Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Planned Parenthood Not Welcome In Hannity’s America

Reported by Chrish - November 19, 2007 -

Note: Guest blogged by Priscilla

In what can only be described as a blatant propaganda piece for the anti-abortion crowd, Hannity’s America had a segment on the controversial Planned Parenthood facility in Aurora Illinois. The report was done by Ainsley Earhardt, yet another of Fox’s stable of blonde, blue eyed newsbabes who, according to the San Antonio Express News, is a “strong Christian with fairly conservative values.” (Comment: why doesn’t that surprise me?) Despite a degree in journalism, Ainsley engaged in quite a bit of what is known in journalism as “editorializing” in her attempt to report on what was certainly nowhere near a “fair and balanced” presentation of a topic on which Hannity has clearly taken sides.

Earhardt began her piece by saying that Planned Parenthood “has been accused of everything, from concealing rape and botched abortions and now of breaking the law to build an abortion superclinic.” She referred to her September 2007 report which “exposed the scheme” to open the clinic using false permit applications and how that left many local residents “feeling betrayed and deceived.” Earhardt then briefly described the opposition’s case that the permit process was deceptive and noted that “Planned Parenthood is aggressively moving into other cities using similar deceptive tactics.” She showed a brief file clip of Chicago Planned Parenthood's Steve Trombley, who said that the allegations were false. What she didn’t mention was that Planned Parenthood successfully defended itself, in federal court, against these false accusations. But to support her case, “zoning attorney Vince Tessitori, claimed that there was “evidence of fraud” in the permit process. (She didn’t mention that Tessitori spoke to the city council on behalf of the opposition.) Attorney Tom Brejcka from the Thomas More society (an anti-abortion group) was also “amazed” at what he inferred was the compliance of city officials to a fraud.

Despite her journalism degree, Earhardt then anecdotally claimed that “most women who have abortions will tell you they didn’t want to; but they just didn’t have another option. She said, “believe me women are telling us (Fox News?) that the emotional and physical effect is long lasting.” (Comment: before abortion was legal, if a woman survived a back alley abortion, the emotional and physical affects were also long lasting.) She claimed that there are a “multitude of lawsuits” against Planned Parenthood for “doing illegal late term abortions, giving false information, failing to maintain patients records, and performing procedures leading to mutilation and death, failing to report cases of statutory rape, advising young girls to hide abuse and thousands more.” (Comment: she didn’t identify the source of the lawsuits, many of which are being funded by the various “right to life” groups, or how many have been successful.)

She then went on to make the egregious unfounded claim that most abortions are performed with little to no regulation. (Comment: lots of allegations but nobody from either the medical/state regulatory community or Planned Parenthood.) She showed what purported to be a pie chart of Planned Parenthood “profit” without sourcing it. The “totals” shown are consistent with the information put out by the opposition to the clinic.

To support her anti-choice argument she showed a tape of two women who claimed they were not given enough information about the procedure along with Carol Everett, a former abortion provider who is now part of the Heidi Group, an organization that seeks to dissuade women from having abortions. At the end of the piece, Earhardt said that until Planned Parenthood clinics are better regulated and forced to provide comprehensive care (Comment: which they do) there will be more cases of rape, abuse, and medical malpractice which will go unreported. Hannity said that what is “most frightening is the level of deception which is so high here.” (Comment: you mean Fox News?) College drop out Hannity put on his lawyer hat when he claimed that the Aurora case fit the legal description of fraud. He thanked Earhart for pointing out the “malpractice leading to abuse, mutilation, and death.”

Comment: Of all the propaganda I have seen on Hannity, this could possibly be the worst. Rather than a report, it was a sermon on the evils of abortion and Planned Parenthood. What was lost in the rhetoric is the fact that the clinic is now open and providing critical reproductive health care services such as breast exams, pap tests, birth control, testing for sexually transmitted infections, as well as abortion services. But Hannity, who had no problem interviewing anti-abortion convicted criminal Randall Terry during his Schiavo media circus, is only intent on communicating the message of the anti- choice groups. Maybe next time he interviews his friend Rudy, he can ask him about the New York City Planned Parenthood clinics. And of course, if Hannity’s daughters ever need an abortion, they will go to their own doctor rather than walk the gauntlet of “sidewalk counselors” at a Planned Parenthood clinic with bullet proof windows.

Note: Guest blogged by Priscilla