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Sunday, January 16, 2011
WND Uncritically Reprints ADF's Falshoods
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Jan. 11 WorldNetDaily article by Michael Carl begins:

Agree to do abortions or you can't go to school here.

That's the message from Vanderbilt University's nursing residency program, where the school requires applicants to sign a pledge stating they'll participate in abortions.

Just one problem: That lead is a lie.

Carl goes on to write that  the Alliance Defense Fund "has filed a complaint with the federal Department of Health and Human Services in response stating the policy violates federal law," asserting that "federal law states that any institution that receives federal grants cannot require students to do abortions in violation of their religious beliefs."

Carl makes no apparent attempt to contact Vanderbilt for a response, instead quoting form a media statement it released pointing out that "A Vanderbilt University Medical Center policy has been in place for years for employees, including nurse residents, so they may be excused from participating in activities due to religious beliefs, ethical beliefs or other associated reasons." ButCarl then allowed an ADF representative to claim that despite the policy, theschool requires nursing students "to assist in abortions."

In fact, it does nothing of the sort. As the Tennessean reported (h/t Right Wing Watch), a Vanderbilt spokesman points out that the school does not require any student to participate in an abortion procedure, but students "will be asked to provide care to women who have had, or are seeking, abortions." Carl didn't mention that in his article.

When the ADF claimed that the school "modified" its nurse residency application "so that it no longer requires applicants to pledge that they will participate in abortion procedures," WND uncritically reported in an unbylined Jan. 13 article. But the only source for the new information in the article appears to be an ADF press release; WND made no apparent effort to obtain a response from Vanderbilt.

Perhaps that's because they knew ADF was lying again. As Right Wing Watch points out, Vanderbilt did not "modify" its policy; it merely issued a "clarification" that restated existing policy that "no health care provider is required to participate in a procedure terminating a pregnancy if such participation would be contrary to an individual’s religious beliefs or moral convictions."

As we've previously detailed, WND has served as a willing vessel for ADF's questionable "War on Christmas" claims, uncritically reprinting its press releases, and it has even apparently secretly collaborated with ADF to promote legal action regarding a book by WND managing editor David Kupelian.

WND is so far in the tank for ADF that it can't be bothered to tell its readers that it's telling outright lies.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:52 PM EST

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