Has CNN found their new Sandra Fluke poster child for “free” birth control?
On Monday, CNN posted a real “tear jerker” tale about a married couple fearing they would not longer be able to get prescriptions for birth control if the GOP’s health care bill passed in the Senate because it would shut down their local Planned Parenthood clinic.
Ariana and Kevin Gonzalez told CNN that they would have to resort to going to Mexico to get the contraceptives they need, since the new bill would likely shut down their local clinic because of slashed government funding. Instead of taking an objective look at health care access, CNN’s sob story reads more like an ad for Planned Parenthood.
CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen’s article hyperbolically entitled, “‘Trumpcare’ Would Send Her to Mexico for Birth Control,” opens by presenting Ariana and Kevin Gonzalez as the average American couple who can’t seem to get birth control anywhere but Planned Parenthood:
All Ariana and Kevin Gonzalez want is birth control. As far as health care needs go, that's pretty simple. But the California couple says that if the Republican alternative to Obamacare becomes law, they'll be driving over the border to Mexico to get it.
It's not that the Gonzalezes don't have insurance; they have very good insurance through Ariana's job as a high school teacher. The problem is that "Trumpcare," as Ariana calls it, would probably run her health clinic out of town. It's Planned Parenthood, which the Republican health care proposal defunds because it performs abortions.
As CNN’s Cohen later revealed, the Gonzalezes used to have to wait for weeks between doctor’s appointments when she was being treated for infertility, because of the severe shortage of doctors where they live. After finally getting pregnant, the couple explained that they now rely on PP for birth control because of the short wait times.
What Cohen didn’t mention, is that the county they live in happens to be the second worst in the entire state of California for the ratio of doctors to patients, so it’s not an average representative.
Besides that, waiting for weeks to get a doctor’s appointment is not unusual anywhere, but Cohen acts like it was the end of the world or the beginning of a Handmaid’s Tale:
For Ariana, that means it takes well over a month to get an appointment with her gynecologist and then four or five hours in the waiting room to see him, which means she has to take the day off work. At Planned Parenthood, she gets an appointment the next day and is in and out in about 30 minutes...They say they wish Planned Parenthood had been in their town then, as the clinic, unlike her gynecologist's office, treats infertility without long waits.
Except this simply isn’t true. PP doesn’t treat infertility, just like it doesn’t offer mammograms and only some of their clinics even offer prenatal care. True to its name, the vast majority of PP’s services amount to birth control, abortions, STD testing and pap smears. Not to mention the obvious fact that Gonzalez would not have to wait hours to get a prescription from any other clinic in her area (of which there are several.)
Yet Cohen didn’t bother to correct any of the falsehoods or hyperbolic statements presented in Gonzalez's story.
“If the Republican plan passes and Planned Parenthood leaves town, Ariana says, her best option would be to cross the border, where she can see a gynecologist immediately. It's an option she doesn't want to take but will if she has to,” Cohen fretted.
She spent the last quarter of the article sounding like a press release from Planned Parenthood, calling the GOP bill “devastating” for the group and warning about all the women who will not be able to access healthcare without it being federally funded.
As their poster child, Gonzalez piled on the pro-Planned Parenthood propaganda by calling the GOP bill “un-American” and “shameful:”
"If (Planned Parenthood's) doors are shut, you'll be driving your own constituents to an entirely different country in search of health care, and that's not America," she said. "I don't think that's who we are as a country."
She said it scares her to think what will happen if her clinic closes. "I don't think this is the direction that our country needs to be going. I think we're taking steps backward," she said.
She thinks about a photo that made the rounds on social media in March. It showed Vice President Mike Pence and a group of congressmen discussing the passage of the GOP plan, called the American Health Care Act.
"I see a bunch of men sitting around a table, discussing what I should be allowed to do with my body," she said. "My husband and I can decide what's best for us."
She added, "I think it's shameful, and I think that they should be embarrassed."