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Fox News Targets Planned Parenthood – Literally!

Reported by Priscilla - July 14, 2009 -

As the “party of life,” the GOP seeks to end a woman’s right to an abortion. Planned Parenthood is on their enemies list as it is an abortion provider. That Planned Parenthood offers a whole range of reproductive related health services and education, especially in poorer communities, is of no concern to those conservatives who would seek to shut down this organization that offers help to those who need it. As the mouthpiece for conservative principals, Fox News offers a platform for those whose goal is to shut Planned Parenthood down. In addition to Sean Hannity’s hit piece on Planned Parenthood, Hannity, O’Reilly, and Beck have provided a platform for a group, whose “sting operations” against Planned Parenthood, are part of a greater effort to damage Planned Parenthood in the hope that state and federal funding will be cut off. Last week, subbing for Bill O’Reilly on “The Factor," Laura Ingraham interviewed one of these women and Alabama's Attorney General who was muy sympatico. While the interview contained the perfunctory anti abortion/Planned Parenthood memes, there was a troubling graphic which raised the question of whether Fox News was sending a signal to encourage domestic violence against Planned Parenthood.

H/T Crooks and Liars

On Friday, June 10th, Laura Ingraham spoke with Lila Rose (whom she has also interviewed on her radio show), one of a number of young women who travel around the country posing as an underage girl seeking an abortion at Planned Parenthood clinics. When clinic staff asks how old the putative father is, the “girls” refuse to disclose the age because, they claim, they don’t want to get the imaginary daddy in trouble. All this is being taped and filmed in the hopes that clinic staff will not press them for details or will advise them to lie about the age. This could result in the clinic being accused of not complying with reporting requirements for statutory rape. Some might consider this “entrapment;” but for Rose et al., it is a crusade aimed at stopping abortions under the guise of providing better quality service for Planned Parenthood clients and “protecting the dignity of these young girls.” Rose’s group, Live Action, The Mona Lisa Project (eww, sounds X rated) has a number of questionable tapes which purport to show clinic malfeasance. As a result several clinic staff have been disciplined and in Tennessee and California, unsuccessful attempts were made to pull local funding for Planned Parenthood. She receives financial assistance from conservative organizations and appears at anti abortion events, most recently at the uber culturally conservative Family Research Council’s Family Values Summit. But what brought her to Fox last week was her latest foray into an Alabama Planned Parenthood Clinic during which she taped a clinic employee who may or may not have broken a law. Also interviewed was Alabama Attorney General, Republican Troy King who said that this was “outrageous.” (Should he even be commenting before an official investigation by the state?) Lila, oozing with virginal purity, claimed that “this was a growing pattern across the country.” Ingraham cited the amount of money that Planned Parenthood took in last year, from government grants, “most of it from the abortion procedure.” Ingraham did not note that Planned Parenthood is a non profit organization and that only 3% of total service include abortions. She repeated the bogus right wing meme that Planned Parenthood “makes millions off the abortion procedure.”

As propaganda, the piece was brilliant – once again painting Planned Parenthood as an evil organization that enables child abuse and statutory rape as well as reaping millions of dollars from abortion. Once again, there was nobody from Planned Parenthood to offer any counterpoint to Laura Ingraham who, most likely, doesn't have to walk by a group of screaming banshies when she gets her gynecological care. But perhaps the most striking thing about the segment was the visual behind Ingraham’s head at the beginning of the segment and that was the Planned Parenthood logo with a red target superimposed over it. It’s bad enough that Dr. Tiller was murdered after Bill O’Reilly cast him as the devil incarnate – notwithstanding the fact that Tiller was operating fully within the law. It’s bad enough that Planned Parenthood is subject to harassment, vandalism, and intimidation on a daily level. Despite the claim, by conservatives, that right wing hate groups are simply law abiding conservatives not deserving of scrutiny by Homeland Security, there exists a group of zealots (Randall Terry) who feel that murdering abortion providers is justifiable homicide. It wasn’t long after Tiller’s death that the anti abortion fanatics published photos of the clinic of the doctor who might be taking over Dr. Tiller’s practices. So for Fox News to put a target over the Planned Parenthood is grossly irresponsible as it could serve to aid and abet domestic murderers and terrorists.


Addendum - We received an e-mail from "Robert" (former reader who was conservative?) who links to the Planned Parenthood site which breaks down the finances. Robert points out that PPFA brings in over a million dollars from each abortion procedure. What Robert doesn't seem to realize is that this money is then used for salaries, equipment, building costs and the excellent community services that PPFA provides for the community (much of it for lower income residents.) The anti-choicers would have you believe that PPFA is getting rich off of abortions and that just isn't true. The money that PPFA makes is then used for essential reproductive and vital health care services and programs.