Gazette rejects reasonable response to its inaccurate editorial trashing Planned Parenthood

(Citizen Kane would be proud – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Michael Merrifield.

Sen. Michael Merrifield.

In an op-ed in the Colorado Springs Independent yesterday, Colorado State Sen. Michael Merrifield writes:

On Sunday, Aug. 9, the Colorado Springs Gazette published an editorial that contained many of the same falsehoods about Planned Parenthood that are being spread by the extremists who made the hoax video.

I submitted a column to correct the record about the work Planned Parenthood does for Coloradans and nationally. The Gazette refused to run it — a disservice to its readers and the community I represent. I’m glad the Colorado Springs Independent has higher standards for public discussion.

It’s true that the Gazette’s editorial was full of misinformation at best, lies at worst. The Gazette didn’t even come close to informing us that no evidence exists showing that Planned Parenthood has broken any laws.

Instead, the newspaper quotes directly from undercover videos that are so altered that they have no use as evidence against Planned Parenthood.

The newspaper musters up the audacity to state Planned Parenthood has an “apparent practice of selling the organs of aborted babies.” Even if you accept what you see in the full videos, there’s no evidence that Planned Parenthood does anything other than offer fetal-tissue for research purposes for the cost of processing. That’s legal.

Next, the Gazette claims there’s an “overwhelming and growing body of evidence” that “abortion providers solicit the sale of human organs.” There is no such body of evidence much less a growing one. There’s no proof that the tissue is provided by donors on anything but a voluntary basis.

The Gazette seems to have let its heartfelt opposition to abortion get in the way of sweet reason–which is why it should have published Merrifield’s op-ed. It explained, in plain language, the benefits of research on fetal tissue:

Merrifield: If you’ve ever gotten a polio or measles vaccine], you benefited from the type of research condemned by these dishonest, deceptive, heavily edited videos. Fetal tissue research has been common medical practice since the 1930s, was instrumental in the development of the polio vaccine and has been federally funded since 1993. At that time, both of Colorado’s U.S. senators, Hank Brown and Ben Nighthorse Campbell, voted for it. Today it’s used to help find cures for Parkinson’s, HIV/AIDS, macular degeneration and other chronic illnesses.

Merrifield concludes by reciting statistics on the women’s health services provided by Planned Parenthood, only a tiny fraction of which have anything to do with abortion, as well as the fact that 1 in 5 American women will utilize Planned Parenthood during her lifetime.

It’s a shame the Gazette didn’t publish the piece, especially because the anti-Planned Parenthood view dominates the commentary page’s official content. And, god knows, the folks in Colorado Springs should hear the other side’s opinions too.

8 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Moderatus says:

    The Gazette can publish anything they want. It's their paper.

    If you're so upset, publish Sen. Gun Grabber's op-ed at Colorado Pols. 🙂

    • Republican 36 says:

      Of course, deflection and the obvious misses the point.

      The Gazette can or cannot publish any article or opinion piece it likes. That's simultaneously obvious and meaningless. Almost all papers and blogs publish articles and opinion pieces that aren't necessarily in-line with their political views or philosophy because they believe in the fundamental idea that individuals should hear all sides and then decide for themselves. And like most papers, Coloradopols publishes what people post and they, like most newspapers have faith in individual Americans to sort issues out for themselves. Apparently, the Gazette doesn't.


  2. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    What's surprising is that the Gazette would not publish an op-ed from a highly regarded state senator. Merrifield is not from my party, but I respect him as a common sense politician. Compare, for example, Moderatus, with the antics of Rep. Klingenschmitt.  C.H.B.

    • BlueCat says:

      Of course he's not from your party. Oddly, and this has really got the rest of the field wondering when up became down and black became white, the only prominent Republican advocating for women's health care and the good that Planned Parenthood does is the ever more popular with the base Donald Trump.

      He was all over media today trashing Jeb! for being terrible on women's health issues. Of course Jeb! is terrible on women's health issues but being terrible on women's health issues and falsely claiming that all Planned Parenthood does is provide abortions used to be a sure winner for Republican primary candidates. Trump's just thrown that formula out the window yet keeps on moving up in the Republican polls.

      But don't expect any of them to follow the Donald's example. They know that only The Donald can get away with it. They just don't know why. And that goes triple for Rs further down the food chain. So any Colorado pol speaking out against the manufactured falsehoods in those fraudulently edited videos is definitely not going to be from your party, CHB.

      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        Again you fall short in your background work. In the last session of the state legislature, Rep. Coram (R-Montrose) was spotted wearing an IUD pendant. He was supportive at least of that much in way of womens' health issues. 

        • BlueCat says:

          And that a reflects any Republican legislative majority anywhere? So a tiny number of statistically irrelevant exceptions can be found. OK. I'll grant you those. I won't grant you that they are anywhere close to representing a percentage that has any real influence within your party. As usual you are in deep denial.

          A vote for any Republican contributes to Republican majorities and every Republican majority at every level stands in opposition to your views on these matters. But, as you've said, you support them anyway because of your economic views and based on those views are willing to get into bed with them on the rest.

          We all make those choices. I, for instance, will be willing to get into bed with HRC (politically, of course) because my priorities are such that any Republican represents a more potentially harmful alternative. But I don't kid myself about what that means whereas you seem to struggle mightily to kid yourself about what your choices mean. 

  3. gertie97 says:

    Moddy, of course the Gazette can run or not run what it pleases. But it is not immune from criticism and/or ridicule for its decisions.


    • BlueCat says:

      Nor from those simply wishing to correct all the falsehoods arising from the use of doctored videos that feature such blatant deception as editing the placement of statements so that they appear to be answers to questions when they were talking about something else entirely. 

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