Right-Wing Media's History Of Unhinged Attacks On Planned Parenthood

Conservative media have gone to great lengths to portray Planned Parenthood as an organization of “child killers” bent on eliminating entire minority populations. These unhinged claims have led to sexist attacks on women and women's health services.

Conservative Media Attack Planned Parenthood As “Child Killers”

Erickson: “Planned Parenthood Killed Almost As Many People In 2009 As Live In Cincinnati, OH.” In an April 8 post on his Twitter feed, CNN contributor and RedState.com editor Erick Erickson highlighted a story on Glenn Beck's website, The Blaze, reporting that “Planned Parenthood performed one abortion every 95 seconds last year.” Erickson wrote:

Erickson tweet

[Erick Erickson's Twitter feed, 4/8/11]

Big Hollywood Derides Planned Parenthood Ad On Health Care For Women: “When I Say Essential Care To Millions Of Women, I Mean Killing Babies.” In an April 8 post on Andrew Breitbart's Big Hollywood website, contributor John Nolte mocked an ad for Planned Parenthood narrated by actress Scarlett Johansson. Purporting to “translat[e]” the ad, Nolte wrote:

“Even though I have more money than the God I don't believe in, taxpayers should still foot the bill to murder the innocent unborn, especially the disproportionally Black innocent unborn. When I say essential care to millions of women, I mean killing babies. When I say health care, I mean killing babies. When I say STDs, I mean killing babies. When I say birth control, you better believe I mean killing babies. I'm a movie star mostly known for my awesome body but I want to be taken seriously and so even though there's hunger in the world, war, disease, and slavery -- this is my issue. Killing babies.

Has anyone seen my smart-girl glasses? They were right here.” [Big Hollywood, 4/8/11]

Erickson: Is Obama “Willing To Shut Down The Government To Protect Not Just Killing Children, But Funding The Murder?” From an April 7 RedState post by Erick Erickson:

The leftwing partisans are in full spin mode now after weeks of privately hoping for a government shutdown (though I have wanted one too). For a taste of the spin, go to Talking Points Memo.

According to Talking Points Memo, Barack Obama and the Democrats are willing to shut down the government to protect killing kids and killing businesses. Yep.

The Democrats, according to Talking Points Memo, have decided that they will shutdown (sic) the government in order to prevent Republicans from defunding Planned Parenthood, restricting abortions in D.C., and stopping the EPA from enacting job killing carbon regulations. Harry Reid says much the same, but he is lying. The continuing resolution contains riders he is perfectly fine with.


Fourth, here is Barack Obama's own veto statement. In it, the administration says nothing about the riders Talking Points Memo alleges are the source of the problem. Nothing. In fact, Speaker Boehner notes, “In its veto threat, the White House didn't cite a single policy objection. No policy reason not to pass this troop funding bill.”

Is the President being diplomatic? If so, is it because he does not want the American people to know he is willing to shut down the government to protect not just killing children, but funding the murder? [RedState, 4/7/11, emphasis in original]

Fox Nation Hypes Video Suggesting Planned Parenthood Puts Babies In Blenders. On March 9, Fox Nation promoted a video by the American Life League (ALL) that showed a bunny being placed in a blender and claimed that Planned Parenthood does the same to babies.

Bunnies in a blender

[Fox Nation, 3/9/11]

Wash. Times Op-Ed: GOP Must “Hold The Funding Bill Hostage Rather Than See Money Go To The Nation's Largest Consortium Of Child Killers.” In a February 22 Washington Times op-ed, anti-choice activist Randall Terry advocated for defunding Planned Parenthood by using the political battle over government funding bills “as a 'teaching moment' to expose the evils of Planned Parenthood (such as protecting pedophiles and pimps) as well as highlighting the warped ethics of the senators who support Planned Parenthood.” Terry further wrote:

[A] group of Republican House members - probably 30 to 35 would do the trick - must inform Mr. Boehner that they will not vote for any final continuing resolution that comes out of the conference committee if it restores funding to Planned Parenthood.

In other words, they must hold the funding bill hostage rather than see money go to the nation's largest consortium of child killers. Such an act will require courage and the expenditure of significant political capital from those members of the House. [The Washington Times, 2/22/11]

Rush Limbaugh Claims Planned Parenthood Is Conspiring Against Minorities

Limbaugh: The Left “Literally Preside[s] Over The Death Of 60% Of Black Babies In The Womb Via Planned Parenthood.” From the March 2 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: Meanwhile, there's -- I guess -- well, you know, what it is? The left can say and do anything. They -- in fact, the left can abort 60 percent of black babies and that's cool. Let me report it and all hell breaks loose. Eric Holder can say, “I'm not prosecuting the New Black Panthers. Those are my people.” Can you image if Edward Meese, attorney general during Reagan -- Hell, no, we're not going to go into that group. Those are my people. That's a bunch of white guys. Can you imagine what would happen? [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 3/2/11]

Limbaugh: “Planned Parenthood Is Doing The Job The Klan Could Never Finish.” From the February 25 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: You want to really stir things up, talk about who owns and runs Planned Parenthood, and where are these clinics being put? They're being put in black neighborhoods. Who's making money? Who's profiting? Liberals, leftists, obviously, pro-abortion types.

Who's defending them? Somebody puts a billboard up trying to defend them and they get run out of town by Al Sharpton and the rest. My God, folks, this is intolerable. (interruption) Well, I don't know if we could go that far. (laughing) Planned Parenthood is doing the job the Klan could never finish, is that what you think? I don't know. But that's unacceptable, a 60% abortion rate among black women in New York City, and then you turn around and look at who they're probably voting for, under what premise? [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 2/25/11, emphasis added]

Limbaugh: “Original Goal Of Planned Parenthood Was To Abort Various Minorities Out Of Existence.” From the July 13, 2009, edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: Now growth in populations we don't want to have too many -- that's Planned Parenthood. That was the original goal of Planned Parenthood. The original goal of Planned Parenthood was to abort various minorities out of existence. That was the original purpose.


Now what's astounding about this is that a matriarch of modern liberalism was candid about the underlying objective of the abortion movement -- that is to rid society of entire populations deemed unworthy. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was an early proponent of this. You know, it's called eugenics. And her aim was to wipe out the African-American population.

Other infamous world figures acted upon similar instincts using other means to object -- achieve their objectives: concentration camps, mass gassings, so-called ethnic cleansings. Planned Parenthood's no different -- Margaret Sanger's Planned Parenthood no different than any of the people that used concentration camps, mass gassing, so-called ethnic cleansings. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 7/13/09]

However, Martin Luther King Jr. Accepted Planned Parenthood Award And Praised The Organization For Its Dedication To Family Planning. From King's “Family Planning -- A Special and Urgent Concern” speech, delivered by his wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King:

There is no human circumstance more tragic than the persisting existence of a harmful condition for which a remedy is readily available. Family planning, to relate population to world resources, is possible, practical and necessary. Unlike plagues of the dark ages or contemporary diseases we do not yet understand, the modern plague of overpopulation is soluble by means we have discovered and with resources we possess.

What is lacking is not sufficient knowledge of the solution but universal consciousness of the gravity of the problem and education of the billions who are its victims.


For the Negro, therefore, intelligent guides of family planning are a profoundly important ingredient in his quest for security and a decent life. There are mountainous obstacles still separating Negroes from a normal existence. Yet one element in stabilizing his life would be an understanding of and easy access to the means to develop a family related in size to his community environment and to the income potential he can command.

This is not to suggest that the Negro will solve all his problems through Planned Parenthood. His problems are far more complex, encompassing economic security, education, freedom from discrimination, decent housing and access to culture. Yet if family planning is sensible it can facilitate or at least not be an obstacle to the solution of the many profound problems that plague him.

The Negro constitutes half the poor of the nation. Like all poor, Negro and white, they have many unwanted children. This is a cruel evil they urgently need to control. There is scarcely anything more tragic in human life than a child who is not wanted. That which should be a blessing becomes a curse for parent and child. There is nothing inherent in the Negro mentality which creates this condition. Their poverty causes it. When Negroes have been able to ascend economically, statistics reveal they plan their families with even greater care than whites. Negroes of higher economic and educational status actually have fewer children than white families in the same circumstances.

