Stephen Prothero, a regular contributor to CNN.com's Belief Blog, bizarrely read the hearts of American Catholics, based on a recent poll which found that the majority of them believe abortion should stay legal. Prothero, writing in a Thursday item about 20th century leftist Catholic activist Dorothy Day and her self-admitted abortion, concluded that U.S. Catholics "will forgive Day's sin...because, in their heart of hearts, many of them don't consider it all that much of a sin in the first place."
The blogger, who, according to his bio line, is a "Boston University religion scholar and author of 'God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World,'" began his op-ed, "My Take: Catholics will accept a saint who had an abortion," with a question that he answered with his claim about American Catholics: "Can Catholics abide a saint who had an abortion?" After noting Day's life as an "anarchist, a pacifist, and the co-founder of the Catholic Worker, a movement devoted to helping the poor and the homeless" and her open cause for canonization in the Catholic Church, Prothero described the activist's personal experience with abortion:
There were two candidates on the GOP ticket in 2008, John McCain and Sarah Palin. Both had young daughters involved in the campaign. Both have written books about the experience. Guess which book was celebrated and which was savaged?
The media's character assassination of Sarah Palin knows no bounds, as she's been smeared as everything from "evil" to "unintelligent." But "Palin Derangement Syndrome" is a hereditary disease, and the media have continued their multigenerational malice toward Bristol Palin in reviews of her new memoir, "Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far."
In attempting to make it sound like Planned Parenthood is the only choice in women's healthcare for Medicaid patients in Indiana, the Associated Press's Rick Callahan seems to have missed perhaps the most important point in his article on the defunding of Planned Parenthood in Indiana: Planned Parenthood lost its funding because they are the largest abortion provider in the country, and Indiana taxpayers refused to continue supporting it.
The article opens with a pity-inducing lede that acts as though patients have no healthcare options except Planned Parenthood. But all of the women's health services that Callahan rattles off in his lede - notably, abortion is not among them - are available in hundreds of other Medicaid-friendly clinics in Indiana. So no, Planned Parenthood patients were not "left fending for themselves," as he claims.
CNN's Dana Bash is a new member of the board of trustees for an organization that, as part of its official mission, advocates for "reproductive rights" on Capitol Hill and at the United Nations. The organization, Jewish Women International (JWI), clarifies that its purpose is "empowering women and girls -- through economic literacy; community training; healthy relationship education; and the proliferation of women's leadership."
On Tuesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Jennifer Ludden all but acted as an proponent of egg donation and freezing to preserve women's fertility, but failed to acknowledge the dangers associated with the donation process, ranging from negative psychological effects to kidney failure and death. Ludden barely touched on other risks to the procedures, such as using them to permit women over 50 become pregnant.
The correspondent began her report by hyping the emotion behind the problem the donation and freezing procedures aim to fix: the declining fertility of women 40 years of age and older:
Mother's Day is around the corner. While the rest of us are agonizing over what to give mom on her special day, the Washington Post religion website "On Faith" sees it as another excuse to bash conservatives for trying to defund Planned Parenthood.
"This Mother's Day, support family planning," urges the teaser headline for Debra Haffner's May 6 post (see below page break for screen capture).
Conservative author S.E. Cupp must have felt like she was getting tag-teamed Wednesday when she opted to go on the "Joy Behar Show" along side Jerry Springer.
The trio debated a number of issues including the Bush tax cuts, but the debate really got heated when the host brought up the Republican desire to defund Planned Parenthood (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Doing it's level best to push the meme that Planned Parenthood is a crucial provider of basic medical services for poor women -- and hence deserving of federal taxpayer support -- today's Washington Post devoted one-eighth of page A5 in today's print edition to a photo entitled "Relying on Planned Parenthood."
Depicted is a 24-year-old woman, one Minah Khan, having blood drawn "during a checkup at Planned Parenthood in Washington."
On Friday afternoon, Time magazine religion reporter Amy Sullivan briefly blogged her complaint about what she sees as hypocrisy from conservatives who oppose federal monies for Planned Parenthood but support federal support for faith-based initiatives.
