Monday, July 23, 2007

PBS's "Post Abortion Politics"

While watching a DVD on Friday night, my cheap $20 DVD player started acting up so I vainly tried to fix it by shutting it off and turning it back several times on before eventually taking it upstairs to our more reliable DVD/VCR combo. Anyway, while turning it off and waiting, I flipped through some stations and found a program on PBS focusing on abortion. It's entitled "Post Abortion Politics" and you can watch it online. After watching a couple of minutes of it, I was left wondering if anyone at PBS realizes how biased they are and how obvious those biases are to their audience.

The program portrays work by prolife organizations focused on how abortion affects women as "a seismic shift in strategy." A seismic shift in strategy? Prolifers have been noting how abortion hurts women for decades. PBS also seems to think prolifers think abortion should be illegal because it hurts women. This shows a very weak understanding of how prolifers view this issue. I don't know if I ever recall a prolifer or a prolife organization saying abortion should be illegal because it hurts women.

PBS gives a lot of time to Nada Stotland and never mentions her ties to a pro-choice group (the Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health (she used to be on their board of directors - as did George Tiller), her pro-choice testimony in front of Congress, her books entitled "Abortion: Facts and Feelings" and "Psychiatric Aspects of Abortion" from 1998 and 1991, respectively, or her article against post-abortion trauma in the Journal of the American Medical Association from 15 years ago.

Did you say 15 years? Wait I thought this was a "new" strategy? How can it be a new strategy if Stotland has been the pro-choice movement's go-to person to try to refute emotional affects of abortion for 15 years?

While Nada Stotland is presented as the unbiased president-elect of the American Psychiatric Association, David Reardon's research and his credentials are reviewed and attacked. Priscilla Coleman gets grilled about her association with David Reardon instead of asked about what her research shows. No one reviews Nada Stotland's writings on this topic (I guess they were too busy filming her shopping with her pregnant daughter). David Reardon has a piece discussing the rather broad generalizations in Stotland's 1992 article here and had has past interactions with her.

During the program, research by Dr. David Fergusson, a pro-choicer, is never mentioned. I guess that didn't fit with the story line of religious prolifers making up lies about abortion.

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