Some commentators point out that with present birth rates it will not be long before Negroes are a majority in many of the major cities of the nation. As a consequence, they can be expected to take political control, and many people are apprehensive at this prospect. Negroes do not seek political control by this means. They seek only what they are entitled to and do not wish for domination purchased at the cost of human misery. Negroes were once bred by slave owners to be sold as merchandise. They do not welcome any solution which involves population breeding as a weapon. They are instinctively sympathetic to all who offer methods that will improve their lives and offer them fair opportunity to develop and advance as all other people in our society.

For these reasons we are natural allies of those who seek to inject any form of planning in our society that enriches life and guarantees the right to exist in freedom and dignity.

For these constructive movements we are prepared to give our energies and consistent support; because in the need for family planning, Negro and white have a common bond; and together we can and should unite our strength for the wise preservation, not of races in general, but of the one race we all constitute -- the human race. [Martin Luther King Jr. speech via Planned Parenthood, accessed 4/14/11]

Right-Wing Media Push Falsehood That Planned Parenthood Didn't Report Possible Sex Trafficking

Right-Wing Media Tout Anti-Abortion Activists' Failed Sting Operation Attempting To Paint Planned Parenthood As Child Sex Traffickers. Anti-abortion activist Lila Rose and her group Live Action released a series of videos allegedly “exposing” Planned Parenthood's “cover-up of child sex trafficking,” and conservative media rushed to accuse Planned Parenthood of engaging in criminal activity. In fact, at least two weeks before Live Action released the first video, Planned Parenthood reported a “potential multistate sex trafficking ring” to the FBI. [Media Matters, 2/1/11; Media Matters, 3/3/11]

O'Reilly Hosts Lila Rose To Push False Planned Parenthood Sex Trafficking Allegations. From the April 6 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: Lila, you do this kind of work. You're not a journalist, but you go in and try to embarrass Planned Parenthood. Leslie's point is that you are not being honest. That you're telling Planned Parenthood that you're something else and you're not something else. You're going in and you're lying to them and you say what?

LILA ROSE: Well, Bill and Leslie, first of all, we're not trying to embarrass or get anybody at Planned Parenthood -- the biggest abortion chain -- to do anything they don't do every day. Our undercover tactics, which are an industry standard in undercover journalism -- to pose real life scenarios to Planned Parenthood workers at all levels of the organization. And we document things the public otherwise would not know about: the rampant sexual abuse cover up at Planned Parenthood; the willingness to aid and abet in the trafficking of young girls; the medical misinformation that this abusive organization is perpetuating to women and against women. This is so important for people to know about. The public deserves to know these things. When groups like Planned Parenthood -- the biggest abortion chain in our country -- is receiving $363 million tax payer dollars people should be thanking us for this investigative work. And the mainstream media should be doing this investigative work as well.

O'REILLY: And some people are Lila, but you're distorting it a little bit. There is a law that public money doesn't go directly for abortions, but they do some sleight of hand --

ROSE: Bill, the money is fungible.

O'REILLY: Alright, they do some sleight of hand.

ROSE: The money goes to pay the very workers that are covering up sexual abuse, the money goes to pay for the facilities where young girls are being abused. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 4/6/11]

Wash. Times: Planned Parenthood “Facilitate[s]” Child Abuse And Does Not “Fulfill Their Obligation To Report” Abuse To Authorities. From a March 2 Washington Times op-ed:

[The Live Action videos] show health care professionals, employed by a national organization receiving taxpayer funds, who not only do not fulfill their obligation to report to authorities these potential cases of child abuse, but actually are willing to facilitate that abuse. It is hard to imagine conditions more conducive to the widespread sexual exploitation of American children than those in which health care professionals are willfully ignorant of the sex trafficking in front of their eyes. [The Washington Times, 3/2/11]

Bolling Allows Lila Rose To Claim That Planned Parenthood Has Been “Covering Up The Sexual Abuse Of Children” “Across The Board.” From the February 21 edition of Fox Business' Follow the Money:

ERIC BOLLING (host): Welcome back to Follow The Money. Joining us now is Lila Rose, President of Live Action. Lila's been called the new face of the anti-abortion movement, armed with a camera. Lila's been exposing what she says is Planned Parenthood's involvement in underage abortions and other shocking things all done with taxpayer money. Welcome, Lila. We have been following the money. Give us the breakdown of the money, Lila, if you don't mind.

ROSE: Of course. Well, Planned Parenthood has about a billion-dollar budget; technically, they're a non-profit. They get a third of their billion dollar budget from, guess who, the taxpayers, and just in their last annual report they reported a $63 billion profit despite getting over 300 million from the taxpayers.

And this is an organization that's the biggest abortion chain in our country and that has been covering the sexual abuse of underage girls for years. And our latest investigation shows that they're also willing to aid and abet the trafficking of minors in our country.

BOLLING: And tell us about that, a little bit, you have some tapes, I guess, that you exposed some of this?

ROSE: Yes, in the past couple weeks we have released now seven different videos from seven different Planned Parenthood clinics. We had actors posing as traffickers of children as young as fourteen, young girls, saying that they wanted birth control and abortion and secret services for these sex slaves, and across the board the Planned Parenthood workers said they would find ways to get-- ways to do it secretly, they would find discounts, even tax-funded discounts, for these human traffickers, for this brutal pimp, and talked about ways to make sure that they would avoid detection and that no one would get-- no one would find out about their sex ring and that these little girls would come in, no questions asked, get secret abortions, secret birth control, so that the trafficker would put them back out on the street.

This is part of a three-and-a-half year investigation that our organization has been doing that shows across the board, Eric, this is an organization, this abortion chain, Planned Parenthood, has been covering up the sexual abuse of children as young as 14, 13, and they're continuing to do it even today. [Fox Business, Follow The Money, 2/21/11, via Media Matters]

Beck Hosts Rose To Spread Falsehood That Planned Parenthood Abets Sex Trafficking. From the February 18 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: Right. And so, there's no problem with having a debate. But the problem comes where nobody is talking about the actual abuses that are going on because of Planned Parenthood. Explain.

ROSE: Well, first of all, let me say Planned Parenthood, the ultimate abuse of that organization, the biggest abortion clinic in our country, is the victim of the unborn child, because they kill more unborn children, most defenseless Americans in our country, over 300,000 of them a year. So, that's the ultimate victim.

But beyond that, you mentioned incest victims, and you mentioned rape victims, Glenn. And beyond that, a lot of those victims find their ways into Planned Parenthood's clinics. They are taken their often by their abusers and then traffic victims. We have over 300,000 traffic victims in our country, children that are trafficked, sold for sex. And they find their way into these clinics and they become victims, too.

BECK: This is the same -- these are the same kind of people that we saw with ACORN where you have a pimp go in and say, hey, I've got these underage kids and they're coming in, and they did nothing. Here is -- well, here's -- let me show you the map where there are violations from Planned Parenthood, people should go to jail.

Here are the violations. There are 31 different locations. Let's pull up the different ones. Let's go to New Jersey first. Tell me a little bit about this video before we play it.

ROSE: Sure. The video that we're about to see shows Planned Parenthood manager in the second biggest chain of clinics in New Jersey, advising our actors who were posing as human traffickers of 14 and 15-year- old girls, and telling them how they can use the system, get cheaper abortions and birth controls for the little girls to keep them on the streets. This is part of our trafficking investigation where we've released seven different clinics showing Planned Parenthood willing to aid and abet the trafficking of little girls. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 2/18/11, accessed via Nexis]

O'Reilly Factor Producer Claims Video Shows Planned Parenthood Employees “Covering Up Underaged Sex Trafficking.” From the February 9 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: Factor Follow-Up segment tonight. As you may know, a pro-life group named Live Action is doing a number of undercover stings on Planned Parenthood. The first tape in New Jersey showed a Planned Parenthood employee advising undercover people how to get around child sex laws. That employee you see right there -- she was fired. Now there's a new tape recorded in the Bronx, New York, that shows a Planned Parenthood employee doing almost the same thing.


O'REILLY: Now, the state of New York mandates that organizations report suspected child abuse or mistreatment, period. And that includes statutory rape. Now, we contacted Planned Parenthood, but they refused to come on the Factor. So we sent Jesse Watters out to see spokesman Stuart Schear.

[begin video clip]

WATTERS: You condone the behavior on the tape of one of your employees in the Bronx excusing and covering up underaged sex trafficking? You're OK with that?

SCHEAR: We firmly believe that the edited -- that the tape from the Bronx is doctored.

WATTERS: But you haven't seen the tape, have you?

SCHEAR: I can -- I will take -- I would like to --

WATTERS: Have you have seen the tape?

SCHEAR: I actually have not seen the full tape yet.

WATTERS: So you don't know whether it was doctored or not, do you?

SCHEAR: The tape -- there is --

WATTERS: You're talking about a tape that you're claiming is doctored, and you haven't seen it. Isn't that correct?

SCHEAR: That is not correct. I would like to actually take you through -- let me take you through the audio and the visual tape and show you how they were changed --

[Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 2/8/11, via Media Matters]

Wash. Times Op-Ed: Video Is “Cold, Hard Evidence Of...The Lengths To Which Planned Parenthood Will Go To Sell Abortions To Women - And Girls - Of Any Age.” In a February 2 op-ed in The Washington Times, Steven Ertelt, editor of the anti-choice website LifeNews.com, wrote that the videos depict “cold, hard evidence of the mentality behind the abortion industry and the lengths to which Planned Parenthood will go to sell abortions to women - and girls - of any age.” From the editorial:

This week, the Planned Parenthood abortion business was caught in the latest undercover video investigation - this time helping two people representing themselves as sex-trafficking-ring operatives bent on getting abortions for the underage girls they victimize.


The videos provide more than impassioned rhetoric or facts and statistics. They depict cold, hard evidence of the mentality behind the abortion industry and the lengths to which Planned Parenthood will go to sell abortions to women - and girls - of any age.

The videos could become the next partial-birth-abortion controversy - a game-changing look at the issue of abortion in a way that goes beyond the typical pro-life-vs.-pro-choice bumper-sticker slogans; they hit at the reality of abortion. [The Washington Times, 2/2/11]

RedState: “Planned Parenthood Caught Aiding And Abetting Sex Trafficking Of Minors.” A February 1 post on the conservative blog RedState embedded the Live Action video and concluded, “The exploitative roots and track record of Planned Parenthood is largely an untold story that can no longer be ignored.” From the post, titled, “Planned Parenthood Caught Aiding and Abetting Sex Trafficking of Minors”:

New footage released just this morning shows a Planned Parenthood manager in New Jersey coaching a man and a woman posing as sex traffickers on how to secure secret abortions and other services for their female underage sex slaves.

The Planned Parenthood manager explains to the “pimp” how to make their operation “look as legit as possible” and how to lie to avoid mandatory reporting laws.

You have to see it to believe it:


The new video is released by Live Action, a pro-life group led by 22-year-old Lila Rose. Live Action is sending full footage to appropriate national and state law enforcement agencies.

The exploitative roots and track record of Planned Parenthood is a largely untold story that can no longer be ignored. The horror of the logic behind Planned Parenthood's founding has come to roost in this modern form: it is the primary partner of those who degrade and exploit women. [RedState, 2/1/11]

RedState: Planned Parenthood “Facilitates Both” “Slavery And The Sexual Abuse Of Minors.” A second entry about the Live Action video, posted to RedState on February 2, claimed that “we in this country like to believe that as a country we take strong stands against both slavery and the sexual abuse of minors. Yet here we have an organization which, by uncontroverted proof, facilitates both.” The February 2 post also failed to note that Planned Parenthood alerted federal authorities. [RedState, 2/2/11]

Conservative Media Attack Women And Women's Health Care During Budget Debate

Right-Wing Media Use Budget Talks To Attack Women And Women's Health Services. As Media Matters has documented, right-wing media responded to recent budget negotiations and the debate over Planned Parenthood funding by making sexist attacks against women and deriding women's health services as “non-vital” and “optional.” Beck has even gone so far as to suggest that the only people who rely on Planned Parenthood's services are “hookers.” [Media Matters, 4/12/11]