"Money is Fungible," blared her April 8 Swampland headline. Well, "[o]bviously," she agreed, then carped that:
In a live stand-up via satellite from the U.S. Capitol shortly after 11 a.m. EDT today, MSNBC's Luke Russert insisted that Senate Democrats were holding up approval of spending bills to fund the federal government through the rest of the fiscal year because they were pro-environment and for "women's health," the latter of course being code for the controversial issue of federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
"Two very partisan political issues are essentially what is holding up whether or not there will be a government shutdown," Russert told anchor Thomas Roberts (emphasis mine):
NPR's Julie Rovner lined up proponents of the federal Title X program on Friday's Morning Edition, devoting most of her four-minute report to three employees at a Washington, DC health care clinic who all pushed for continuing the funding of the subsidy for contraceptives. Rovner left only 30 seconds for a conservative advocate of defunding the program.
During the bulk of her report, the correspondent featured Unity Health Care's Upper Cardozo Clinic in Washington, DC. She stated that it is locate in a "heavily Hispanic neighborhood" and accented this by playing a clip of one of the clinic's doctors, Andrea Anderson, speaking in Spanish with a patient. Dr. Anderson's female patient had a "sinus problem," according to Rovner, but continued by noting that the "family physician" also asked the patient "if she's happy with the birth control method she's using. Thanks to the Title X program, Unity has available a wide array of contraceptive options....Anderson says one of her favorite things about the family planning program is the way it lets her integrate contraceptive choices into her everyday practice."
Editor's Note: The following is a statement issued earlier today by NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell concerning an exposé of Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards’ statements on CNN Headline News.
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards appeared on CNN's Headline News channel claiming that de-funding Planned Parenthood would prevent if from providing women with mammogram services. This has been proven absolutely false. A group called Live Action has released an audio investigation with proof from numerous Planned Parenthood clinics whose staff clearly state they do not provide mammograms, yet the President of the organization went on national television and stated the exact opposite.
The evidence has been presented, and CNN’s Headline News (HLN) has the opportunity here to display true journalistic integrity. How will Headline News respond to the evidence of Cecile Richards’ lie on its network? We call on CNN’s HLN to correct the record, and it should be done by Joy Behar to her viewers. There should be consequences to lying on national television, and if CNN wants to maintain the respect and trust of their viewers, they should ban Cecile Richards and her lies from appearing again.
NPR's Liz Halloran touted the federal government's Title X subsidy of contraceptives as "largely noncontroversial" in a Monday article on NPR.org, despite the House of Representatives' 240-185 vote in February to defund the program. Halloran also quoted exclusively from liberal Title X supporters or from conservatives who had second thoughts about targeting the program.
It only took her two paragraphs for the correspondent to use this slanted label of the federal program in her article, "Abortion Foes Target Family Planning Program." She also highlighted the longstanding funding of "family planning programs that provide contraceptive and related health and family services to millions of low-income women and men" and noted how Title X passed with "bipartisan support in Congress."
Halloran continued that "Title X, which serves more than 5 million men and women annually, is on House Republicans' chopping block. Supporters of defunding have characterized it as an effort to strip funds from Planned Parenthood and other organizations that use other funds to provide legal abortions, without singling out any particular group. The House in February voted 240-185 to defund Title X in the current budget year." But instead of tracking down one of the representatives who voted for this, or from one of their allies in the conservative movement, the journalist turned to a Republican skeptic:
Cizik, you may recall, is a bit of a media favorite because he hails from a generally theologically conservative tradition but has been moving leftward politically over the past few years.
Haffner is liberal theologically and politically, a Unitarian-Universalist minister and the former president of the Sex Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), a group that lobbies to end federal funding of abstinence-until-marriage sex ed programs.
As we've noted, the On Faith feature often skews liberal in theology and politics, and the Cizik/Haffner tag-team fits hand-in-glove with the leftward tack of the site.
Here's the duo's argument against defunding Planned Parenthood (emphases mine):
Joy Behar ripped the House of Representatives on her program on Monday for their recent defunding of Planned Parenthood. Behar, focusing on the organization's birth control services, criticized the move as "illogical...because if you are not going to help people with birth control, you're going to have more abortions. So, besides being evil and immoral and unethical, they're also stupid" (audio clips available here).
The liberal host led her 10 pm program by playing clips from Democratic Congresswoman Gwen Moore's Thursday speech on the floor of the House, where she argued that funding Planned Parenthood was better than having "to give your kids ramen noodles at the end of the month to fill up their little bellies so they won't cry. You have to give them mayonnaise sandwiches." Many in the conservative blogosphere argued that she's hinting that it's better to abort a child than have them live life in such a way. Behar then introduced Rep. Moore and Planned Parenthood Federation of American president Cecile Richards and asked the congresswoman, "What drove you to finally stand up on Thursday and deliver that great speech on the floor?"
