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Monday, April 03, 2006

Remember the pro-abortion bias proven in my local paper two weeks ago? That exchange with the relatively new, "personally opposed to abortion" editor-in-chief went a little further. Not further "better", sadly, for them and for their readers.

My last words to him in that posted exchange to date were these:
[S]ince, according to a national licensed pharmacists organization, Morning After Pills are typically "10-20 times the progesterone" and "5 times" the estrogen as in the standard daily Pill, it's possible that this "very high dose" of the same hormones can increase these health risks even more.

That has never been studied. If you don't print this letter, it means The Connecticut Post thinks it shouldn't be studied.
It's been over two weeks, and they apparently think it shouldn't be studied.

After I pointed out to the editor, James Smith, that when used in the title of an organization, as it was in the Catholic Bishops representative's title, no style guide in the world would have "pro-life" changed to "anti-abortion," this was his reply:
Subject: RE: Seven World-Renowned, Peer-Reviewed, Cancer Journals All Can't Be Wrong (incl. Journal of the Natl Cancer Inst, JNCI)

Ms. Banno,
When words are in a title of an organization, we should use that title correctly. I personally am opposed to abortion, but I would not foist my personal views on women (or men) who believe otherwise, who believe women should have control of their own bodies, and I would not let my personal views affect news judgments in coverage of any issue.
Jim Smith
Note the CCs. He really was addressing his first sentence to his underlings who apparently made the style switch erroneously, exposing their own bias. I have reason to believe the responsible party could be Todd Hollis, who angrily threatened me some years ago (when the former chief editor, Todd's boss, was directing my letters to be printed) with "reporting [me] for unsolicited emails" unless I removed him from my "TO" list for the newspaper. And he's an assistant editor! Unsolicited, indeed.

I wrote Jim Smith back:
Is that your paper's apology for not using the title correctly, then? Or not? The words are clearly in the title of that department.

Your newspaper certainly did "foist" someone's personal views on its readership by switching the terminology. Ultimately that is your responsibility, though, am I correct in understanding?

You haven't answered my questions: Are you going to print my letter? Or are you going to prove me right, that you and this paper really don't care if women increase their breast cancer risk from oral contraceptives?

If you don't publicize this news, then you and this paper are indeed letting something "affect news judgments in coverage of [this] issue."

Skip our personal argument about your paper's obvious mistake in this article, if you must. This isn't about me or you or our views. This is about the valid, medical published results of vetted, peer-reviewed, N.C.I., W.H.O. and other studies finding that harm is being done to women by use of oral contraceptives.

[As a side note regarding your paper's assertion that the news media (including this paper) aren't liberally-biased in their reporting, it appears PoliSci professors from the liberal UCLA and the University of Chicago, did actual research last year and found evidence that it is so: "First, we find a systematic tendency for the U.S. media outlets to slant the news to the left."]
Smith's next missive struck me as obfuscating and naive, actually, especially about his own copy editor(s)' pro-abortion bias.
Ms. Banno,
I'm losing track of all your various missives. Our correspondence reminds me of Paul Newman's movie "Cool Hand Luke," wherein they have a failure to communicate.

If you are asking me whetehr [sic] we are going to print your letter that begins like this: "Your bias and your ignorance are showing, Connecticut Post. You perhaps can be forgiven the former, but the latter contributes to costing more women their lives from increased breast cancer risks and earlier deaths. I fear you won't print this letter as you lack the intestinal fortitude. It could be why, since Mr. Smith became Editor, this paper refused to print my eight letters on abortion issues. Even Smith's predecessor, who disagreed with me heartily, didn't suppress my voice or my reporting of facts such as these as Smith has done." my answer is no. I rarely make decisions on letters, but on this one I think you are making far too much of a copy editor trying to adhere to AP style. Also, on scientific and medical issues, I prefer to publish articles written by objective journalists, rather than letters coming from an acknowledged point of view.

Also your reference to the study on bias in the media, I'm sure you are aware, that study has its detractors.

We certainly welcome your letters for consideration and I would point out that we do not hesitate to print letters coming from your point of view, which we do often.
Jim Smith
Losing track of all my missives? Failure to communicate? I guess you can call it that when he is the one who failed to communicate by avoiding the question, "Are you going to print my letter?" (not to mention the rest). And I sent only one "letter to the editor!" I understand he's busy, but really, now.
Jim, I sent but one original letter and two replies. I have no failure to communicate or understand you. You didn't answer my question until this note today, nor did you acknowledge that the paper did anything wrong.

