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Monday, October 1, 2007
CNS Signs On to Latest Anti-Abortion Tactic

It looks like has signed on to the anti-abortionists' current tactic: playing up isolated cases of problems at abortion clinics to imply that all abortion clinics are unsanitary.

An Oct. 1 article by Kevin Mooney focuses on a New Jersey clinic closed after  state health officials found what Mooney described as "numerous, often morbid, violations."

WorldNetDaily has already reported on this clinic in a Sept. 28 article (and has similarly played up questionable isolated incidents at other abortion clinics). The WND article also pointed out that this is indeed a specific tactic by anti-abortion activists: "[T]he pursuit of legal action against various abortion businesses also is being encouraged by pro-life concerns, because of the potential for damage to the industry."

Indeed, CNS' Mooney takes the regulatory approach; the lead of his article reads, "New Jersey health officials are not inspecting abortion clinics in that state regularly, apparently because they don't have the resources or the manpower." Mooney devotes much less space to state officials responding to the issue than he does to Marie Tasey, executive director of New Jersey Right to Life, whom he quoted as saying, "The current elected officials in power all cater to [the abortionists'] agenda" -- a quote that appeared in the original headline for the article (it was quietly changed mid-morning of Oct. 1).

But Mooney, in focusing only on a single abortion clinic, is -- perhaps deliberately -- overlooking the larger issue. He writes:

The number of "ambulatory care" facilities -- which includes abortion clinics -- in New Jersey has grown from 590 to more than 1,000 in the past few years. Yet the health department's staffing has increased from 125 to 150 in the same period.

But Mooney offers no context for the violations he claims regarding the single abortion clinic vs. the total number of "ambulatory care" facilities. How many facilities that don't perform abortions have had problems? How many total abortion clinics are there in New Jersey? Mooney doesn't say. If there are widesprad violations to be found in other non-abortion "ambulatory care" facilities due to a lack of state regulation and enforcement, then singling out only a single abortion clinic is misleading and disingenuous.

The end of the article reads, "Part II of this story will be published in mid-October." Let's hope Mooney takes a more fair, more comprehensive approach to the issue next time.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 PM EDT

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