My Take: On Komen controversy, media told half the story
The author says the news media took Planned Parenthood's side in the Susan G. Komen Foundation controversy.
February 7th, 2012
12:44 PM ET

My Take: On Komen controversy, media told half the story

Editor's Note: Mollie Ziegler Hemingway is a media critic at GetReligion and editor at Ricochet.

By Mollie Ziegler Hemingway, Special to CNN

Faced with a deluge of media opposition and pressure from lawmakers, the Susan G. Komen foundation amended its decision to cut off funds to Planned Parenthood last week. Afterward, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer and NBC’s Andrea Mitchell complimented each other on getting Komen to buckle under pressure.

Mitchell’s hostile interrogation of Ambassador Nancy Brinker, Komen’s CEO and founder, was widely viewed as a key moment in Planned Parenthood’s campaign against Komen.

“I thought you did such an interesting interview with the ambassador yesterday,” Boxer said to Mitchell during a televised discussion, “which I think helped bring this about, if I might say.”

Mitchell later returned the favor: “Sen. Barbara Boxer, thank you very much. Thank you for everything you’ve done on this.”

Some claims of media bias are overwrought. But here, the media wasn’t even trying to hide its advocacy on behalf of Planned Parenthood.

And in so doing, the media only told half the story.

Half the political story.

The media bought Planned Parenthood’s public relations campaign hook, line and sinker. Planned Parenthood argued that Komen’s decision to stop funding was “political.” This was the way most media outlets framed the entire story. But logic dictates that it’s not more political to stop funding Planned Parenthood than it is to keep funding it.

We’re talking about the country’s largest abortion provider, an organization that performs 330,000 abortions a year. According to Gallup polls from recent years, about half the American population identifies as pro-life while half identify as pro-choice. If you don’t have a sense for how controversial abortion is, you simply shouldn’t be in journalism.

Planned Parenthood receives nearly half a billion dollars in taxpayer funds, including from Medicaid payments. Along with its political arm, it spent at least $1.7 million on lobbying at the federal level last year. Its political expenditures for the 2012 cycle have swung 100% for Democrats and against Republicans. Its political web site ranks a series of Republicans as “chumps.”

The notion that such a huge partisan player could be characterized as apolitical is laughable.

Half the reaction.

Media outlets certainly captured the outrage of Planned Parenthood supporters, which led most newscasts and articles. But was it an accurate reflection of how everyone reacted to the news? Hardly.

To explain, Komen had a serious fundraising problem due to its engagement with Planned Parenthood. Though its grants to the organization were around $600,000 a year, a relatively small snippet of either group’s budget, the relationship kept many people who oppose abortion from donating.

By ending its relationship with an abortion provider, Komen would likely be able to broaden its base of support to include donors who strenuously oppose abortion. But in most media accounts, these people were completely invisible.

This is part of a disturbing pattern where the media downplay stories of importance and interest to pro-lifers, such as their annual March for Life in Washington or the Obama administration’s recent mandate that religious organizations provide insurance coverage for abortifacients.

The way the media presented the views of women and breast cancer survivors in particular was even worse, as if they unilaterally supported Planned Parenthood when about half of American women identify as pro-life.

Charmaine Yoest, the head of Americans United for Life, had called on Komen to stop working with Planned Parenthood. After Komen’s initial decision, she said, “As a breast cancer survivor, I was always troubled with this whole idea that the nation’s largest abortion provider was enmeshed in the breast cancer fight when they weren’t actually doing mammograms. I look at this as smart stewardship.”

Half the investigation

Even after Komen backed down, the media have continued to attack. What was once widely presented as one of the most unifying charities in the country is now being thoroughly investigated by reporters.

“Komen spends lavishly on salaries and promotion,” The Washington Post announced, highlighting Brinker’s $417,000 salary heading the group she founded 30 years ago. Nowhere in the article, however, did we learn what Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards makes ($354,000) or that her predecessor reportedly earned $900,000 in 2005.

While Komen will now be raked over the coals, will the media similarly investigate Planned Parenthood? It’s doubtful.

The media coverage has been so fawning over the years that conservative activists have recently gone undercover to raise doubts about whether Planned Parenthood actually performs mammograms. These independent journalists have also produced evidence suggesting that some affiliates have failed to report instances of sexual abuse, sexual trafficking and rape.

“There’s no question that the media,” said Daily Beast media critic Howard Kurtz, “have been approaching the whole narrative from the left.”

