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Tuesday, June 10, 2008
CNS' Misleading, One-Sided Story on Pill Protest

A June 6 article by Penny Starr offered a one-sided view of the American Life League's "Protest the Pill Day," purportedly designed "to educate women about how birth control pills and other products can cause chemically induced abortion." Starr quotes only ALL representatives and associates, adding only at the end that "Requests made to Planned Parenthood for comment on this story were not returned by press time" while apparently making no other effort to contact anyone else for a contrary view. (Starr has a history of attacking Planned Parenthood.)

Because there is no other view presented, Starr does things like describe the function of the birth control pill as "prevent[ing] ovulation" while failing to explain how a lack of ovulation equals "abortion." Starr also offers no statistics on what percentage of pregnancies prevented by the pill come in the form of blocking a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus -- what the ALL is presumably referring to "chemically induced abortions" caused by the pill -- so that the reader can determine how seriously to take ALL's anti-pill campaign. Neither Starr nor the ALL make no aparent effort to differentiate between that and preventing ovulation.

While Starr describes ALL as "a Roman Catholic pro-life non-profit," she does explain that, as a Roman Catholic group, ALL is opposed to all forms of artificial birth control.

Further, Starr makes no attempt to delve at all into the ALL's ultimate agenda (as hinted at by its absolutist position on birth control), which may actually be to overturn Griswold v. Connecticut, the 1965 Supreme Court decision that overturned a law banning the sale of all forms of birth control (not just the pill) to married couples. Does the ALL want all birth control made illegal once again? That's a relevant question here, but Starr shows no apparent interest in answering it.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:37 AM EDT

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