Accuracy in Media

On MSNBC’s The Last Word and The Very Last Word, The Daily Beast’s Michelle Goldberg and MSNBC political analyst Krystal Ball discussed the bill regarding gender-selective abortions and the “war on women.”

The proposed bill did not receive the necessary two-thirds majority to pass, with a vote of 246 in favor and 168 opposed. Live Action, a pro-life, non-partisan non-profit group, made a video to show how Planned Parenthood counselors would allow patients to proceed with gender-based abortions.

An abridged version of the video was scrutinized by the MSNBC guests, and Live Action has since released the whole video. Planned Parenthood released statements saying they do not condone gender-based abortions. Yet Goldberg admits that Planned Parenthood reacted poorly during the sting operation in which the counselor seems “too enthusiastic,” but she quickly suggests it’s because the actor stresses she does not want to be judged.

“There might be some (gender-based abortions) around the edges of some immigrant communities, there’s a little bit of evidence that if the first child is a girl that the second child is more likely than chance would predict to be a boy. We don’t know whether that’s abortion or (In Vitro Fertilization),” Goldberg said.

But according to Ball, such research would bring in a “racial element that’s very scary.”

“There’s no proof that in this country that there’s any problem with people aborting fetuses because of their gender,” Ball said.

Yet again, in The Very Last Word, Goldberg contradicts this statement.

“Actually, it’s not totally true to say that we do not have any sex-selective abortions in this country. It’s true that it hasn’t made a dent in—like, in India or China where you have really skewed gender ratios,” Goldberg said. “It’s happening to some extent but certainly not enough to change the gender ratios of this country.”

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Goldberg’s argument appears to be a pragmatic approach suggesting that because the U.S. gender ratios are not skewed like India or China, then gender-based abortion is not a problem.

“(Live Action’s) specialty is to go undercover in abortion clinics, particularly Planned Parenthood clinics, to try to goad them into morally compromising themselves,” Goldberg said.

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Goldberg seems to suggest that it is only when undercover actors for Live Action talk about gender-based abortions or pose as a pimp and prostitute that workers for Planned Parenthood are compromised. Therefore, would real pimps, prostitutes and those seeking gender-based abortions not morally compromise Planned Parenthood?

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