Conservative opinion outlets buzzed Tuesday over an quote from last week’s Philadelphia Inquirer, in which Dayle Steinberg, president of Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania, said that horrors perpetrated by accused murderer Kermit Gosnell show why access to safe and regulated reproductive health services are so needed.
That’s not what Breitbart.com or shock jock Rush Limbaugh read, however. In separate reactions yesterday, both zeroed in on Steinberg’s acknowledgment of rumors that something was wrong at Gosnell’s facility.
“The Gosnell trial has shifted the focus off the high-quality services we provide,” the paper quoted Steinberg as saying at a recent fundraiser. “These are criminal, horrendous . . . acts and should be appropriately punished.”
She added that second-hand reports from their patients of the conditions at Gosnell’s facility were troubling to the group. “We would always encourage them to report it to the Department of Health,” Steinberg reportedly said.
That’s all it took for Breitbart and Limbaugh to cry scandal.
“Folks, that is profound to me,” Limbaugh said Tuesday. “We know what was going on in Gosnell’s… House of horrors doesn’t describe what was going on in there. And now we find out that Pennsylvania Planned Parenthood knew all along.”
They neglected to mention that Planned Parenthood’s Steinberg made the comment to begin with becaue she believes that recollections of Gosnell’s abuses “makes [it] more clear why you need Planned Parenthood.” Nothing in the article indicates that Planned Parenthood had any detailed knowledge of what was really going on at Gosnell’s clinic.
“Oh, in a related story, President Obama is going to headline the Planned Parenthood gala,” Limbaugh said, noting the organization’s announcement on Wednesday. “The event Thursday will celebrate champions of women’s health. I wonder if some day Kermit Gosnell might get an award.”
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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