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Monday, October 01, 2007

Planned Parenthood applies with lies

By Dennis Byrne
Chicago Tribune

Whatever you think about Planned Parenthood setting up an abortion clinic in Aurora, you have to be impressed by the group's mendacity.

That's not surprising because the abortion industry has demonstrated great skill in the arts of deception, invention and omission. Now, thanks to the lengths that Planned Parenthood went to disguise the fact that its new medical clinic in Aurora would perform abortions, and the breathtaking willingness of its supports to justify the deception, we have an even better understanding of the depths of the industry's dishonesty.

Planned Parenthood officials said the devil (pro-lifers) made them do it (lie). If they didn't, the group insists, the "anti-choice" crowd would protest, make life miserable for all involved and even become violent. Without shame, Planned Parenthood confessed to intentionally avoiding public disclosure and transparency because of its perceived fear of negative public reaction. Equally shameless was how facilely Planned Parenthood defenders excused this end-justifies-the-means strategy.

In other words, the clinic's cheerleaders believe the clinic can deny to a certain segment of the public information that it has a right to receive. The reason is Planned Parenthood doesn't like to face the tests of a democratic society -- meaning protests, public demonstrations and the constitutional right to petition government.

This is based on the assumption that clinic opponents are dangerous. Steve Trombley, head of Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area, in a Sept. 4 letter to Aurora officials, made the baseless claim that the "zealots" opposing the clinic "have a well-documented history of violence and criminal activity." This sweeping slander is based on unfair and inaccurate stereotypes and on claims found in an old lawsuit against a pro-life protester that was twice soundly trashed -- 8-0 and 8-1 -- by the U.S. Supreme Court, something he doesn't mention in his letter. (The suit tried to use RICO racketeering conspiracy laws to try to bankrupt pro-lifers into silence.)

Let's be clear, the opponents' protests are legal and constitutionally protected. If it comes to "civil disobedience," the protesters should and will be arrested. Such tactics would drive Planned Parenthood backers wild, but if they don't understand the use of civil disobedience against laws that are perceived as unjust or immoral, perhaps they should consult Rev. Jesse Jackson, recently arrested for blocking a gun shop door, for an explanation.

The abortion industry's whoppers go far beyond Aurora. For years, it denied that the grizzly partial-birth abortion procedure existed, and when called on it, the industry spread around some more lies, such as it's "rarely used," used only to preserve the mother's health or life, used only on severely ill unborn babies and so forth. Until Ron Fitzsimmons, head of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, his conscience hurting, admitted that he was "lying through his teeth." The procedure existed, he said, and was used frequently and for whatever reason the mother wanted. This was 10 years ago, but the abortion industry has never owned up to the lie.

Likewise, the industry clings to the lie that it has public support for its radical position of abortion at any time for any reason. It promotes this exaggeration by citing polls that (correctly) show that most Americans don't want to repeal Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. That might be significant if one were confident that most Americans fully understand, or have even read, the decision. Or the companion decision, Doe vs. Bolton, which effectively legalizes on-demand abortion. They apparently haven't because polls consistently show that most Americans do not support the actual substance of Roe. Rather, they show that most Americans believe that abortion in general should be legal, but most support placing more restrictions on it, such as banning late-term abortions.

Pro-choicers will respond that pro-lifers are devious when they operate "crisis pregnancy centers" that aren't upfront about how they're trying to talk pregnant women out of abortions. That's not true of all such centers; many Web sites operated by the centers clearly state that they offer "abortion alternatives." Those that are trying to pose as abortion providers should stop; they are as guilty of dishonesty as the abortion industry.

In Aurora, Planned Parenthood would deny protesters their constitutional rights based on the mere suspicion -- unproved -- of future violence and criminality. Such a priori conclusions are wrong and dangerous. Planned Parenthood does not have the self-appointed right to impose prior restraint on the free exercise of speech. When it comes to the fight in Aurora, this is what is truly scary.


ME said...

could you be so kind as to post your reference for this? "Until Ron Fitzsimmons, head of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, his conscience hurting, admitted that he was "lying through his teeth.""

I would liek to review the source document(s) if possible.

Thanks much,


Lars Sorenson said...

The state prosecutor just announced that Planned Parenthood applied legally.
Furthermore, developers apply everyday under assumed names for individual projects. Are they stifling freedom of speech by doing this? Apparently not.

Lars Sorenson said...

The state prosecutor just announced that Planned Parenthood applied legally.
Pretty untimely for this editorial to run on the same day, eh?

Darris said...


It must be nice to have such selective awareness. Both sides of this private issue lie and cheat to further their own agendas. One difference is that your side thinks it's ok to govern other people's lives based on Christianity (a faith not everyone shares). The other side seems to merely counter the very active approach from people like you. I sympathize with both sides. But the bottom line is that this a free country. In that freedom, I should have the right to avoid the ridiculous and incessant rhetoric from people like you who insist that you are right and others are wrong. Why should I listen to a group who is intensely offended by the idea that we could've come from apes (who actually look and act a lot like us), yet are comfortable that we came from dirt?

Unless one of your family members is pregnant, I fail to see how abortion is any of your concern. I understand your position. So never allow anyone in your family to get an abortion. It's incredibly dogmatic and small minded (and wrong) to force your Christian opinions and beliefs onto non Christians. And using your larger than average voice to further the division within your community is sad. If you really wanted to stop abortion, you would focus on community based alternatives and education, instead of scathing accusations of murder and lies. Alas, it's too exciting to be righteous as you point your fingers down at "murderers", isn't it?


Barnabas G said...

Thank you , Mr. Bryne, for your comments today. The double-speak & lies that planned parenthood (an oxymoron) promote just expose them for who they are & what they do. Coming in under the guise of "much needed reporoductive care" should be an insult to the people of Aurora & the Fox Valley. Covering up statuatory rape & taking $ for low can you go? planned parenthood would serve themselves well to tell the public that they referred 0 people for adoption last year....I guess that isn't financially benficial though.
Pro-choice is one choice...DEATH. Let's continue to stand up for a cause worth it....LIFE. There's alot of Americans who believe that's very important.

Dennis Byrne said...

This, from the New York Times, is for "me," asking for a reference to Fitzsimmons' "lying through his teeth comment. This is just one of the many sources.

February 26, 1997
An Abortion Rights Advocate Says He Lied About Procedure

A prominent member of the abortion rights movement said today that he lied in earlier statements when he said a controversial form of late-term abortion is rare and performed primarily to save the lives or fertility of women bearing severely malformed babies.

He now says the procedure is performed far more often than his colleagues have acknowledged, and on healthy women bearing healthy fetuses.

Ron Fitzsimmons, the executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, said he intentionally misled in previous remarks about the procedure, called intact dilation and evacuation by those who believe it should remain legal and ''partial-birth abortion'' by those who believe it should be outlawed, because he feared that the truth would damage the cause of abortion rights.

But he is now convinced, he said, that the issue of whether the procedure remains legal, like the overall debate about abortion, must be based on the truth.

In an article in American Medical News, to be published March 3, and an interview today, Mr. Fitzsimmons recalled the night in November 1995, when he appeared on ''Nightline'' on ABC and ''lied through my teeth'' when he said the procedure was used rarely and only on women whose lives were in danger or whose fetuses were damaged.

''It made me physically ill,'' Mr. Fitzsimmons said in an interview. ''I told my wife the next day, 'I can't do this again.' ''

Mr. Fitzsmmons said that after that interview he stayed on the sidelines of the debate for a while, but with growing unease. As much as he disagreed with the National Right to Life Committee and others who oppose abortion under any circumstances, he said he knew they were accurate when they said the procedure was common.

In the procedure, a fetus is partly extracted from the birth canal, feet first, and the brain is then suctioned out.

Last fall, Congress failed to override a Presidential veto of a law that would have banned the procedure, which abortion opponents insist borders on infanticide and some abortion rights advocates also believe should be outlawed as particularly gruesome. Polls have shown that such a ban has popular support.

Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota, the Democratic leader, has suggested a compromise that would prohibit all third-trimester abortions, except in cases involving the ''life of the mother and severe impairment of her health.''

The Right to Life Committee and its allies have complained repeatedly that abortion-rights supporters have misled politicians, journalists and the general public about the frequency and the usual circumstances of the procedure.

''The abortion lobby manufactures disinformation,'' Douglas Johnson, the committee's legislative director, said today. He said Mr. Fitzsimmon's account would clarify the debate on this procedure, which is expected to be renewed in Congress.

Mr. Fitzsimmons predicted today that the controversial procedure would be considered by the courts no matter what lawmakers decide.

Last April, President Clinton vetoed a bill that would have outlawed the controversial procedure. There were enough opponents in the House to override his veto but not in the Senate. In explaining the veto, Mr. Clinton echoed the argument of Mr. Fitzsimmons and his colleagues.

''There are a few hundred women every year who have personally agonizing situations where their children are born or are about to be born with terrible deformities, which will cause them to die either just before, during or just after childbirth,'' the President said. ''And these women, among other things, cannot preserve the ability to have further children unless the enormity -- the enormous size of the baby's head -- is reduced before being extracted from their bodies.'' A spokeswoman for Mr. Clinton said tonight that the White House knew nothing of Mr. Fitzsimmons's announcement and would not comment further.

In the vast majority of cases, the procedure is performed on a healthy mother with a healthy fetus that is 20 weeks or more along, Mr. Fitzsimmons said. ''The abortion-rights folks know it, the anti-abortion folks know it, and so, probably, does everyone else,'' he said in the article in the Medical News, an American Medical Association publication.

Mr. Fitzsimmons, whose Alexandria, Va., coalition represents about 200 independently owned clinics, said coalition members were being notified of his announcement.

One of the facts of abortion, he said, is that women enter abortion clinics to kill their fetuses. ''It is a form of killing,'' he said. ''You're ending a life.''

And while he said that troubled him, Mr. Fitzsimmons said he continued to support this procedure and abortion rights in general.