Ahead of the first presidential debate, Planned Parenthood is demanding debate moderators fact check President Donald Trump on issues of “abortion” and “systemic racism” in real time.
Planned Parenthood Votes, the abortion industry giant’s political arm, led other leftwing organizations — including UltraViolet Action, Women’s March, BlackPAC, Color of Change PAC, and Media Matters Action Network — in a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates with the demand that debate moderators “fact-check and correct misinformation on abortion and systemic racism in real-time,” a press statement released Monday read.
In their statement, the groups complained that, in 2016, debate moderator Chris Wallace asked only one question about abortion but “used the medically inaccurate and stigmatizing rhetoric of the anti-abortion movement.”
The letter stated:
We are reaching out ahead of the presidential and vice presidential debates with great excitement and anticipation, but also with significant concern regarding the impact of misinformation spread during these debates. To start, while we would hope that the debates be a place for thoughtful conversations of systemic racism in our justice system, we were incredibly disappointed to hear that the framing of one of the topics for the first debate is “race and violence in our cities.” Linking race and violence plays into the same racist stereotypes lifted by President Trump day in and day out. It’s this sort of rhetoric that brings about more violence at the hands of militiamen and white supremacists claiming to be fighting for the protection of private property. The perpetuation of this language and misinformation puts our bodies in danger and dehumanizes people of color.
An example of “misinformation” cited by the groups is “partial-birth abortion.”
“There is no such thing as a “partial-birth abortion” or “abortion up until birth” the abortion rights supporters claimed and added:
Attacks on abortion later in pregnancy are misleading and are not based in fact. They’re designed to confuse and manipulate people. Every pregnancy is different. Abortion that occurs later in pregnancy is often for complicated reasons. Sometimes a person may experience a health crisis or the pregnancy cannot survive. Other times, a person may not be able to get an abortion as soon as they decide because politicians have placed obstacles in the way of care, such as the discriminatory Hyde Amendment or the executive orders Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and others signed, banning abortion at the beginning of the pandemic.
Abortion rights proponents have often claimed late-term abortions usually occur due to health risks to the mother or fetal anomalies.
The problem with the claim is that abortionists themselves have been saying it is false for decades.
According to a 1997 report in the Los Angeles Times, Ron Fitzsimmons, former executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, admitted partial-birth abortions were not that rare.
“The abortion rights folks know it, the anti-abortion folks know it and so, probably, does everyone else,” Fitzsimmons said, adding that he “lied through [his] teeth” during a Nightline interview when he said partial-birth abortions were rarely performed and only due to fetal anomalies and serious health risks to the mother.
While partial-birth abortion is also referred to as intact dilation and extraction (D & E), Congress did pass the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, declaring:
A moral, medical, and ethical consensus exists that the practice of performing a partial-birth abortion–an abortion in which a physician deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living, unborn child’s body until either the entire baby’s head is outside the body of the mother, or any part of the baby’s trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother and only the head remains inside the womb, for the purpose of performing an overt act (usually the puncturing of the back of the child’s skull and removing the baby’s brains) that the person knows will kill the partially delivered infant, performs this act, and then completes delivery of the dead infant–is a gruesome and inhumane procedure that is never medically necessary and should be prohibited.
The feminist groups also claim the terms “born alive” or “after birth” abortions have been “made up by politicians”:
Infanticide is illegal in every state in the United States. Legislation proposed using this term does not solve a problem because it does not exist. Its only intent is to drive a negative narrative about abortion providers and their patients.
“Apparently, the Democrats’ only solution for their platform’s unpopularity is to say the other side is lying about it,” Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council Action, wrote in August, referring to the claim that day of birth abortion “does not exist.” He explained further:
Believe it or not, 22 states — almost half — allow birth day abortion. And in seven of those, women don’t need a reason. A pregnant mom at 39 weeks can literally walk into a willing clinic and ask for an abortion, no questions asked. This is what liberals mean when they talk about “codifying” Roe v. Wade. Democrats know better than anyone that the default effect of that ruling was making abortion legal through all nine months. The only reason there are any restrictions at all on late-term abortion is because certain states took it upon themselves to enact them.
The pro-abortion groups complained as well to the presidential debate commission that more women, especially those of color and of low-income groups, would be having even more abortions if only the Hyde Amendment could be repealed.
“Abortion is not akin to ‘Black genocide,’” the groups continued. “The terms ‘Black genocide’ or ‘Babies Lives Matter’ are efforts by the anti-abortion movement to co-opt the Black community’s very real history of mistreatment by the medical community.”
Many black leaders disagree with that claim, however.
Several weeks ago, a coalition of black leaders wrote to the CEO of Planned Parenthood to urge her “to confront the systemic racism of America’s abortion practices” and to “renounce the racist legacy” of her organization’s founder, Margaret Sanger.
Rev. Dean Nelson, executive director of Human Coalition Action, tweeted, “For years, Planned Parenthood has targeted minorities with abortion. It’s the fulfillment of Margaret Sanger’s racist & eugenics agenda”:
For yrs, Planned Parenthood has targeted minorities w/ abortion. It’s the fulfillment of Margaret Sanger’s racist & eugenics agenda. Today, 120 Black leaders joined me in urging them to acknowledge & stop their ongoing systemic targeting of Black people. https://t.co/1cayHRo5Jm pic.twitter.com/l7Pmjshgum
— Rev. Dean Nelson (@RevDeanNelson) September 1, 2020
In their letter to Alexis McGill Johnson, the black leaders wrote about the racial disparities that exist in abortions performed, and that black women represent 36 percent of all abortions.
“Black women are five times more likely than white women to receive an abortion,” they added. “In some cities, like New York, more Black children are aborted every year than are born alive.”
“This is no accident,” they told Johnson, as they observed her organization’s surgical clinics “target minority communities for abortion” throughout the country.
“In fact, 79 percent of Planned Parenthood’s surgical abortion facilities are located in or near communities of color,” they challenged. “Can Planned Parenthood really claim to care for Black lives while remaining complicit in the targeting of Black pregnant women?”
The abortion rights groups concluded their letter to the commission with the demand:
[W]e must hear questions from moderators about abortion and sexual and reproductive health during the presidential and vice presidential debates, grounded in science. Moderators must come prepared to push back at lies.
Nevertheless, on Monday, the co-chair of the Presidential Debate Commission reaffirmed it is not the job of the moderator to perform real-time fact checking of a candidate’s statements.
“Hopefully, Chris Wallace is listening,” stated BizPacReview.
Frank Fahrenkopf told anchor Sandra Smith that moderators and interviewers have different roles:
There’s a great difference being moderator in a debate and being an interviewer. For example, If I was running for office, and you were interviewing me, and I stated something that was totally wrong compared to what I said a week ago, okay, I just change my position, you as a reporter doing an interview would follow up, and “say wait a minute Frank, you said something totally different a week ago.” But that’s not the role of the moderator in the debate. We want to debate between the two principles. They’re the ones we want to go back and forth at each other, and the moderator should be a facilitator.
“It’s not our job to be fact-checkers,” Fahrenkopf stressed. “We are to present the candidates, they make their arguments, the facilitators, the moderator, and we go from there.”