By Denise Tessier
After nearly a year’s hiatus from writing for ABQJournalWatch, I am compelled to add to the points my colleague Arthur Alpert made Tuesday in his post about the Journal’s anti-Planned Parenthood campaign.
The impetus is Wednesday’s UpFront column – “100 years of fighting for reproductive rights”.
At first, the front-page headline prompted thoughts that the Journal was injecting some months-overdue fairness into its generous coverage of the pro-birth, anti-choice movement and its attacks designed to cripple and even eliminate Planned Parenthood, an organization that for decades has done much to improve women’s health.
That the UpFront had been written by the exceptional Joline Gutierrez Krueger held promise that the article would be fair and enlightening. It was just coincidence that the column appeared the day after Arthur’s post, as it was clear she had been working on it before.
But the column in fact served to obfuscate one critical point – the damning and oft-repeated allegations that the women health’s organization was selling fetal parts.
“Hotly disputed” is the weak description chosen to characterize allegations of fetal tissue sales, keeping Planned Parenthood in the defensive position for purposes of the Journal column.
From the column:
Planned Parenthood . . . has been lashed lately by a host of bad press: allegations – hotly disputed – of selling fetal body parts for profit, defunding threats by Republican lawmakers and presidential candidates and the shooting deaths of three people at a Colorado Springs clinic in November by a self-described “warrior for the babies.”
There is no mention of the fact that in January a Texas grand jury cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing and actually indicted two anti-abortion extremists for allegedly trying to buy fetal body parts. The extremists were also charged with tampering with a governmental record after they made videos edited to mislead viewers into believing a Texas Planned Parenthood clinic was engaged in fetal parts sales.
Those allegations weren’t just “hotly disputed,” they were essentially put to rest by a conservative Texas court.