When the media tell only half the story, they become effective partisans, and they do so at the expense of accuracy, accountability and fairness.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Mollie Ziegler Hemingway.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Abortion • Opinion

soundoff (1,171 Responses)
  1. jimtanker

    Religious people are just completely stupid. I’m not going to mince words and say that they are ignorant or ill informed. They are just plain stupid. If they can’t see how they are being manipulated by the right wing press and their religious leaders then I really feel sorry for them. This isn’t a religious argument, this is about freedom. The freedom to choose and do what you want.

    This is very similar to that other stupid thing going around about not the catholic church not wanting to have to get health insurance on people just because it has to pay for birth control as well. This is about freedom and fairness. Now I know that religion is all about taking away freedom form people and narrowing their way of thinking. If you allow people to do that to you then you are just stupid and there is no hope for you.

    February 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • silliness

      I agree with you about religious people, even as bluntly as you put it. But there is a lot of hypocrisy about "freedom" here. Shouldn't the Komen foundation have the freedom to donate or not donate to other organizations as they see fit? And shouldn't the Catholic church have the freedom to cover what it wants with its insurance plans?

      Unfortunately, too many people limit freedom only when it is line with their own beliefs. As in, you are free to do what you want as long as I agree with it.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Not True

      Unfortunately, this is about the bullying of a PRIVATE NON-PROFIT organization by one that is supported by our federal government. If you pay federal taxes then you have every right to be upset (whether you're religious or not). And if you are hate religious ppl what the F are you doing in the religious section of CNN's website? Now who's stupid?

      February 7, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Not True

      If you hate, not "if you are hate" LOL...my bad!

      February 7, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • collhic

      Someone who labels all religious people as "stupid"...is stupid.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • tilii12

      Religion is not about taking away people's freedom. If you knew what you were spouting off about then you would know that God gave man the choice. He does not make you love him but he is gives you the choice to draw closer to him. It is man's choices that have corrupted this world. It is men like you that have taken away my freedom to pray openly in school. It is men like you that have run with the whole "freedom" agenda. You take freedom and use it to jusitfy your poor decisions so you feel better about yourself. As a nation that was built under God, we have turned our backs on God and told him that he is not welcome here and what good has come out of that. So don't sit back and call Religion stupid when you don't know what you are talking about.

      February 7, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • Paul Schratz

      It's also not only about contraception, but sterilization and abortion-causing drugs. And in a few years it may be euthanasia drugs.

      February 10, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • sanjosemike

      Jimtanker says that "religious people are stupid."

      Jimtanker, I have been an atheist for over 40 years. But I have encountered some very smart religious people, including some who have a much higher IQ than I do.


      February 19, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  2. SK

    This is such a sad state. Komen KNEW all along what Planned Parenthood does or did. PP had not hidden that abortions were a part of something they support. Whether abortions should or should not be performed is a separate matter from this. The question is Komen knew all along when they supported PP as an organization, recognizing their efforts in womens' health in general, keeping politics and right/ left thinking outside its purview. However, suddenly due to pressures of insiders and outsiders it makes decisons to first withdraw support and then to support again. This is what happens when politics, ideology and extremism get mixed up in a mission. Komen should go back to its basic mission, vision and values and work on those, keeping politics and ideologies out of it. Women's health and cancer prevention and cure is what they need to focus on, and give grants to all organizations that support THAT cause. Every other issue is external to this central goal

    February 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Resignation

      Yes they knew all along they did abortions but the woman that was so against them and just resigned was hired just last year. So it makes sense what happened.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  3. donquijte56

    Did this clueless commentator read today's news? She probably chose to ignore reports of how the new Vice President of the Komen Foundation was the one who pushed this whole thing in order to further her anti-choice agenda. NEWS FLASH! The whole fiasco was motivated by pure politics! No amount of spin can hide that fact.

    February 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Carol

      Brinker herself is a life long Republican. She was appointed by Bush to be an Ambassador to Hungry. She has donated plenty of $$% to the republicans. The appointment of Karen H should not have come as a surprise.

      February 7, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • Yasmim

      .He was right about Swan's guff and bluster and the need to inacsree investment, but the last point will not be improved by his better model. of what a price could be consistent to match avoided damages is just as informative for the long term. We know it will rise with very simple models. If that is allowed to occur, and the productivity commission report shows it is underway, then the economy will transform to one that is outside the parameters of economies described by the current crop of models. The current policy task is to initiate and facilitate that transformation.Models can be useful for understanding carbon price implementation and how transition from a carbon price as a cost to it being embedded in the economy as a social benefit might proceed. Long-term projections should be viewed with great scepticism.

