Ilyse Hogue | Media Matters for America

Ilyse Hogue

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  • Must-read pieces about how anti-choice fake clinics manipulate pregnant people

    The Supreme Court "held that part of California's crisis pregnancy center disclosure law is unconstitutional and that another part is likely unconstitutional."

    ››› ››› JULIE TULBERT

    On June 26, the Supreme Court decided NIFLA v. Becerra, a case involving a California law that curtails the deceptive practices of anti-abortion fake health clinics. The Court ruled against the California law regulating fake health clinics. The court "held that part of California's crisis pregnancy center disclosure law is unconstitutional and that another part is likely unconstitutional." Some outlets have recently published essential pieces about the tactics and negative impacts of these fake health clinics, which manipulate and mislead people seeking abortions in hopes that they will carry their pregnancies to term.

  • By Shutting Out Pro-Choice Leaders In Convention Coverage, Cable News Feeds Abortion Stigma

    Blog ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

    Cable news outlets effectively silenced the voices of pro-choice leaders by showing only a small part -- if any -- of their speeches at the Democratic National Convention. In doing so, networks fed the stigma around abortion, which is already prevalent in the media, and thereby contributed to anti-choice misinformation, which can manifest itself in dangerous laws closing abortion clinics and even violence.

    Fox News ignored Planned Parenthood Action Fund president Cecile Richards’ July 26 speech at the Democratic National Convention entirely, while CNN played a portion of it and MSNBC ran part of the speech in the corner of the screen with commercials over it, so viewers could not hear her words. Fox also ignored NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue’s July 27 speech at the convention, while CNN and MSNBC showed convention scenes while she was speaking during commercials and panel discussions, but included no audio of Hogue’s speech and did not indicate that Hogue was speaking.

    Media have pointed out that the speeches were both groundbreaking. Richards was the first speaker to mention the word “abortion” on the convention stage so far this year. Hogue “broke new ground,” according to Yahoo News, by discussing her decision to have an abortion.

    Networks’ reluctance to air the speeches feeds into existing abortion stigma, which can be defined as “a shared understanding that abortion is morally wrong and/or socially unacceptable.” One of the main manifestations of abortion stigma is “personal and cultural silence around abortion.” Silencing those who publicly discuss abortion or share their own abortion stories is a way of feeding that stigma.

    Media are no strangers to abortion stigma, which can take many forms in the news, including use of misleading b-roll footage of babies during news segments about abortion. Media figures also reinforce the idea that abortion is a risky and cruel procedure by parroting conservative talking points while discussing anti-choice regulations on abortion clinics. Hollywood is also guilty of feeding stigma about abortion, by not treating it like the “routine medical procedure” that it is.

    Abortion stigma’s prevalence in the media can be extremely dangerous because it leaves room for misinformation about the procedure, which is all too common. Lawmakers have adopted abortion myths and misinformation to promote anti-choice legislation and TRAP (targeted regulation of abortion providers) laws, and these mistaken concepts even made their way to the Supreme Court. Even more dangerously, some anti-choice extremists use misinformation surrounding abortion to justify violence against providers. A series of videos attacking Planned Parenthood by the anti-choice group the Center for Medical Progress precipitated a ninefold increase in anti-choice violence.

    Abortion stigma is dangerous to women. By silencing the voices of pro-choice leaders, media are complicit.

  • NARAL President Calls Out National Media For Ignoring Recent String Of Anti-Planned Parenthood Arson Attacks

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL LARRIS

    NARAL President Ilyse Hogue criticized the press for insufficient coverage of recent arson attacks on Planned Parenthood clinics, saying that the media "need to report these incidents as what they are: domestic terrorism" or they will be giving "extremists the cover to regressively and violently attack women, their access to health care, and the medical professionals who provide it."

    Since the anti-choice Center for Medical Progress has released a series of deceptively-edited videos smearing Planned Parenthood, multiple clinics across the country have been the targets of "terroristic" arson attacks. A Media Matters review found that cable news shows and leading newspapers around the country remained largely silent on the topic.

    Hogue released the following statement in response to Media Matters' review: 

    Make no mistake: we are witnessing acts of domestic terrorism at health care facilities across the country, targeting women who seek medical advice and the doctors who are brave enough to counsel them--in the face of repeated, violent attacks and daily threats. But, instead of treating these incidents as the real and present danger to innocent civilians that they are, Congress is inviting anti-abortion extremists to testify at hearings, the Department of Justice has yet to announce a full investigation, and the news media remains silent. Where is the outrage?

    Women can and will continue to make their own decisions about their bodies and their lives, despite murders, bombings, arsons and intimidation by those who will stop at nothing to deny women legal abortion services. We have to remember that just six years a go a doctor was gunned down in the pews of his own church in the name of this extremist movement and against a backdrop of tolerance for the radical views.

    The media need to report these incidents as what they are: domestic terrorism. By staying silent or failing to discuss this new wave of attacks on health clinics in the context of anti-abortion extremism, the media is giving extremists the cover to regressively and violently attack women, their access to health care, and the medical professionals who provide it. We call on the DOJ to investigate the recent arsons, showing that our legal system will not tolerate any further assault on women, clinic escorts, security personnel or medical staff, and the news media to hold the government accountable for keeping Americans safe from harm.

    NARAL has also launched a petition calling on the Department of Justice to investigate the Planned Parenthood arsons as instances of domestic terrorism.

  • Eight Women Explaining Why The Hobby Lobby Ruling Is Dead Wrong

    Blog ››› ››› COLEMAN LOWNDES

    On June 30th, five male justices held that "closely held" for-profit secular corporations like Hobby Lobby are exempt under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) from the so-called "contraception mandate." Right-wing media predictably cheered and mocked women's access to contraception, even though the decision was based on a series of myths.

    Here are eight women explaining why the Hobby Lobby decision is dead wrong: