In 1978, the Chicago Sun Times published a series of articles on abortion clinics in the Windy City. Thirteen articles based on undercover reporting comprised the expose revealing–until then–unprecedented abuses. “Abortion Profiteers” engaged in “dangerous and unsavory, unsanitary practices, including performing the procedure regularly on women who were not pregnant.”
A grand jury investigated. And the newspaper decided to refuse future advertising for abortion clinics because “it would not be able to verify their competence.”
But the expose did not end abuse in the abortion industry.
The Chicago stories are much like others we’ve heard since 1978. Especially the “dangerous . . . unsavory, unsanitary” part. There is the story of an abortion chain in California in 2007. The report recounts grisly abuses dating back to the 1990s. The Los Angeles Times reported that story.
And then there’s Kermit Gosnell in Pennsylvania, whose case “stretches back decades” with a trail of bodies in its wake. At least one mother. Innumerable unborn children, of whom one clinic employee says 40 percent were older than Pennsylvania’s 24-week limit. The Washington Post, among others, reported that story.
As many pro-life advocates feared, when abortion became legal, back alley abortion butchers merely hung out signs and opened for business. Butchering was still butchering. Death was still profitable.
And people are always looking for ways to take what is profitable and make it more profitable.
So we come to the case of the Planned Parenthood (PP) clinics–federally subsidized with your money and mine–accused of selling baby parts. The accusations result from the same journalistic strategy the Sun Times reporters used. The Sun Times website labels its 1978 abortion expose “Deception for Journalism’s Sake.” Reporters deceived clinic workers to uncover truth.
Now PP is urging the California legislature to prohibit deceptive investigative reporting in that state ONLY as it relates to the abortion industry. One particular form of business will be free of scrutiny. The bill‘s author received the “Champion of Choice Award” from PP last year.
But PP and its supporters have never been big on informed choice, real choice.
Several California media organizations oppose the bill. They want to retain their freedom of the press.
America’s abortion industry has survived by minimizing the horror stories and maximizing good PR–the public relations lie that ‘we are only here to help and money has nearly nothing to do with it.’
At least one woman and many babies would be alive today if the Center for Medical Progress had gotten to Kermit Gosnell’s clinic in time. Who knows the difference it might have made if they had gotten to the California clinics the LA Times reported on before horrors multiplied there.
If this bill passes, we might never know about the horrors behind clinic doors.
We don’t need less journalistic deception for the sake of truth. We need more.