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Judge Andrew Napolitano: Planned Parenthood Defunding Law Is Courageous

Reported by Priscilla - June 10, 2011 -

While Fox "News" claims that its "news" is "fair & balanced," it's apparent that at least one of its "news" commentators is, personally, highly partisan. And while it's acceptable that a news commentator has views on issues, it becomes somewhat questionable when those views spill over into the realm of "news." And if it's true that there is a political/religious litmus test for Fox "News" hosts, Judge Andrew Napolitano, host of Fox Business' "Freedom Watch" and guest commentator on other Fox shows, passes with flying colors. He's just not your average conservative Catholic like so many pretty faces on Fox. He describes himself as "fiercely pro-life." He, like his fellow Fox Catholic Bill O'Reilly would love to take women back to the "good old days" of back alley abortions and his zeal for criminalizing abortion has enabled him to be chosen as a guest speaker for the New Jersey "Right to Life." So it's not surprising that he would be part of the Fox "News" amen chorus who are framing the Indiana law, prohibiting Medicaid reimbursement to Planned Parenthood, as one of "states' rights." And in addition to putting the correct spin on the issue he goes even further in praising the "courage" of Governor Mitch Daniels" who signed this questionable legislation into law. And he did this during the Shep Smith show which is supposedly part of the "fair & balanced" "news" programming. Go figure.

On Monday, Trace Gallagher filled in for Shep. He interviewed Napolitano about the Indiana law which defunds Planned Parenthood as well as other entities that perform abortions which, BTW, are still legal. The Judge started off with a standard anti-choice talking point. He defined the issue as one of "co-mingling" of funds which wouldn't be an issue if PP could "prove" that they don't do. (They have proven it but the anti-choicers don't want to believe it). He then made an argument for defunding public assistance to Catholic school students when he compared the "fungibility" argument to the argument that aid to Catholic schools could go to communion wafers. He presented another anti-choice meme when he said that money for PP is used for upkeep of buildings where abortions take place. He then insulted every woman who has ever used PP when he went on a rant about how this "is the tip of the iceberg" for "entitlement season in the USA"and how Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is "courageous" for looking at it. (So providing assistance to low income women for gynecological care is "entitlement?" An unplanned pregnancy could take a low income woman out of the work force and back on welfare. Oh, right, the Catholic Judge doesn't approve of that, either!) He asked if the government should pay for PP. (So tax subsidies and government contracts for guys like the Koch bros are cool; but money for low income women to get gynecological care isn't?)

When Galllagher asked about "pulling away money for health services, Napolitano said that it just takes money from PP and not other services. (So who cares if there is no other nearby clinic for patients whose only health care is through PP!) He claimed PP says that the money is owed to it but that it isn't. He returned to the bogus "fungibility" issue, saying that "Money spent on pap smears frees up money indirectly funding abortions." He said that the other argument is "these are Indiana taxpayer dollars" as decided by the legislature and "only Indiana can decide on how these dollars are spent." In referencing the court case regarding this law, he said that's the issue the judge has to decide."

Comment: As a "news" piece, this was full of the same anti-choice talking points and misinformation that John Fund articulated earlier that day on the Bill Hemmer "news" show. At no point did either Gallagher or Napolitano mention that Medicaid policy doesn't allow states to pick which services will get Medicaid money and dictate where a Medicaid patient will use their health plan. Napolitano was wrong when he said that these are Indiana's dollars because Medicaid is 70% Federal money. Rather than a "fair & balanced" look at an issue of vital importance to American women, Fox "News," through its rabidly anti-choice mouthpiece, Andrew Napolitano, praised Indiana for its courage in looking at this evil "entitlement." Rather than being "fair & balanced," it seems that there's an agenda, here. Ya think!

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