Conservative commentator and Fox News contributor Erick Erickson wrote that he is surprised "more Planned Parenthood facilities and abortionists are not being targeted," while pushing the smear against Planned Parenthood that was reportedly mentioned by the alleged shooter of a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado.
Leading up to the fatal November 27 shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood, numerous conservative media figures had used deceptively-edited videos from the Center For Medical Progress (CMP) to compare Planned Parenthood to Nazis, including Erickson's RedState blog, which compared the organization to the Auschwitz concentration camp. Following the shooting, right-wing media figures have continued attacking the organization.
In a December 1 blog post, Erickson wrote, "It really is surprising more Planned Parenthood facilities and abortionists are not being targeted," claiming the organization has "been killing children and harvesting the children's organs," a false smear similar to comments reportedly made by the alleged shooter. Erickson also misleadingly wrote the Colorado attack was "a rare event," despite the fact that there have over 70 successful attacks on abortion clinics since 1997 and the frequency of attacks has increased since the release of the CMP videos. Erickson added that "the left" should "damn well better be glad Christians follow a faith that tells them to honor and pray for their leaders, follow the law, love everyone, and let the state and not the individual act as the sword bearer for God":
There is one surprising thing about the Colorado Springs shooting at the Planned Parenthood clinic. It is that it is a rare event. According to NARAL, there have been eight people killed and seventeen injured in attacks on American abortion providers in twenty-five years. And they have been getting rarer: this is only the second such killing - after the 2009 murder of George Tiller - in this century. In Chicago alone over Thanksgiving weekend, there were eight people killed and twenty wounded.
It really is surprising more Planned Parenthood facilities and abortionists are not being targeted. It speaks to the pro-life movement being faith based and turning to their better angels.
Cecile Richards is about the closest we have come in the United States to Joseph Mengele. Under her leadership at Planned Parenthood, doctors have been killing children and harvesting the children's organs. In some cases, the children are born alive. In some case, whole children are born and then carved up.
This has all been caught on tape repeatedly. The media and left would prefer you ignore it. They'd prefer you believe the tapes were altered, edited, or fabricated. But we should not be ashamed of speaking the truth. It is the truth that Planned Parenthood sells baby parts and its employees were caught on tape talking about the value, the sale, and the altering of abortion procedures to preserve organs for sale.
Planned Parenthood butchers millions of children. Three people died at the Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado. Every single one of those millions plus three lives is a tragedy and outrage.
The left is desperate to compare the American pro-life movement to terrorists. They damn well better be glad Christians follow a faith that tells them to honor and pray for their leaders, follow the law, love everyone, and let the state and not the individual act as the sword bearer for God.
Given the public light shed on the atrocities committed by Planned Parenthood and both the government and media's turning a blind eye to it, dismissing it, laughing it off, or lying about it, it really should be surprising that Americans convicted of the need to stop the murder of children have not taken the law into their own hands.
The pro-life movement is most typically represented by men like Garret Swasey, who though pro-life and Christian, worked as a police officer to save lives in Colorado Springs, CO. We should all be thankful for that. We should all be thankful the pro-life movement respects the rule of law even when the lawmakers and media do not respect them.
Colorado Springs was a terrible tragedy. The shooter was a lunatic, not a pro-life activist. The left can engage in all the moral equivalence it wants comparing Christians to ISIS, but they know it is not true and should ponder what it would look like if it was true. The majority of this country considers itself pro-life and there are at least 90 million self-identified Bible believing pro-life evangelicals in the United States.
After the fatal November 27 shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood health care facility, The Washington Post's Dana Milbank called out prominent conservative media figures and Republican presidential candidates for their incendiary rhetoric about abortion, such as characterizing abortion providers as "subhuman killers."
Planned Parenthood came under renewed persecution from conservatives and Republicans after the anti-abortion group Center For Medical Progress released a series of doctored videos, claiming to show Planned Parenthood officials trafficking fetal baby parts. The controversy led to multiple government investigations that have shown Planned Parenthood didn't violate laws in its donation of fetal tissue to scientific research. Since the release of the Center for Medical Progress' videos, the FBI warned of increased attacks on reproductive health care facilities. This "uptick" in violence occurred around the same time congressional Republicans attempted to stop all government funding of Planned Parenthood.
