The Five Pretends Planned Parenthood Has Never Condemned Gosnell

Blog ››› ››› JUSTIN BERRIER

The hosts of Fox News' The Five attacked Planned Parenthood for America, repeatedly making the false claim that the organization hasn't condemned the actions of Philadelphia doctor Kermit Gosnell. In fact, Planned Parenthood and other pro-choice organizations have repeatedly condemned Gosnell since his 2011 arrest.

During a segment on the April 26 edition of the show about President Obama's address to Planned Parenthood's national conference, the hosts of The Five attacked the organization, claiming it hasn't criticized Gosnell, who is on trial for the murder of several infants. All five co-hosts of the show expressed outrage that PPFA had purportedly been silent about Gosnell, with Bolling asking, "wouldn't it be good for Planned Parenthood to denounce everything going on?":

But Planned Parenthood and other pro-choice organizations have strongly condemned the actions of Gosnell. Dayle Steinberg, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania, condemned Gosnell immediately following his January 2011 arrest: "We would condemn any physician who does not follow the law or endangers anyone's health. ... All women should have access to high-quality care when they are vulnerable and facing difficult decisions." Steinberg wrote in a February 2011 Philly.com op-ed:

Planned Parenthood strongly condemns the alleged actions of Kermit Gosnell, and we would condemn any physician or health-care provider who did not follow the law or recklessly endangered the health of others. Planned Parenthood maintains strict policies and procedures to ensure the highest standard of health care.

Steinberg reiterated her criticism of Gosnell in an April 24 Philadelphia Inquirer letter to the editor:

Our staff told these women that issues of cleanliness should be reported to state officials. If we had heard anything remotely like the conditions that have since come to light about Gosnell's facility, of course we would have alerted the state and other authorities.

Nobody who believes in good health care, access to safe and legal abortion, and respect for women would ever look at Kermit Gosnell's facility and call it a health-care center. He preyed on women in their most vulnerable moments.

ABC News quoted another official from Planned Parenthood, who called the Gosnell case "horrifying and outrageous," as well as the head of another pro-choice organization who pointed out that the Gosnell case highlights the need for expanded access to reproductive rights:

We have consistently said that this is a horrifying and outrageous case, that Gosnell ran a criminal enterprise, not a health care facility, and that he should be punished to the fullest extent of the law," Eric Ferrero, a spokesman for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told ABC News recently.

[...]

"Unfortunately, you do have rogue providers that prey on the most vulnerable of women," said Vicki Saporta, president and CEO of the National Abortion Federation, "and regardless of a woman's income level they deserve access to high quality care."

[...]

"Gosnell is an extreme outlier when it comes to medical practice or abiding by the law," she added, noting that both the NAF and Planned Parenthood, along with other pro-choice groups, have condemned Gosnell's practices.

The Huffington Post quoted Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, who responded to Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) who also accused pro-choice groups of failing to condemn Gosnell:

"It's understandable -- since we haven't been on MTV yet -- that Rep. Duffy may have missed us condemning Gosnell to the Washington Post, ABC News, USA Today, 'Hardball with Chris Matthews,' and The Huffington Post, just to name a few," Hogue said in a statement, referencing Duffy's history as a contestant on MTV's "The Real World."

"So let me be loud and clear: Kermit Gosnell is a dangerous predator. He wouldn't exist, couldn't exist, without the work of Rep. Duffy and his friends in the anti-choice movement. Opponents of women's rights have hounded safe, legal health providers halfway out of business and blocked women's access to the quality care they need."

The right-wing media has taken every opportunity to invoke the Gosnell trial to smear Planned Parenthood.

Posted In
Health Care, Reproductive Rights
Show/Publication
The Five
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