      July 29, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
  4. Steve

    Spin rightie spin!

    Author spends a lot of words trying to convince us how "apolitical" Komen's decision was by telling us how political Planned Parenthood is. She seems to know exactly how many abortions PP performs every year, and yet is willfully ignorant of how many breast cancer screenings they perform.

    Apparently, Komen stood to lose far more money by pulling support for PP than they would have gained from the anti-abortion sect. Otherwise they wouldn't have gone back on their "convictions". So please, tell as some more how unfair it is that reality has a liberal bias.

    Here's a fun activity for a rainy day: try to find the word abortion in the Bible.

    February 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  5. CCordes

    Thanks, Mollie Ziegler Hemingway. It truly felt like there was a story not being told in the avalanche of media coverage.

    February 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  6. Sigh

    Except this isn't about abortion. It's about cancer screenings and preventive measures. What is the point of obtaining more funding if you are not using it to help people?

    February 7, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Not True

      My thoughts exactly!

      February 7, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • ajk68

      The money could go to a lot of places which provide breast cancer exams. The decision for Komen to not provide money to Planned Parenthood did not affect its mission. The obstinacy that people show insisting that PP be involved in this is baffling.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  7. Arawn

    The mission of planned parenthood: s-l-u-t creation
    Encouraging young women and girls to have s-e-x with no consequences what-so-ever. Get pregnant, oops, kill it and continue being a s-l-u-t.

    February 7, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Bob

      And your mission is ignorance perpetuation?

      February 7, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Arawn

      Bob, my statement was wrong how? I love how some people resort to insults when they are wrong and don't want to admit it.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • GaryB

      Actually, a lot of young married women and poor married women go to PP for birth control, neonatal welness exams, breast exams and general female health issues. Are you sayng that married woman are s-l-u-t-s?

      February 7, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • BLSpencer


      February 15, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • Adotson

      Oh, I KNOW! I sure do wish all of those s-l-u-t-t-y girls and young women would get AIDS, and all other STDs, and get pregnant over and over again so they realize there are consequences to their s-l-u-t-t-y actions! And here's to hoping they pass along their viruses to their children so they have no chance at a healthy life. But since you and I both believe in repercussions and double standards, I also hope none of the non-s-l-u-t-t-y men these s-l-u-t-t-y women fornicate with get any diseases or even stick around to rear their ill-gotten children. AMEN, right?!

      February 19, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
  8. Woody

    the media isnt as powerful as everyone claims when they loose and try to blame bias. the outcry of people like me is what did it. you want to say i was duped by the media? you suggesting that everyone who objected is an idiot following the media blindly? thats absurd and offensive. youre media. you tell stories. WE decide for ourselves. and anyone can seach the net for truth on their own. quit blaming media! WE stopped it. those of us who oppoed the actions by Komen. And yes, they could have gained anti-abortion donors money, nobody is stopping them from starting another charity that refuses to assoc with abortion providers! u want to make you own rules, start your own charity!

    February 7, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  9. silliness

    The amount of intolerance on both sides of this issue is staggering.

    February 7, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Not True


      February 7, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  10. Cite?

    Mollie Ziegler Hemingway, can you provide an accurate factual citation of this statement below?

    " ...the relationship kept many people who oppose abortion from donating."

    February 7, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • NN

      Here's a source: http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/02/after-cutting-ties-with-planned-parenthood-komen-donations-up-100-percent/

      February 7, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Jeff Frye

      I don't donate to Komen because of the financial and leadership entanglements with the PP Party. Need more references?

      February 7, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Dan

      My wife and i are a family that will not donate to Komen because of their ties to Planned parenthood. When the news broker they would no longer be giving PP money, we were starting to figure out if we had the money to donate to Komen now.
      We are one of the many who would actually give to Komen if they did not support PP

      February 7, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Cite?

      No, i asked for a factual cite regarding the statement. Not donations that occurred after the fact. She states it kept people from donating. Not, people donated in the wake of a hugely controversial/emotional decision. One doesn't prove the other.

      And just like PP raised more than 3 times, what Komen cut, neither would be sustainable donation paces. And it would seem, Komen understood, that while the donations that came right after the media circus, they were better off int he long run, removing the rule they created to block the funding, for their own bottom line.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Cite?

