NPR Lets Pro-Abortion Activist Smear Pro-Lifers as Potential Terrorists

NPR's Morning Edition on Monday zeroed in on a pro-life group's ongoing protest outside Kentucky's last abortion clinic. Correspondent Lisa Gillespie featured three pro-abortion activists during her report versus just one pro-lifer. Gillespie also let one of the abortion backers smear pro-lifers as potential terrorists. Vicki Saporta of the National Abortion Federation contended that prosecuting those who use the controversial tactic of blocking abortion clinic entrances prevents "the kinds of arsons, bombings, and murders that we've too often seen."

Host Steve Inskeep led into the correspondent's segment by noting that "a federal judge decides today whether a buffer zone will remain indefinitely in front of the last clinic that provides abortions in Kentucky....As Lisa Gillespie reports from our member station WFPL, the ruling is expected as a Christian group kicks off its week-long conference in Louisville." Gillespie first highlighted how David Street of the "fundamental (sic) Christian group, Operation Save America" recently spoke at a church in Louisville. Street decried how "fifty-nine million-plus babies [were] murdered" via abortion.

The public radio journalist continued with a slanted summary of the controversy surrounding the EMW Women's Surgical Center, the last abortion clinic in Kentucky: "Street...[is] acutely aware that Louisville has become a battleground between those that believe a woman shouldn't have the choice of an abortion, and those that do. That's because there's only one place left to get an abortion in Kentucky." She also noted that Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin's role in helping to close the abortion clinics that used to operate in the Bluegrass State.

Gillespie then played back-to-back clips from a pro-abortion activist and the founder of the EMW Women's Surgical Center. Both talking heads blasted Governor Bevin's role in shutting down the other abortion clinics. The correspondent did play one more snippet from Street before setting up her sound bite from Saporta. She detailed that "in May, ten OSA protesters were arrested outside the EMW Center when they blocked the entrance. As a result, a judge granted a temporary restraining order...to keep those ten people — and anyone associated with them — from entering a 15-foot buffer zone...Vicki Saporta with the National Abortion Federation said on Thursday that this was critical."

After playing the inflammatory clip from the National Abortion Federation clip, Gillespie ended her report by stating the federal judge's order "seemed to have worked on Saturday morning, the first day of the buffer zone. It was quieter than expected. But on Wednesday, [Operation Save America] is planning on screening footage of an abortion on a Jumbotron in front of Louisville's City Hall."

The full transcript of Lisa Gillespie's report from NPR's Morning Edition, which aired on July 24, 2017:

STEVE INSKEEP: A federal judge decides today whether a buffer zone will remain indefinitely in front of the last clinic that provides abortions in Kentucky. It's the EMW Women's Surgical Center.

As Lisa Gillespie reports from our member station WFPL, the ruling is expected as a Christian group kicks off its week-long conference in Louisville. (clip of music from Christian worship service)

LISA GILLESPIE: It's Sunday night in Louisville, and around 450 people are packed into a church here. An organizer from the fundamental (sic) Christian group, Operation Save America, is at the pulpit.

DAVID STREET, OPERATION SAVE AMERICA: Fifty-nine million-plus babies murdered!

GILLESPIE: David Street and the others here are acutely aware that Louisville has become a battleground between those that believe a woman shouldn't have the choice of an abortion, and those that do. That's because there's only one place left to get an abortion in Kentucky. One reason behind the recent closure of several of the state's clinics is Republican Governor Matt Bevin. Health clinics that provide abortions here must have an agreement with a hospital to transfer a woman there if something goes wrong; and they must also have a contract with an ambulance company to provide transport in that situation. Bevin has gone after these agreements — saying they're not valid.

Meg Stern, a volunteer who escorts patients through anti-abortion protesters, said on a call last Thursday that Governor Bevin is using health and safety excuses in an attempt to ban abortion here.

MEG STERN: If the last clinic is closed, it will be — amount to a ban on abortion in the entire state.

GILLESPIE: Ernest Marshall is the founder of the EMW Center.

ERNEST MARSHALL, EMW WOMEN'S SURGICAL CENTER: He has claimed that his vendetta against abortion providers has to do with protecting women's health and safety, which couldn't be further from the truth.

GILLESPIE: Operation Save America is also trying to close down the EMW Center. David Street again with OSA.

STREET: Since January 22, 1973, Satan has effectively deluded good people with the lie that abortion is a matter of law; and therefore, there is nothing we can do.

GILLESPIE: But there is something that people can do, is the message from OSA. In May, ten OSA protesters were arrested outside the EMW Center when they blocked the entrance. As a result, a judge granted a temporary restraining order to a Louisville federal attorney to keep those ten people — and anyone associated with them — from entering a 15-foot buffer zone directly in front of the EMW door.

Vicki Saporta with the National Abortion Federation said on Thursday that this was critical.

VICKI SAPORTA, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ABORTION FEDERATION: Lower-level criminal activities are prosecuted. They don't tend to escalate into the kinds of arsons, bombings, and murders that we've too often seen.

GILLESPIE: It seemed to have worked on Saturday morning, the first day of the buffer zone. It was quieter than expected. But on Wednesday, the group is planning on screening footage of an abortion on a Jumbotron in front of Louisville's City Hall. For NPR, I'm Lisa Gillespie in Louisville.


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