Lila Rose's LiveAction.org went into overdrive yesterday.
LiveAction videos released earlier this week (with both edited and unedited versions) exposed personnel at Planned Parenthood clinics in Perth Amboy, New Jersey and Richmond, Virginia as all too willing to help provide abortions, birth control, and other "reproductive health services" to underage hookers in a pimp's employ while getting around laws requiring notification of law enforcement and/or parents. On Friday, the self-described "youth led movement dedicated to building a culture of life and ending abortion, the greatest human rights injustice of our time" released three more videos showing visits to Old Dominion State clinics in Falls Church, Charlottesville, and Roanoke.
Left-wing "bloggers" have swung into frantic action. Not to see how widespread the abuse of underage girls might be at Planned Parenthood clinics nationwide. No-no-no. As Dana Loesch reported yesterday at BigGovernment.com, they are plotting how they can most effectively defend the rogue organization (links are in original):
The popular show 'Glee' has caused a stir with lesbian fantasies, gay kissing, teen pregnancy and racy photos of the actors - the new season is sure to display more immorality-promoting content. As 'Gleeks' everywhere eagerly anticipate the return of their show, they should be reminded that it isn't just innocent, happy show tunes that this 'groundbreaking' show promotes.
MTV aims to make a profit airing a show about a pregnant teen deciding to abort her baby, and the best media writers can muster is to call it a “sensitive issue.”
An MTV Special to be aired at 11:30pm Dec. 28, “No Easy Decision” is a half-hour program that follows a teen mom’s tragic decision to abort her child. The media coverage leading up to the program’s air date has merely glossed over the murderous reality that is abortion, and used terms like “sensitive issue,” “wrenching decision” and “ostracized party guest” to downplay the severity of infanticide.
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.
On Tuesday evening, ABC and CBS furthered the mainstream media's largely inaccurate reporting on Pope Benedict XVI's recent remarks on the morality of condom use. While the pontiff stated that condoms are "not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection," World News anchor Diane Sawyer stated that "the Pope shifts his rules on condom use." Evening News anchor Katie Couric labeled Benedict XVI's comment a "historic statement," and trumpeted how supposedly, "Pope Benedict says, for the first time, that condoms are okay to protect against HIV and other diseases."
Sawyer included her misleading "Pope shifts his rules on condom use" phrase as she teased the lead stories at the beginning of World News. Sixteen minutes into the half hour program, the ABC anchor introduced correspondent Dan Harris's report, who began by giving a false impression of Benedict's remarks during an interview published in book form given by German journalist Peter Seewald. An on-screen graphic proclaimed, "A Change in Policy:"
On Monday's Newsroom, CNN's Kyra Phillips gave a false impression of Pope Benedict XVI's recent comments about condoms. While the Pope stated that condom use "can be a first step...on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed," Phillips stated that the pontiff "says condoms are okay sometimes." Refreshingly, Monday's Today show on NBC accurately covered Benedict's remarks.
The anchor previewed CNN correspondent Atika Schubert's report on the pontiff's comments 10 minutes into the 9 am Eastern hour with her inaccurate description: "Well, the Catholic Church and condoms: two things that have never really gone together until now. The Pope, quoted in a new book, says condoms are okay sometimes. Now, that's a talker!" After a commercial break, Phillips continued with another misleading statement:
PHILLIPS: Pope Benedict is bending a bit when it comes to condoms. A new book actually quotes him as saying that they are okay to use in certain circumstances, like to prevent disease, not birth control. It's the first time the Church has ever talked about exceptions to the condom rule....Here's a part of what the Pope says in the book. See if your eyebrows raise a little bit. It says- quote, 'There could be single cases that can be justified. For instance, when a prostitute uses a condom.' Say what? (laughs) Doesn't it kind of sound like the Pope is justifying prostitution, too? Surely not, but what a bizarre analogy.
On Wednesday's Joy Behar Show on HLN, the host asked about parents who are "overpopulating" the world, and guest Helen Fisher, a Rutgers University professor, compared having a large family to littering, "as if we've got too many people on this planet to begin with." Fisher also bizarrely stated that "for billions of years, we [humans] ended up having one or two children per woman."
