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Sunday, February 26, 2012
CNS' Starr Attacks Witness in Contraception Hearing, The Hearing Itself

Penny Starr's anti-Democratic, anti-contraception bias is clear in the first paragraph of her Feb. 24 article:

Because their witness was denied an opportunity to testify at last week’s Republican-led hearing on religious freedom, House Democrats staged a hearing of their own Thursday, playing to the media and framing the argument as one of “women’s health.”

Starr goes on to describe the hearing once again as "staged." At no point does she describe last week's Republican hearing on contraception -- which invited only religious figures and others opposed to contraception -- as "staged" or "playing to the media" even though it was no less so than the Democratic hearing.

Starr clings to the Republican talking point that the debate over mandating contraception coverage in Obamacare is one of "religious freedom," even quoting from last week's Republican hearing to make the point. She repeats another talking point, that the mandate "will force religiously affiliated schools and hospitals to provide services that some religions, including Catholicism, find morally wrong and impermissible" without explaining that a compromise shifting that particular funding burden from institutions that reject the coverage on moral grounds to the insurance companies all but eliminates that issue.

To emphasize her point, Starr writes: "Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif), who presided over last week’s hearing on freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, noted that his committee is responsible, not for health issues, but for government accountability." Starr doesn't explain how "religious freedom" is covered under Issa's committee's purported mandate of "government accountability."

Starr was apparently offended that the witness, Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke, "describ[ed] birth control as 'medication,' said some women need it to cure disease," but she offers no evidence to contradict Fluke's claim.

Starr issued a more direct attack on Fluke in another Feb. 24 article, mocking Fluke's testimony that "a fellow female student at the law school-who is married--had to stop using contraception because she and her husband could not afford it" because "There are three federally funded Planned Parenthood clinics in Washington, D.C.--none being more than 3.2 miles from the Georgetown Law School."

Starr continues the mocking by noting that the Planned Parenthood website states that condoms "cost about $1 each, but are sometimes available for free."

Starr and CNS have long offered biased, hostile coverage of Planned Parenthood

Posted by Terry K. at 3:55 PM EST

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