Milbank's November 30 opinion piece highlighted Republican candidates' calls for "outrage" and conservative media figures comparing Planned Parenthood to Nazis after the release of the deceptively edited CMP videos, warning that unhinged individuals may use this rhetoric as "justification to contemplate the unspeakable":
In one sense, I agree with Cruz. The antiabortion movement did not kill those three people in Colorado Springs. The one responsible is the deranged gunman himself. But it's a different matter to ask whether the often-violent imagery used by conservative leaders on abortion is unwittingly giving the unhinged some perverse sense of justification to contemplate the unspeakable.
Just days before the shooting, Cruz trumpeted an endorsement from an antiabortion activist who once called killing an abortion doctor a "justifiable defensive action" and who leads a group, Operation Rescue, where a colleague did prison time for a conspiracy to bomb an abortion clinic.
The activist whose endorsement Cruz celebrated, Troy Newman, is also on the board of the Center for Medical Progress, which made the surreptitious Planned Parenthood videos that prompted Cruz and many other conservatives to accuse the organization of selling "baby parts" -- the phrase Dear allegedly used.
There will always be the irrational and the unstable. But when political leaders turn disagreements into all-out war, demonize opponents as enemies and accuse those on the other side of being subhuman killers, the unbalanced can hear messages that were never intended.
Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who has flirted with the idea of using federal troops to block access to abortion, dismissed the Supreme Court's authority and said that we should "protect children instead of rip up their body parts and sell them like they're parts to a Buick."
Rival Carly Fiorina said, incorrectly, that the Planned Parenthood videos showed "a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says, 'We have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.' "
Chris Christie talked of "the systematic murder of children in the womb to preserve their body parts," while Marco Rubio asked on Twitter: "Where is all the outrage over the planned parenthood dead babies?"
Leading conservative commentators Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh have likened Planned Parenthood practices to those of the Nazis, and Emily's List, an abortion rights political group, has tracked violent or apocalyptic images served up by presidential candidates: Rand Paul said he doesn't think "civilization can long endure" with abortion rights; Ben Carson likened those who have abortions to slave owners; Huckabee talked about the "holocaust" of abortion and compared the morality of Planned Parenthood to that of the Islamic State; and Rubio spoke of people being "pushed into abortions so that those tissues can be harvested and sold for a profit."
After the Colorado shooting, Donald Trump condemned the killing but, asked by NBC's Chuck Todd if he could "understand why people might react this way" to the Planned Parenthood videos, replied: "Well, there's tremendous -- there's tremendous dislike, I can say that."
And of course there's Cruz, who said Planned Parenthood committed "multiple felonies" and who recently signed a letter with other GOP lawmakers saying (falsely) that Margaret Sanger, a founder of the group that became Planned Parenthood, sought the "extermination" of black people.
Following November 27 attack on a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood that killed three people and injured several more, right-wing media pundits immediately denied that violent anti-choice rhetoric may have motivated the shooter. However, anti-choice groups have a history of promoting violence to support their cause. After it was reported that the alleged shooter made comments about "no more baby parts" during questioning, right-wing media echoed the repeatedly debunked anti-choice claim that Planned Parenthood illegally sells fetal tissue, arguing that Planned Parenthood "deserves much of the harsh criticism directed toward it."
From the November 30 edition of Premier Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
Loading the player reg...
From the November 30 edition of Fox News' Outnumbered:
Loading the player reg...
From the November 30 edition of MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports:
Loading the player reg...
Following the November 27 shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood location that killed three people and wounded nine others, three major Sunday political shows -- Fox News Sunday, Meet The Press, and State Of The Union -- allowed guests to hype the false claim that Planned Parenthood sells "baby parts" based on a series of deceptively-edited videos from the Center for Medical Progress (CMP).
From the November 23 edition of Fox News' Outnumbered:
Loading the player reg...
From the November 18 edition of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah:
A recent Texas Policy Evaluation Project study highlights how Texas' medically unnecessary abortion restrictions that were passed into law under the false right-wing media guise of protecting women's health actually place them at risk. The study predicts that women are more likely to self-induce abortion "as clinic-based care becomes more difficult to access" -- a particularly poignant consequence of restrictive abortion laws in a state where such restrictions have already shuttered at least half of Texas' clinics.
On November 13, the Supreme Court announced that it would hear Whole Women's Health v. Cole, a challenge to HB2, a Texas law passed in 2013 requiring all abortion providers to employ doctors that have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and to meet the standards for "ambulatory surgical centers." If not stricken down, the law could eventually shut down 75 percent of the state's clinics.
