CBS News Helps Fluff New Planned Parenthood President in Factually-Challenged Interview

August 1st, 2019 7:14 PM

Since the sudden, forced departure of Dr. Leana Wen from Planned Parenthood, some have been skeptical about the organization’s motives. It seemed Planned Parenthood’s board wanted to focus more on politics, and ultimately, abortion than Dr. Wen had originally planned. We awaited the introduction of the quickly named “acting president,” Alexis McGill and this week, CBS News posted her first interview, highlighting — unsurprisingly — a focus on abortion.

In her interview with reporter Kate Smith, McGill’s focus became clear, as well at the bias of the interviewer (who at one point asked “what is at stake here with women’s reproductive health care decisions”). 



Along with a Twitter bio highlighting her interest in “reproductive rights,” Smith showed that she was on the side of McGill and ending the lives of the unborn. Here are Smith’s first three questions (click “expand”):

Congratulations on the new job. How did you — why did you first get involved with Planned Parenthood?


So tell me little bit more about your time as board chair.


So one thing I’m curious about, there are a lot of different ways that you can get involved with health care access, especially for women of color and especially low income women, why Planned Parenthood?

As for McGill, she outlined her very entrenched, nearly 10-year history with Planned Parenthood, including time on the board and as chair, so McGill knew exactly the mindset Planned Parenthood was looking to portray.

On Wen’s departure, Smith continued to show she’s anything but a serious journalist: 

One thing about Dr. Wen's departure from Planned Parenthood has gotten a lot of people wondering, what is Planned Parenthood? Where are they? Are they a political organization? Or are they a network of health care? And what is an answer for that?

In a crafty response, she knocked the media coverage of the Wen’s ouster and stated that the organization was chiefly a healthcare provider and only political to ensure that happens (click “expand”):

The truth is it’s a false choice. We are primarily a health care provider...And the idea that we can provide that access depends on our ability to keep our health care centers open. So, we hold, you know, the — the politics in a way to help us kind of provide the health care, but what I would suggest is that, you know, we’re not political by nature, we have been politicized and that fight has actually been our focus to ensure that our health centers stay open.

But this was a misleading response. Planned Parenthood felt so strongly about being a political organization that they suddenly ousted their own President, have spent millions annually on campaigning and lobbying to influence elections, and paraded out one 2020 presidential candidate after another at a recent forum. 

All together, this renders politics fundamental for Planned Parenthood.  

In fact, a poll earlier this year from Students for Life of America found that only seven percent of millennials shared the position of the Democratic Party platform – abortion without any exceptions and funded by tax dollars. The poll also found that Planned Parenthood’s support dropped after learning more about their abortion business. By about a three-to-one margin (48 percent to 17 percent), millennials said they preferred that their tax monies went to Federally Qualified Health Centers rather than the abortion giant, Planned Parenthood. 

McGill also tried to camoflauge the abortion agenda of Planned Parenthood, aided by Smith, who cited a commonly used, factually incorrect statistic: “So a vast majority of Planned Parenthood patients actually don’t’ come to your clinics for abortions. I think it’s only three and a half percent.”

This statistic was a commonly used, rhetoric-filled slogan, started by Planned Parenthood themselves. In reality, the breakdown from their own Annual Report suggested that abortion encompasses 93 percent of the services they provide to pregnant people. 

Smith also lobbed this softball (click “expand”):

SMITH: Is there a scenario where you would discontinue abortion services in order to make everything else that you do easier, better funded and just easier for your patients?

MCGILL: Absolutely not. No. I was on the board when we voted to ensure that abortion was one of our core services that every center affiliated with Planned Parenthood would provide. We think it’s a critical part of a — access to full reproductive and sexual health care and so there’s no scenario where we would actively decide on our own to not provide it. It is a medical procedure. It’s a health care procedure and we believe that it should be seen in that broad spectrum of healthcare.

Toward the end of the interview, Smith asked McGill how she responds to those bringing up abortion’s immorality based on a detectable heartbeat at six weeks and the science of fetal pain at least by 20 weeks.

McGill responded: “Again, these are decisions. The view of the woman, her family, and her doctor and religious counselor. I’m not the arbiter on science or on their morality. I do believe that the government’s role in this is minimal if non-existent.”

This is a sly way to get out of responding to the harsh reality of scientific proof. If there was scientific evidence of the preborn person’s humanness, there’s no grey area on who decides they have a right to live. The grey area has been created by Planned Parenthood so they can further their business.