Host Joy Behar devoted the last two segments of her 9 pm Eastern hour program to how women are trending away from having children. Besides Fisher, she brought on author Rachel Shukert and Laura Scott, who manages the "Childless By Choice Project" blog. Near the middle of the second segment, the host blurred the line between typical large families, most of whom have children by natural means, and celebrities such as the "Octo-Mom" and Kate Gosselin and her family. This is where Fisher made her extreme leftist remark:
BEHAR: What about these people who are overpopulating- the Gosselins, the octo-moms- these people who have been vitro with hundreds of things in there- you know what I mean? What's up with that?
In typical lefty fashion, the Huffington Post is hiding behind a “qualified” author to make a feminist, pro-abortion argument. Reverend Dawn Duval, a minister of social justice (whatever that means) and mother of two, wrote a passionate piece to slam Colorado Amendment 62 and its supporters, while making the misaligned point that in defining a fertilized egg as a person, it removes a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body.
Amendment 62 would apply “the term 'person' … to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being.” How dare they!
"All this week on 'The World Today,' we're taking a close look at why it is that women are feeling the credit crunch more than men around the world," BBC presenter Komla Dumor told listeners of the October 21 Global News podcast, adding that "one obvious reason is that they're starting from a disadvantaged position in society and in many cultures around the world, that position of disadvantage is sanctioned by religion."
That's hard to dispute, given the role that radical Islam has in treating women in countries like Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan as, at best, second-class citizens.
But of course radical Islam was not put on the defensive by the BBC today, Catholicism was.
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday’s Joy Behar Show on HLN, liberal commentator Nancy Giles of CBS Sunday Morning declared that she was "tired" of Bristol Palin and asserted that "she makes me ill."
After host Behar brought up Palin during a discussion of the television show Dancing with the Stars, Giles sighed and responded: "Can I just, can my comment be rolling my eyes and heavy exhaling? I just am so tired of her. I’m tired of her getting these breaks. I’m tired of her making money and leaving her baby at home. I’m tired of her maybe getting 30 grand to speak about abstinence. Excuse me? I’m tired of her."
After Behar challenged Giles’s suggestion that Palin was neglecting her baby, the liberal commentator continued: "I know, Joy, I do believe that, but I’m so, she makes me ill, so all bets are off."
Giles eventually admitted to sounding sexist after actress Eve Plumb complained that men are never asked about whether they are neglecting their children, with the liberal commentator conceding: "I know it’s not fair. I sound like I’m sexist."
Why does it seem at times that our government and “public health” advocates think parents are a social problem? Parents at Hardy Middle School in the affluent Glover Park neighborhood in Washington, DC were shocked to discover that a sex-and-drug-use survey had been distributed to 12-year-olds in their physical education classes without any warnings or consent forms sent to parents.
The first words the children read were these: “This questionnaire asks you about sex and drugs (like cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, ecstasy, and marijuana).” Of course, they promised, “Your answers will not be told to anyone in your school or family.”
The mindset of these popsicle psychiatrists was evident right off the bat. The very first question was “What is your gender?” Two possibilities, you think? Try four boxes: Male and female, plus – “transgender (M to F)” and “transgender (F to M).” This was handed out to 12-year-olds.
Calling media portrayals of sex "unhealthy," the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued new guidelines calling on all media outlets to present human sexuality in a healthy, scientifically accurate manner.
At the same time, the group pomoted the use of contraceptives among teenagers and denigrated abstinence-only education.
"There is a major disconnect between what mainstream media portray - casual sex and sexuality with no consequences - and what children and teenagers need - straightforward information about human sexuality and the need for contraception when having sex," the AAP said.
"Television, film, music, and the Internet are all becoming increasingly sexually explicit, yet information on abstinence, sexual responsibility, and birth control remains rare," said the AAP.
Dylan Ratigan's "Daily Rant" segment was a treasure trove of controversial statements today. You be the judge of which statement rates higher on the controversy-meter:
Ratigan's claim that the "default position" in the USA is to incarcerate black men rather than educate them; or
Blogger Keli Goff's suggestion that to end the cycle of poverty among African-Americans, and to avoid burdening taxpayers, kids should be taught in school that not everyone should have children.
Ratigan's rather-imprison-than-educate African-Americans accusation is refuted by the facts, starting with the fact that the school district that spends more per pupil than any other in the USA is . . . that of the federally-funded District of Columbia, whose students are predominantly African-American.
As for the suggestion from Keli Goff [a youthful veteran of various Dem political campaigns], can you imagine the outrage and the accusations of eugenics if a conservative blogger, particularly one of pallor, proposed that kids be taught not to have children as a solution, among other things, for reducing the burden of African-Americans on taxpayers?