Magazine article The Human Life Review

Planned Parenthood's Media Blitz

Magazine article The Human Life Review

Planned Parenthood's Media Blitz

Article excerpt

I couldn't get away.

My television shows were being invaded during commercial breaks by political diatribes and deceptive messages. My other source for watching favorite television programs, Hulu, was also assaulting my political sensibilities in a disquieting and unsettling way by customizing ads to my IP address. I live in Virginia, and in the 2012 election, the Commonwealth was a swing state for only the second time in recent history. Political ads, designed to sway voter opinion, were aimed at undecided and "soft" Republican voters in crucial states like Virginia. They not only ran through the traditional route of local television, cable channels, and radio, but also popped up on a variety of websites. The largest purveyor of this morass of misinformation? Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood's ads were short on accuracy and long on alarmist language. They were clearly geared toward scaring women into thinking that presidential candidate Mitt Romney was the latest in a long line of Republican misogynists set upon treating women as second-class citizens and undermining their rights. Of course, "women's rights" to Planned Parenthood means abortion on demand, contraception coverage by insurance companies that don't charge a co-pay, and continued federal funding of Planned Parenthood. Any man who stands up and says no to the ever-lengthening Planned Parenthood "wish list" apparently fits Planned Parenthood's definition of a misogynist.

One Planned Parenthood television ad specifically claimed that Mitt Romney would "turn back the clock" on women:

Voice-over: Mitt Romney would turn back the clock for women.

Mitt Romney: Do I believe the Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade? Yes.

Romney: Planned Parenthood, going to get rid of that.

Voice-over: Today, millions of women rely on Planned Parenthood health centers for basic health care, including life-saving cancer screenings, and millions more know we should be making our personal medical decisions, not Mitt Romney.

Tagline: Planned Parenthood Votes is responsible for the content of this advertising because Mitt Romney is wrong for women's health.1

Planned Parenthood's ad left the viewer with the impression that Mitt Romney's desire to overturn Roe v. Wade would take the form of "turning back the clock" by banning abortion. And the quote from Mitt Romney ("Planned Parenthood, going to get rid of that") gave the uninformed-or misinformed-viewer the idea that a Romney administration would dismantle Planned Parenthood.

Even the New York Times found that a reach:

That statement can be misleading. Mr. Romney was answering a question about what federal funding he would target for elimination or reductions if he is elected. His campaign has said he wants to end federal funding of Planned Parenthood, not the organization itself.2

But when asked about the deceptive language, ". [OJfficials at the Planned Parenthood Action Fund said women understand the context of his remarks."3

Then there was the voice-over in a radio ad that ran in October: "Mitt Romney will put critical healthcare for women and families at risk and will let politicians interfere in your most private, personal medical decisions."4 And in still another television ad, the presidential candidate was accused of wanting insurance companies to charge women "more."

Voice-over: Mitt Romney sure has been talking a lot, but all that talk can't hide Romney's real agenda that hurts women.

Mitt Romney: The actions I'll take immediately are to remove funding for Planned Parenthood.

Romney: Do I believe the Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade? Yes.

Voice-over: And Mitt Romney would go back to letting insurance companies charge women more.

Tagline: Planned Parenthood Votes is responsible for the content of this advertising because no matter how much he talks around his record, Mitt Romney is wrong for women's health.

By "more," Planned Parenthood means that women would have to contribute a co-pay for their contraception, but this kind of arrangement isn't unusual. …

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