A November 17 study conducted by the University of Texas' Texas Policy Evaluation Project predicted that if the Supreme Court fails to overturn the law and clinic access is further restricted, "abortion self-induction will increase," "[g]iven that the populations ... found to be most familiar with abortion self-induction are among those that have been most directly affected by the closure." The study also found that at least 100,000 and as many as 240,000 women between the ages of 18 and 49 in Texas have attempted to self-induce an abortion. Histories of self-induced abortions are most prevalent among women who reported facing significant obstacles to reproductive healthcare in the past, and among Latina women living in a rural area of Texas that has seen several clinic closures.
The very law that numerous media outlets believe could force some Texas women to self-induce abortion by severely restricting their access, was passed based on right-wing media myths. Texas lawmakers pushing for the 2013 legislation insisted that women's health clinics were unsafe and required increased regulation, capitalizing on a that myth originated by anti-choice activists. At the time, media helped give this claim oxygen: multiple Fox News figures claimed the law's restrictions were medically necessary and would make women safer, and Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan wrote that the law would simply make clinics "meet certain medical standards." Today, Fox News is still peddling the GOP claim that these anti-choice restrictions are in the best interest of women's health, despite the fact that medical experts agree that the measure is based on medically inaccurate information and that these regulations harm women.
The New York Times points out that while Texas abortions are down 13 percent since the passage of HB2, the study's authors do not attribute the decline to the measure -- they point to international evidence that abortion restrictions have done nothing to reduce the incidence of abortion -- only to encourage unsafe abortions.
The authors suggest it's actually more likely that "Texas women either traveled out of state, continued the pregnancy, or induced an abortion using the drug Misoprostol (known by the brand name Cytotec) or through 'herbs or homeopathic remedies, getting hit or punched in the abdomen, using alcohol or illicit drugs, or taking hormonal pills.'" While misoprostol has been endorsed by the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals as a harm reduction strategy to mitigate the dangers of self-induced abortion, "unfortunately, women often have inaccurate information on misoprostol use, [and] [d]rug quality is also a major concern, with a variety of misoprostol products on the market that do not meet international standards, are poorly stored or have simply expired."
For these reasons, the Texas case before the Court has striking implications for the women of the 10 additional states that have enacted similar requirements for hospital-admitting privileges, as well as the six other states that have passed laws "requiring hospital-grade facilities that mirror the Texas law."
As Dr. Daniel Grossman, co-author of the study and professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences, told reporters, "This is the latest body of evidence demonstrating the negative implications of laws like HB2 that pretend to protect women but in reality place them, and particularly women of color and economically disadvantaged women, at significant risk."
Fox News' coverage of the announcement that the Supreme Court will review a Texas law that requires abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges and clinics to meet the same legal requirements as ambulatory surgical centers lacked comments from medical experts, instead only offering the perspective of Republican lawmakers. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which supports a repeal of the law, has stated that abortion is already a safe medical procedure and such requirements are not medically necessary for patient safety.
From the November 13 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
Loading the player reg...
From the November 13 edition of Fox News' Outnumbered:
Loading the player reg...
Fox News has announced that Jesse Watters, correspondent for The O'Reilly Factor, will be hosting his own show on the network. Watters has a track record of producing segments where he shames homeless Americans and mocks members of the LGBT community. Watters has also repeatedly made disparaging comments about immigrants, women, and African-Americans while guest hosting shows on Fox.
Referring to backlash against a controversial Bloomingdale's ad accused of suggesting date rape, Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy asked, "Remember back in the old days when people used to make jokes?" The ad, which read "Spike your best friend's eggnog when they're not looking" and featured an image of a man staring at an away-turned woman, drew swift condemnation that prompted the company to issue a formal apology. Media roundly criticized the ad, with some describing this "pretty horrifying" incident as "the unfortunate result of a society that doesn't talk openly about sexual assault and date rape." Doocy's flippant reaction is in keeping with the network's consistent efforts to minimize the issue of sexual violence, and Fox & Friends has a long history of blatant sexism. From the November 13 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
ELISABETH HASSELBECK: Always a chance to apologize. Forgiveness is there. But what do you think of that ad? Should it have been there in the first place?
STEVE DOOCY: Or are you okay with it, you think it's just a joke? Remember back in the old days when people used to make jokes?
CLAYTON MORRIS: When people had a sense of humor. When was that?
DOOCY: Back in the old days.
MORRIS: The early 80s.
HASSELBECK: That one I would draw the line on myself. But let us know what you think. We'll stand by.
Image via ThinkProgress.