May I address Steve Winters [editorial page editor, who I've CCd on everything ever sent to the paper] also a moment. Perhaps Steve, you'll recall my two letters on the fatal dangers of RU-486, the "Abortion Pill" (written September 25 and December 19, 2003), now that the government has just announced that two more women have died from using that pill. That brings the North American total of women killed since 9/2001 by RU-486 to either 8 or 10, depending on whether these are new deaths or just final acceptances of earlier-reported deaths.

Neither of those two letters were printed by The Connecticut Post either.

Jim, my eight (8) letters on "respect life" related issues since you came on board were full of objective, scientific- or official-government-sourced-only data, about the Patch killing women, about the multimillions of couples waiting to adopt, etc., and not one was anything but respectful and matter-of-fact. Not one was printed.

As I said in the last note, omit the part that you quoted above and simply publicize the government-funded and scientific-community findings harm that birth control has been found to inflict on women. You might help save the life of one or more women. Have you even looked at the URLs of the objective sources or had one of your reporters review them?

It matters not to me how you publicize it. Give it to a reporter to look up those published papers. I don't need or want to see my name in lights. Just get it out there.

If you don't judge the "objective journalists" in the JNCI, Cancer Journal and The Lancet objective enough, then how can you indeed believe your publication cares enough about getting the word out to women? The Post didn't do so about RU-486 or the Patch either, until long after I'd written my letters of warning.

It is interesting: after the initial head-butting Frank Keegan and I did, he and The Conn. Post printed numerous letters of mine with exactly the kind of factual, objective, scientific-journal-quoting that the second part of my recent letter held.

And then The Post stopped printing my letters on these issues, abruptly, at the exact same time Keegan was fired.

As for bias in the media, can you imagine the outrage if the general media had published its reported news stories on the Women's "March for Choice" (its original name) back on April 25, 2004, a full three to nine hours before the speakers even took the podium, never mind began marching? That is exactly what happened to the March For Life this year.

And why do you suppose there is an aerial photo taken of that March for Choice's gathering on the Washington Mall from the top of the Washington Monument showing the size of the crowd (gracing the cover of Planned Parenthood's 2003-2004 Annual Report ), while no such photos are ever allowed from such a vantage point or from airborne coverage for a March For Life? PP paid someone for that.

To be completely fair, though, it might not have been a news reporter who convinced the National Parks Department to break the law and sneak or allow that photo to be taken. But media is media. The photo was taken by a professional photographer.

Finally, when The Post brings on two new stridently pro-choice columnists (Molly Ivins, Willam A. Collins) to add to the pro-abortion and already discredited Ellen Goodman (plus Cynthia Tucker), has only two conservative columnists (Kathleen Parker, Chris Powell), and without exception disallows letters filled with objectively-sourced, proven, scientific data, The Post leaves us with no other choice but to think The Post is biased toward abortion rights, Jim.

You've walked into quite the situation there, Jim. I really do wish you the best of luck. Perhaps someday you'll come to understand I have good reason to be upset about the lack of proper coverage of the truth and the fact that women are not being well informed of those truths. I myself was among the scientifically uninformed. Too many women still are. I tripled my own health risks due to the things I've done.

If you all think I'm nuts or have too much of "acknowledged point of view" because I'm up in arms about not letting that happen to your daughters and our granddaughters, then so be it.

I just won't be silent anymore while women die because they weren't informed by the medical community and the media.

Annie Banno
So it would appear I'm on the paper's blacklist. No matter. I'll still write them. I'll still inform them of the science, the facts, the myth-busting. They won't print it, perhaps. But in time, they'll see. They really do not want these facts out there. I'm not sure why. Perhaps they got too many complaint letters in return from this blue-state haven.

There is some good news. In my "absence" from the editorial page, others seem to be getting published more. Both the local Spanish and the English Rachel's Vineyard retreat leaders recently had great letters published. And just this weekend, a gentleman named Paul L. (I won't print full names to protect privacy) had this gem printed, a response to an earlier pro-choice letter, excerpted here:
Dee M.'s letter was whining, complaining and lacking in substance of fact. She...relies on emotionally laden phrases...and failed to do her research--relying instead on shooting from the lip.

