WaPo Notes Move to Regulate 'Anti-Abortion Clinics'; Fails to Note Backers' Ties to NARAL

If abortion clinics serve up abortions, do anti-abortion clinics perform anti-abortions?

I couldn't help but muse that as I read the Washington Post's Metro section below-the-fold front-pager "Disclaimer proposed for anti-abortion clinics."

The November 11 story by Michael Laris explained that "Montgomery County [Md.] officials" are considering a "regulation" that "would require pregnancy centers run by abortion opponents to give women a disclaimer so they don't mistake the centers for medical clinics and so they understand the source of the information given to them."

Laris painted these officials -- seven of the county's nine [all of them Democrats] county council members -- as proponents of "consumer protection."So somehow dissuading a woman from having an abortion is an affront to consumer protection?

The Post staffer went on to quote the regulation's author, Councilwoman Duchy Trachtenberg (D-At Large), who insisted her bill was "just a disclosure regulation." Yet Laris failed to give readers details about Trachtenberg's affiliation with pro-abortion rights lobbies like the National Organization for Women (NOW) and NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Trachtenberg's official county council biography notes her affiliation with the NOW, and a quick Google search yielded evidence of her sponsorship of the Maryland NARAL chapter's recent October fundraiser.

At the Maryland Democratic Party's Web site, Trachtenberg is listed as a "Partner of Choice" sponsor for NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland's 20th Annual Evening of Chocolate Gala.

What's more, Montgomery County Executive Ike Legett as well as Councilmen Roger Berliner, George Leventhal, and Nancy Navarro were similarly listed in the "Partner of Choice" sponsorship level, while Councilwoman Valerie Ervin was apparently considered even more dedicated to abortion as a "Protector of Choice" sponsor.

With a majority of the council already behind the regulation and a county executive who is unlikely to throw up a veto, the legislation is a fait accompli. Far from being neutral defenders of the "consumer," the Montgomery County Council is chock full of socially liberal Democrats, but readers of this morning's Post were not afforded that crucial context.

Duchy Trachtenberg Michael Laris