CBSN Skips Trump Pro-Life Speech, Aired Soft Interview with Planned Parenthood CEO

January 24th, 2020 3:03 PM

The CBSN online channel didn't provide live coverage of the president's remarks to the March for Life on Friday -- they mentioned it for a few seconds before leaping into more impeachment analysis. But in the minutes before impeachment coverage on Wednesday, they ran an exclusive interview from Davos, Switzerland with Planned Parenthood acting CEO Alexis McGill Johnson. Reporter Kate Smith wasn't asking the tough questions. 

KATE SMITH: What is the status of abortion in the United States today? 

ALEXIS JOHNSON: Here we are [at the Davos conference] talking about the fourth industrial revolution, and we are still talking about the impact of all of these onerous restrictions and bans on access to safe and legal abortion in the states....

SMITH: Although many Americans do support Roe vs Wade, many of them support the restrictions that could make Roe vs. Wade effectively useless. How do you combat that? How do you look at that? 

JOHNSON: We are already living in a world where there are abortion deserts, where it is difficult to access. When you layer on this case [in Louisiana], which if it doesn't overturn Roe, will have the impact of effectively gutting Roe, the work we have to do is to really push back to our states.

Johnson repeatedly claimed "almost 80 percent" support Roe, using a NPR/PBS Marist poll that included 26 percent of respondents saying they support Roe AND tougher restrictions on abortion. But Johnson insisted the pro-life segment was tiny. "There's a vocal minority who control the levers of power and our work is to really shift those levers of power in 2020 to ensure that the will of the people actually remains the law of land," Johnson said.

A CBS online story that included the Johnson interview concluded on this note: 

Support for abortion, however, depends on the trimester. A 2018 Gallup poll found six in 10 U.S. adults think abortion should generally be legal in the first three months of pregnancy. That support drops to 28% for abortions in the second trimester and 13% in the third trimester. 

While CBSN didn't run any of the president's March for Life remarks live in the noon hour, CBS did feature a nearly two-minute report from Charlie D'Agata on "hundreds of thousands" of protesters -- in Iraq, protesting American military action against Iranian terrorist mastermind Qassem Soleimani.

Earlier: CBS reporter Kate Smith's 2019 softball session with Alexis McGill Johnson