      @Jeff Frye, you may have a very healthy sense of self, but you do not many a-make. 2 anecdotes don't prove an actual point in an article. It is as simple as this: Komen made a financial decision for their bottom line. They will be more people that with resume their donations in the wake of the rule reversal, than not.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • ajk68

      I will not donate to Komen because of their ties with PP. I went to bed the night before they reversed their decision discussing with my wife how much we were going to give Komen (and it was going to be sizable). When we woke up in the morning, the news had already come out that they reversed their decision – poof, there went my contribution!

      February 7, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • ajk68

      And yes, I knew Komen had PP ties, so that was preventing me from donating prior to their announcement.

      I feel Komen backed down because it was tearing the organization apart – maybe not so much for financial reasons.

      If the decision had not been politicized with a big media campaign, it probably would have improved their fundraising. Most people are not aware that Komen had informed PP months ago about this decision. They had been planning this media campaign for quite some time. And the media was a willing participant.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • GaryB

      There are, no doubt, some people who don't donate to Komen because of ties to Planned Parenthood (although I would venture that before this whole fiasco, most people were unaware of that limited connection). But the fact is, Komen is a big business, and big businesses don't reverse decisions like this because they have a crisis of conscience. They reverse decisions because they did the research and realized that the extra money they would get from a handful of anti-choice people wouldn't begin to make up for the support that they'd lose from both pro-choice people and those of us who, though we might be squeamish in regards to abortion, still believe in the rest of Planned Parenthood's mission.

      February 7, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
  11. Nonny Mouse

    What this whole thing has shown is how much of the public support PP and its mission to serve women's health needs regardless of what anyone besides the women themselves think they should or should not be doing with their bodies. The anti-choicers and those who oppose the use of contraception at all, can't win the argument rationally, so they rely on dirty tricks to nip away at women's options. Komen was called on this and although I won't disagree that the wake of the decision was largely one-sided, it was also very much deserved.

    Women should be able to live our lives the way we want. Men will be much happier if they partner with us and enjoy it rather than wasting time grumbling about it. Imagining oneself superior and bossy isn't nearly as much fun as living it up with equals.

    February 7, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Not True

      The problem is that PP doesn't use the money Komen gives them for mammograms, solely on mammograms (and apparently, maybe NONE of the money goes toward mammograms). So, as a private non-profit, why shouldn't they have the right to say we don't want our money going towards this organization anymore? If that's not bullying, then I don't know what in the world is.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Jeff Frye

      That was the definitive a pro-deather point of view there.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Bob

      @ Not True, if that is how Komen felt why wasn't that their reason for defunding. That is so much more defensible than the "They are under a trumped up investigation" excuse. Cutting through the crap with Occam's Razor is that Komen built a policy to cover their ass to defund a group that right wing execs decided they had an issue with.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  12. ModernMan

    I was wondering what such a lame article was doing on a news site and then I realized that the link had taken me to the Belief Blog. There is no point in criticizing anything over here in alternate reality land. I've always wondered though, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

    February 7, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Nonny Mouse

      Right on.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • I. Knowthings


      February 7, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Kristen

      Oh my gosh thank you for pointing that out! Not to mention that Ricochet is one of the worst media sources on the Internet. I think CNN is trolling!

      February 7, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  13. Andrew

    Mollie Ziegler Hemingway has not been watching Fox news if she things the Media spins stories in just one way – a liberal way. Fox news has great success in spinning stories to the right. IF you had been watching FOX news you would see that their spin on this story was the same as yours. Fox news only tells one side of the story even though they claim to be telling both sides. I didn't read in your editorial about how FOX news puts a "right"
    SPIN on every news story and has great success. There is no more objectivity in news.

    February 7, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • ajk68

      You are not in touch with reality if you don't realize the media has a liberal bias on abortion.
      This actually has been quite the subject of controversy lately in the lopsided coverage of the recent "March for Life" in Washington DC. 300,000 people marched. It didn't even get coverage in the New York Times. Other reports were simply misleading.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  14. David Johnson

    I think it time, for pro-choice people to come forward. We are not criminals. A fetus is not a baby. It is a potential baby. Until it can survive outside the womb it is a parasite. We need to protect Roe v. Wade. There is a terrible war on the woman's right to choose.

    13th Amendment : "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

    Women or any part of their bodies, cannot be owned. Not by the government. Not by religious nuts.

