Remember back in July when Norma McCorvey was arrested for disruptive behavior during the confirmation hearings of Judge Sonia Sotomayor? Wait. Maybe not. The networks only gave her a few cursory seconds, if any. McCorvey is "Jane Roe," the plaintiff in the landmark Roe v Wade lawsuit, and the one-time pro-choicer was shouting for the verdict of her 1973 case to be overturned.
If that's all the notice given the most famous side-switcher in the abortion wars, there's little hope that we'll hear about Abby Johnson in the mainstream media. Johnson, a Planned Parenthood director in Texas, resigned October 6 after watching an ultrasound of an abortion procedure.
"I just thought I can't do this anymore," she said. "And it was just like a flash that hit me and I thought that's it."
Johnson also said that Planned Parenthood had been pressuring her to "bring in more women who wanted abortions," since - in this tough economy - that's where the money is. "The money wasn't in family planning, the money wasn't in prevention," she explained. "The money was in abortion and so I had a problem with that."
So now Johnson walks a block past Planned Parenthood to another building, the Coalition for Life, the pro-life group where she regularly volunteers.
The only media to cover Johnson's resignation has been the local Texas CBS affiliate - but even then it was almost a month after the incident. Why? Well, Planned Parenthood is getting a little worried about Johnson. On Oct. 30 it got a precautionary, temporary restraining order against both Johnson and the Coalition for Life, saying that the "disclosure of certain information" would "irreparably" harm Planned Parenthood. What could the organization possibly have to hide? Maybe racists trying to kill black babies or employees advising girls to deny statutory rape.
A hearing for the restraining order has been set for next week. Perhaps the media will catch the story and give pro-choicers just a few more perfunctory seconds of air time. Or maybe they'll just ignore it.