Calling Dr. Orwell: WaPo Tries to Help ACLU Define Abortion, Contraception as 'Reproductive Care'

Liberals have claimed that conservatives wage a war on "science," but when it comes to social liberalism, they are often at odds with scientific reality. For example, they will define a woman as "He" and a man as "She" if the person in question simply decides that's how they want to be addressed. Or, in Thursday's Washington Post, the words "reproductive care" are used, without quotes, to describe anti-reproductive actions like abortion and contraception. The ACLU is waging war on Catholic-owned hospitals, and Rob Stein began their publicity drive with this paragraph:

The American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday asked federal health officials to ensure that Catholic hospitals provide emergency reproductive care to pregnant women, saying the refusal by religiously affiliated hospitals to provide abortion and other services was becoming an increasing problem.

This matches the media template, in which abortion itself is never a social "problem" -- only the lack of "access" to it is a problem. There are no "liberals" in this piece, only "reproductive health advocates," which again is a factually inaccurate adjective:

As more hospitals have been taken over by Catholic hospital chains in recent years, reproductive health advocates have become increasingly concerned that fewer medical centers will provide abortion, contraception and other reproductive services.

The hoary old phrase "birth control" is less inaccurate than calling these anti-reproductive steps "reproductive services." It's a clinical-sounding way of saying "tidying up your messy sex life."

The ACLU is furious that the Bishop of Phoenix, Thomas Olmsted, would object to abortion and sterilization and contraception being offered at a hospital defined as Catholic. They believe that Catholic-owned hospitals cannot be forced to apply Catholic church ethics in their health care. Now that the federal government through ObamaCare will have even more onerous control over hospitals, the ACLU demands that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services officially recognize that hospital owners have no rights to deny life-denying care. The Post reported they insisted in their CMS letter that "no hospital -- religious or otherwise -- should be prohibited from saving women's lives and from following federal law." Furthermore, they wrote,

"The Bishop's drastic and heavy-handed actions send a chilling message to Catholic hospitals throughout the country, as well as their employees: If hospitals comply with federal law and provide emergency abortion care there will be consequences," the letter states. "The dioceses cannot be permitted to dictate who lives and who dies in Catholic-owned hospitals."

Especially when the ACLU really wants someone to die.

Unlike the ABC News story on this subject, Stein at least forwarded Bishop Olmsted's objection that this hospital wasn't just being held accountable for one abortion, but for a whole range of ACLU-pleasing anti-reproductive services:

In announcing the decision Tuesday, Olmsted said that "subsequent communications" with hospital officials "have only eroded my confidence about their commitment to the Church's ethical and religious directives for healthcare. They have not addressed in an adequate manner the scandal caused by the abortion."

In fact, Olmsted said he had "recently learned that many other violations . . . have been taking place at" facilities operated by Catholic Healthcare West, which owns St. Joseph's, including the provision of birth-control pills and other forms of contraception, sterilizations and abortions "due to the mental or physical health of the mother or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest."

But the Post also quoted Sister Carol Keehan of the Catholic Health Association praising the abortion-providing hospital for "their long and stellar history in the protection of life at all stages" -- without explaining Sister Carol was a major booster of ObamaCare, regardless of its support for abortion.

The story ended with the unlabeled left-wing activist Lois Uttley of MergerWatch, a project of a group called Community Catalyst -- funded by leftists like the Open Society Institute of George Soros. Being a sexual revolutionary warring on orthodox religion never means you get called a "leftist" or even a "liberal" in the national newspapers.

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