    We can't legally force somebody to donate blood to save somebody else; it thus makes no sense to legally force a woman to continue a pregnancy that she doesn't want.

    Women are not broodmares. They have the right to abort the parasitic fetus, until the fetus is viable.

    This is not a religious debate. It is about a woman's right to do what she will, with her own body.


    February 7, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Nonny Mouse

      Yes, the only people who should be having any say at all are those who take responsibility for the decision. Many believe in life at any cost, but it isn't them who will be paying the price. The ones with the burden to bear are the only ones who have any right to say.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • RSTLNE

      Thank you David Johnson – very well said! Why is it that Pro-choice advocates insist on everyone living according to their dictates? No one is forcing anyone to have an abortion – it is all about a woman's right to chose what happens to their own body. I also want the Pro-choice crowd to address their apparent hypocrisy in this – they are all about protecting the rights of an unborn fetus over the rights of an existing woman (or girl!) – that is until the fetus is born. After a fetus is born and is a human with supposed "rights", the Pro-choice people want nothing to do with providing any assistance to said child – it is on its own! No matter if the woman who was forced to give birth is too poor to raise the child, or if the woman is a drug addict, or if she is mentally incompetent – the only rights such children have is to be born – after that do NOT ask for their assistance!

      February 7, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Trptmaster

      Johnson argues that the fetus is a parasite until it is viable outside of the womb. Therefore, I assume he favors prohibition of late-term abortion. The techniques of late-term abortion are used almost exclusively on those fetuses who would be viable outside the womb – if they were not killed prior to delivery. The late-term abortion techniques are designed to ensure the heart is no longer beating upon delivery, therefore a "fetal death" that does not count towards the provider's or hospital's stats.

      My source of knowledge is 20 years in newborn critical care and high-risk labor and delivery.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • LiveFreeinCT

      Pro-Choicers are such hypocrites. If it's a wanted pregnancy, it's the most incredible blessing on Earth. But if it's a result of selfish, irresponsible behavior, then suddenly this wonderful human life becomes a useless "parasite". Give me a break. Abortion is the termination of human life. It's murder. Murder is against the law. Period. It's not a matter of "choice".

      February 7, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • KM

      Exactly. And, none of us is required to believe as the author does, or believe at all. Freedom of religion also means freedom FROM religion. When one of the fundies can prove to me with actual, tangible evidence, that there is a God, and, he wrote the Bible (with all its self contradiction, which commands us to do things that are in fact against the law), then maybe I'll subscribe to her belief system. Till them, keep your opinions to yourself, and out of my uterus, thank you, and I'll not force YOU to have an abortion against your will, deal?

      February 7, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • RSTLNE

      To LiveFreeinCT – You did not address my question: Why is it that pro-choice advocates only care about the fetus BEFORE it is born? Why do you not care what happens to the unwanted children after they are born? Why do you want to stop all funding for assistance for such children?

      Do not call pro-choice advocates hypocrites until you address your own hypocrisy. Such behavior proves nothing and serves no practical purpose. Do you feel better now? I am still waiting for your answer!

      February 7, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • tm

      Scientifically David is right and most abortions are not late term. Abortion is not, to any pro-choice person the most effective form of birthcontrol. By "LivinFreeCT"'s logic a person who engaged in "irresponsible" behavior and got pregnant should carry an unwanted child to term. You know "livinfree" the person you are punishing is that child... not much is worse than being unwanted by your own parents. Shame on you.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • David Johnson


      I am very much against late term abortion. Certainly any fetus should be protected, at least after 24 weeks Some states have lowered this, claiming some babies are viable at somewhere around 21 weeks. I have no problem with this. If the fetus is viable... if it could live outside its mother... then I think we are taking a human life.

      Note: I hate the idea of abortion. But, outlawing it will cause women to seek back alley remedies. It won't stop abortions which is the goal... Right?

      Above all else, The health care bill passed in 2010 (Obamacare) makes birth control available without cost. We need to educate the women on these birth control methods. Remember, the best way to prevent an abortion, is to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

      A good time to talk about birth control, is High School. Experts should explain the various methods available and answer questions. Abstinence does not work. We need to prepare our children for life.

      We need to make adoption easier. Financial assistance should be made available. Sending out checks, whose amounts are determined by how many kids a woman has, is a poor idea. The thought of a woman having children just to get more money, disgusts me.


