortion rights without parental interference. They declare: "Protecting the reproductive rights of adolescents has always been a top priority for the Center. In addition to advocating against the passage of forced parental involvement laws, the Center has brought lawsuits that have invalidated such laws in Alaska and Montana."

Why can’t national reporters acknowledge that there are two sides to this ideological battle? It’s between conservatives and liberals, or the forces of sexual restraint vs. sexual liberation. It’s not a cartoon of Science vs. Conservatism.

For example, is it scientific or ideological to argue that expelling a fertilized embryo is not an abortion?  Neumeister suggests this is merely a "belief" of conservatives. Liberals suggest a fertilized embryo is not a pregnancy until it attaches to the uterus. (Embryos used in in vitro fertilization aren't attached, but are still fought over as human life.) Barr Labs, the maker of Plan B, is even less concerned about this biological fact: its website declares "Plan B isn't an abortion pill -- it can't terminate an existing pregnancy."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis