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Thursday, March 17, 2011


On February 23, 2011 the Fargo Forum published reporter Patrick Springer’s article entitled “Family Planning Faces Funding Cuts”. I would contend that this article was either poor reporting or propaganda. The article begins with the subheading “Advocates: GOP playing politics”. In so doing the author has set the predicate that Republicans are not serious or perhaps are manipulative and want to make family planning unpaid for by the Federal Government. The first paragraph continues what I believe is the deception:

“Funding cuts looming in the U.S. House that target federal support for family planning threaten services for more than 14,000 North Dakota patients who receive family planning, cancer screening and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases, providers said Tuesday.

The cuts are favored by House Republicans in a program called Title X that supports family planning programs, which include birth control but not federal funding for abortions.”

You will note that for some odd reason Mr. Springer neither provides any information about the official designation of the proposed legislation. What he neglects to tell is that HR217 is specifically named the “Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act”. The proposed bill is specific in the aims and conditions of it’s application stating:


This Act may be cited as the `Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act'.


Title X of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:


`(a) Prohibition- The Secretary shall not provide any assistance under this title to an entity unless the entity certifies that, during the period of such assistance, the entity will not perform, and will not provide any funds to any other entity that performs, an abortion.

`(b) Exception- Subsection (a) does not apply with respect to an abortion where--

`(1) the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape, or an act of incest against a minor; or

`(2) a physician certifies that the woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including a life-threatening physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.

`(c) Hospitals- Subsection (a) does not apply with respect to a hospital, so long as such hospital does not, during the period of assistance described in subsection (a), provide funds to any non-hospital entity that performs an abortion (other than an abortion described in subsection (b)).

So, Mr. Springer is writing about defunding any entity that provides or pays for abortions! Somehow he forgets to mention the very crux of the story! Oversight? Accident? Sloppiness? The rest of the story pretty well explains what happened because the first quote of the story is:

‘“It would make a huge impact on our clients, which is unfortunate,’ said Larry Anenson Jr., health protection and promotion director at Fargo Cass Public Health, where the family planning clinic had more than 7,000 patient visits last year.”

Which leads to the question, is Fargo Cass Public Health doing abortions or paying for them?

Then when Rep. Rick Berg’s communication director Alee Lockman tells Springer that:

“It’s not killing all Title X funding,” she said. “Assuming that none of the organizations in North Dakota perform abortions, they would be exempt from this legislation.”

Springer still does not cite the bill nor the title of the bill which would have immediately clarified the factual basis of Ms. Lockmans’ statement.

Instead Mr. Springer writes that, “Robin Iszler, a registered nurse and administrator of Central Valley Health District, based in Jamestown, N.D., said there is a false perception that family planning services support abortions.” I believe that this quote was added to add authenticity to the premise that Republicans were cutting contraception when funding is tied not to Family Planning but specifically to ABORTION!

Then while still not giving the name, designation, nor basis of HR417, Springer finishes with quotes from Planned Parenthood Communications Director Amy Jacobson who continues to spread disinformation saying:

“This isn’t about abortion,” said Amy Jacobson, Planned Parenthood’s North Dakota public affairs manager. “This is about preventive services.”


“All those sorts of things are important to protect our public health,” Jacobson said, a benefit to the general population, and not just the uninsured patients served by the family planning clinics.

“This is really a historic attack on women’s health,” Jacobson said.

Amy Jacobson for some reason does not know that this is in fact, ALL ABOUT ABORTION, and IS NOT about denying family planning funds to organizations who have nothing to do with pre-birth infanticide.

Mr. Springer finishes with a short paragraph:

“More than half of the patients served at Planned Parenthood’s clinic in Moorhead are from North Dakota, she said. The Moorhead clinic does not perform abortions, but some other Planned Parenthood clinics do.”

Does Patrick Springer not know that this is all about abortion and just has not done his homework before contacting and interviewing? Or, is he a propagandist who purports to be a journalist? My experience is that it is the later case.







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