Virginia Passes Abortion Clinic Regulation Bill, and WaPo Dwells on Abortionist Complaints

When Virginia's Assembly passed a law requiring abortion clinics to be regulated like hospitals, The Washington Post responded Sunday with an article on the top of the front page of Metro, trumpeting how "Abortion providers wary of new law." Reporter Brigid Schulte's story had 21 paragraphs, almost entirely devoted to the complaints of abortionists. Pro-lifers were in paragraphs four and 11, just for a tiny rebuttal:

Supporters of the vote hailed it as "historic"....But [Rosemary] Codding, 68, sees it as more "shenanigans" in the long-running war over abortion rights. And depending upon how state regulators write the rules later this year, she fears that abortion opponents may succeed in practice what they have failed to achieve in court: an overturn of the landmark Roe v. Wade....

"Let's be clear," Codding said late Friday. Women came in throughout the day for abortions, Pap tests, fertility consultations and gynecologic cancer treatments. "This is not about health and safety. This is about targeting abortion providers and making it more difficult if not impossible to provide women affordable access to abortion with respect and dignity."

What the story does not have is a photograph of Codding or the other abortionists. (Here's Codding on a YouTube video with Rep. Jim Moran touting that "hero" Dr. George Tiller, the infamous late-term abortionist, as a "devout Christian.") The first three paragraphs of the story were all sympathy for the "shenanigans" Codding has had to endure:

Before Rosemary Codding allows visitors into the Falls Church Healthcare Center, a self-described "pro-choice women's center," she asks them to sign a confidentiality agreement. And show a photo ID. "Because," she says matter of factly, "there's all kinds of shenanigans when it comes to abortion."

As a veteran abortion rights activist and founder and director of this center, she has beaten back attempts to zone her out of existence and found plumbers and HVAC workers to replace the ones she says were harassed away by round-the-clock protests outside her door. Over the years, she has complied with every new requirement: the 24-hour wait before a woman has an abortion; parental notification for minors; notarized parental consent for minors; and she makes sure all would-be patients have state-mandated information about alternatives to abortion.

But when the General Assembly passed legislation late last week requiring all offices, clinics and centers like hers that perform first-trimester abortions to be regulated as hospitals - arguably the strictest requirement in the country - Codding turned so red that she went into one of the clinic's exam rooms and checked her own blood pressure.

Codding's ire was also the pull quote inside on C-5: "I live in a state where there's an earthquake around abortion. So I had to build a center that could withstand whatever came down the road."

Pro-lifers are merely an "earthquake." They aren't compassionate human beings trying to save lives. They're a disaster movie.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis