As the media outlet for the right wing, Fox News provides a mouthpiece for their anti-choice zealotry - especially on Bill O'Reilly's show which was used as a platform to relentlessly attack an abortion doctor who was later assassinated. Since Dr. Tiller's death, O'Reilly has continued his anti-choice zealotry with attacks on Planned Parenthood which, despite Bill's prediction, still hasn't been defunded by Congress. Even when O'Reilly isn't hosting the show, its pro-life bias is underscored in the pro-life bias of frequent substitute and "pro-life media luminary" Laura Ingraham. Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that in addition to speaking to their patients about sex and birth control, pediatricians give their patients prescriptions to emergency contraception. Not surprisingly, Ms. Ingraham was outraged. As the saying goes, Bill O'Reilly's apple doesn't fall far from the tree!!!!
Last Friday, wearing her great, big, Catholic cross (Cuz she's a such a great Catholic), Laura Ingraham immediately framed the issue as " most controversial" and set the tone in scary terms: "Imagine sending your young daughter to the pediatrician for a check-up only to have her come home with a prescription for the morning after pill." She reported that the American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending that doctors give emergency contraception prescriptions to their patients. She introduced her guest, Dr. Laura Berman, a sex educator and a therapist.
After Laura asserted that "this is one of the more outrageous things I've seen this week," Berman provided the best evah Fox News guest come-backs: "More than banning Christmas." (Oh, snap!) Ingraham was taken aback and stuttered that she has "been away from politics a lot this week." Ingraham blithered about how she "has a young daughter" and thinks "of a doctor telling a mom to leave the room so HE" (In Laura's world, doctors are men)"can tell a young girl, maybe she's a Christian girl" (all the more reason?!) "that doesn't believe in this, her religion doesn't believe in this and telling a young girl, well, if you have sex you can use this morning after pill." After citing side effects from the pill, she asked "how can you defend this, doctor?"
Berman responded that doctors aren't saying this; but, rather, the Academy is saying that young girls are more likely to use this type of birth control if it has been prescribed in advance. She emphasized that parents should be the primary source for sex education and that parents should find out where their pediatrician stands on the issue so if they don't agree with the doctor, they can find another one. When she cited the high pregnancy rate for US teens, Ingraham interjected that this is because of "hypersexualization" of young girls. (What Laura didn't admit is that the highest rate of teen pregnancy is in abstinence only states.)
Ingraham went back to the medical issues and the side effects. As Laura did her patented victory sneer, Berman noted that there are side effects from any medication and that "information does not mean permission." Sister Mary Laura said that giving prescriptions to the girls is "subverting parental rights."
So in Laura's Christian world, parents should be able to keep their daughters uninformed about ways to prevent an unintended pregnancy. In Laura's world, there are no dysfunctional homes where a close relative or friend of the family is sexually abusing teen girls. In Laura's world, teens aren't having ses. Contrary to Laura's scare tactic, all pediatricians are not handing all their patients the prescription such as Dr. Elizabeth Miller of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, who said "she routinely provides teenagers with an advance prescription for emergency contraceptives, but she takes her cues from the patient and does not force a prescription on anyone." One suspects that Laura's daughter's sex education will consist of the admonition that pre-marital sex is a one-way ticket to hell. If that's as effective what the nuns taught us, way back when, all I can say is good luck with that!
No birth control for you!
Ingraham’s actual agenda is clear in both cases: she doesn’t want the kids to have access to birth control. To her mind, the kids should just say no to sex, since Ingraham doesn’t approve of it. That’s great, but the statistics show that this approach just leads to lots of unplanned pregnancies.
In both discussions with Dr. Berman, Ingraham tried to act like an expert herself on the subject, only to be corrected by Dr. Berman, who would fill in the rest of the facts that Ingraham was conveniently ignoring. In this case, Dr. Berman gently reminded Ingraham that they were discussing prescription medication, not over-the-counter materials. Ingraham’s attempt to scare everyone with possible side effects was answered by the obvious note that all prescription medications can have side effects.
I agree that the opening comment from Dr. Berman about the silliness about Christmas was priceless.