      February 8, 2012 at 12:15 am |
    • David Johnson


      Psalm 127:3 – Children are a gift of the LORD

      Hmm... Well, the bible says it, so I believe it. Children are god's gift!

      Notice how god doesn't check to see if a woman is capable of raising a child, before he gives a baby to them?

      Women in p_oor countries bear children, only to have them die, because Mom has no food.

      Women addicted to drugs are given babies, when they are totally incapable of taking care of themselves, much less a child.

      Girls who are babies themselves, are blessed with a baby they don't want. Why are babies given to women who don't want them?

      If god would be more careful with giving out gifts/babies, abortion wouldn't be needed.

      The Christian god is said to be all knowing (Omniscient). If this is true, then god would know the gift (a child), that He is giving, will suffer and die.

      And remember, there are a lot of women, who god refuses His gift. They would be overjoyed with god's gift. No abortions in their homes!

      God works in mysterious ways. It's almost as if He doesn't exist... I guess He is just really, really hidden.

      I liked your comment.


      February 8, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • David Johnson


      Society determines what is murder. As long as Roe V. Wade stands, abortion is not murder.

      "Roe v. Wade: The Supreme Court ruled that a woman has a const_itutionally guaranteed unqualified right to abortion in the first trimester of her pregnancy.
      She also has a right to terminate a pregnancy in the second trimester, although the state may limit that right when the procedure poses a health risk to the mother that is greater than the risk of carrying the fetus to term.
      In making its decision, the Court ruled that a fetus is not a person under the terms of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Const_itution." – Wikipedia

      "However, the Court also maintained that the state has an interest in protecting the life of a fetus after viability—that is, after the point at which the fetus is capable of living outside the womb.
      As a result, states were permitted to outlaw abortion in the third trimester of pregnancy except when the procedure is necessary to preserve the life of the mother. " – Wikipedia

      Hence, states allow abortions anywhere from 20 weeks to 24 weeks. The majority being 24.
      The reason the 24 week max is chosen, is because the fetus in not able to live outside it's mother until 21 to 24 weeks, with 24 being the usual.

      The fetus, less than 24 weeks is not a person. The fetus is not capable of feeling any pain until 24 weeks:

      Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, consists of a review of studies conducted since 1997 on the neuroanatomical and physiological development of the fetus. It concludes that fetuses at the 24-week stage of development do not possess the wiring to transmit pain signals from the body to the brain's cortex. Even after 24 weeks, the fetus likely exists in a state of "continuous sleep-like unconsciousness or sedation," due to the presence of chemicals such as adenosine in the surrounding amniotic fluid.

      The womb belongs to the woman. The fetus, in her womb has no legal rights until it reaches a stage that it is able to live outside it's mothers body.


      February 8, 2012 at 12:37 am |
    • BLSpencer

      These people that call themselves pro-life are simply anti-abortion. If you favor going to senseless wars, you are not pro-life. If you favor executions, you are not pro-life. If you are against healthcare for all, you are not pro-life. And once these children are born, for most of these anti-abortion folks, the kid is on his or her own. Hypocrites.

      February 15, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
  15. Ann

    This opinion piece is pure spin. The commentator keeps hammering home her point that politicians, media and planned parenthood pressured Komen. This is the big lie! It was the everyday woman and breast cancer prevention advocates that turned on Komen. I hope they continue to withhold their contributions and contribute to the American Cancer Society or other reputable organization.

    February 7, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • KM

      Yup – the firestorm on social media was unprecedented and THAT is what brought Komen to its knees, forced Handel out, and brought PP to the forefront of the news cycle. In fact, I think it was rather UNDER reported by the MSM. I found much more coverage of it on line at various sites, none of which were your traditional sources for news and information...

      February 7, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  16. Paid for what?

    U were paid 900K for what again? Blood money!
    Now all u execs with 350K plus salaries-how much of your income did you donate to charitable causes?

    February 7, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Planned Unparenting

      PUP-there is no planning required if you have decided to abort.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  17. R

    so sick of hearing righties talk about media bias. I am 42, Republicans used to be the tough guys, now?

    Murdoch owns TV in 200 of 210 markets in America, plus everything else world wide. Limbaugh/Hannity are ten times as popular as the most popular lefty. Blah-Blah.

    I also challenge the 50% female stat, I guarantee you 70% of women would prefer men have no say at all. The Expendable guy had that right. ( besides you want a good stat, who's going to take care of the all these republican crack babies, Alabama, Idaho, South Carolina, all lead the pack there)

    February 7, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • seriously?

      Uh oh! Someone sounds recently divorced and bitter...

      February 7, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things!

    February 7, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Sports Fan

      Prayer didn't help the Cincinnati Bengals when they selected Akili Smith third overall in the 1999 NFL Draft. Smith started 17 games for the Bengals in his four years with the team.

      He left football with a career 5-13 touchdown to interception ratio and a 52. 8 passer rating. Bust!

      February 7, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Prayer changes things

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      February 7, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Sports Fan

      Prayer didn't help the Dodgers after the 1993 season. They traded Pedro Martinez to the Montreal Expos for Delino DeShields. DeShields never hit higher than a .256 in his three seasons with the Dodgers.

      Martinez went on to win the NL Cy Young award in 1997. Ouch!

      February 7, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Howard

      Given religion's sordid history of killing people over their religious differences, and the recent (at least as far as we know) history of molesting children, I'd say a far better case can be made in favor of atheism than for religion.

      February 7, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • ModernMan

      Nothing fails like prayer. Even if you believe in gods, wouldn't they want you to use your brain and examine the millions of contradictions in organized religion? What is unhealthy is wasting your life in fear of imaginary beings while awaiting the promise of a better afterlife.

      February 7, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Doug from Seattle

      Fortunately we live in a country that guarentees freedom of religion or, putting it another way, freedom from religion!!! All of you so-called Christians who are bound and determined to turn this country into a theocracy can stick it!!!

      February 7, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • jumpinjezebel

      Prayer certainly helped all those dead people in Joplin!!! – – . . . . . Of course now we begin with the excuses. Anything you have to constantly make excuses for in order to continue your fantasy makes you a believer all right – in fairy tales, the easter bunny and santa claus.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Bob

      Prayer changes nothing. The only good thing about prayer is that if you do it into the wind, you won't get wet.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Mom23Boys

      You, and Nancy Brinker, just don't get it. Planned Parenthood didn't push this, the media didn't either, it was US, WE THE PEOPLE, the millions of men and women who have run races and donated money over the past 30 years. WE THE PEOPLE are what made Komen great because WE THE PEOPLE supported each other and WE THE PEOPLE have the power to disarm them when they mean us harm. WE THE PEOPLE will not sit silently by and let Karen Handel, or Nancy Brinker, or anyone try to turn their backs on our sisters in need. How's THAT for a cure?!?!!

      February 7, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • BLSpencer

      Only in your wildest dreams. Prayer is a waste of breath.

      February 15, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
  19. Think for yourself

    The author is downplaying the most important point of the controversy: Handel LIED about her intentions. It's really that simple. She tried to use her position at Komen to manipulate PP's funding. That's what made it political.

    February 7, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Sports Fan

      Well we see this time and time again. Just look at the Lakers over the years. Magic Johnson forcing out the head coach to bring in Pat Riley and Kobe Bryant forcing out the head coach to bring back Phil Jackson, not to mention him running Shaq out of town!

      February 7, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Howard

      The author just doesn't get it. To suggest a connection between abortion funding and breast cancer screening is tantamount to saying that any woman who's had or who might consider having an abortion should be deprived of screening for a fatal disease that can be treated and possibly cured.

      Where's the morality in that position?

      February 7, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  20. PrimeNumber

    When I was 18, the government handed me a draft card effectively stating "we need your body for cannon fodder. You have no choice." A Vietnam vet noticed the word "expendable" on his paperwork. When the cruise ship recently capsized, the lifeboat crews ordered "women and children first! " How many women died on Omaha beach in WW2 or in mine cave-ins. We men have always been like the unborn: disposable, expendable, discardable. Naturally, I stand with the unborn. But as we know, everything is about the woman.

    February 7, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • seriously?

      T.its or GTFO

      February 7, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Sports Fan

      Well I have to disagree there. No one really cares to watch the WNBA and Girls Lingerie Football is obviously just a gimmick. There are some great female athletes in Tennis and Vollyball, but they make the parade practically nude just to get men to tune and watch these sports. Really sports in dominated by men. Female soccer does get some attention and naturally the Olympics, but those are always short-lived.

      February 7, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Hmm

      Obviously everything is about women, yes. That's why women were not even awarded the right to vote until 1920, and that's why plenty still argue they should not have the right to control what happens to their own bodies–or, God forbid, be allowed to be screened for cancer.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.