In her attack on the Roman Catholic Church, she apparently was unaware of the Rachel's Vineyard ministries or of the other groups who do take in women and their babies when they make the difficult decision to not go through with an abortion.

Has M. ever stopped to talk with the "anti-abortionists (she) sees waving picket signs, trying to intimidate those who enter [the abortion clinic]?" Had she done so, M. perhaps would have learned that their efforts to preserve life consist of more than "picketing." ...M.'s last point is that women will continue to abort even if "they will just use more desperate and probably unsafe methods." She needs to inform herself of what has happened to women who thought they would have a "safe" abortion at...the [abortion clinic in Fairfield County; Annie's note: where I had my abortion]. While facts are hard to come by, abortionists send their "problems" to the hospital where deaths and medical emergencies go into the hospital's statistics, not the [abortion clinic's] record.
It's kind of funny, actually. When I accuse someone of whining, shooting from the lip and lacking in substance of fact (the newspaper editors), they don't want it known.

Still, I couldn't have said it better myself.
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NATIONAL REVIEW Online's The Corner ~ Kathryn Jean Lopez links to Ap blog, 1/22/07

Associated Press/San Francisco Chronicle: Banno On Boxer and the Illegal Abortion Deaths Urban Legend

San Diego Union Tribune: more Boxer Urban-Legend-Debunk coverage

Ellen Goodman retraction impetus: Aa blog initiates The Straight Dope coverage...and is listed in National Review Senior Editor Ramesh Ponnuru's book The Party of Death, p. 255, Chap. 3 Endnote #11,   4/2006

NY Daily News: "Atheist's Site Is All The Rave

"After Abortion, by Emily Peterson and Annie Banno, two women who had abortions in the 1970s, ...tries to avoid the political tug-of-war that tends to come with this turf. They concentrate instead on discussing the troubling personal effects of abortion on the mothers." ~ Eric Scheske, Godspy contributing editor, in NC Register's "Signs of Life in the Blogosphere", 2/2006

"Godbloggers could, in the best of worlds, become the new apologists...[including] laymen with day jobs: Emily Peterson and Annie Banno, for instance, at the blog After Abortion..."~ Jonathan V. Last, The Weekly Standard online editor, in First Things's "God on the Internet", 12/2005

Amy Welborn, at BeliefNet, links to AfterAbortion blog's Crime & Abortion Series

Catholic News Service: Silent counterprotest at the March For Choice

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Suicide Hope Lines: U.S.A. (by state) or call 1-800-Suicide (784-2433)

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"I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion...[many are] aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and [do] not doubt that it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace...You will come to understand that nothing is definitively lost and you will also be able to ask forgiveness from your child..."

Hope after Abortion
Ideas for Healing
Rachel's Vineyard Retreats
(non-Christians, even non-religious do attend; they also have interdenominational retreats designed expressly for people of any religion or no religion)
Abortion Recovery
"Entering Canaan" - a ministry of reverence for women and men who suffer following an abortion
Lumina - Hope & Healing After Abortion
Option Line
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(includes non-religious Post Abortion recovery books)
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Obama On Abortion: A Summary 1990-2009

1) Obama Is 2nd-Highest-Paid Politician by Fannie Mae, Taking $126,346 in only 4 years as Senator; Now Derides GOP/Bush for Allowing Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac To Do Business, When It Was Democrat Presidents Bill Clinton & Jimmy Carter Who Passed The Law Requiring Fannie & Freddie To Give Out Bad Subprime Loans To Those Who Couldn't Afford Them, Which Caused The Entire Financial Meltdown … 2) Jim Johnson (Obama VEEP vetter and former Fannie Mae executive who made millions there) Backpedal … 3) Obama's hiring, connection, support of ACORN, which supported that very law and whose staff have been involved in voter fraud … 4) Rezko's Favor A "Boneheaded" Mistake … 5) Jeremiah Wright Backpedal … 6) Fr. Michael Fleger Backpedal … 7) NAFTA Backpedal … 8) Campaign Financing Backpedal … 9) Mr. "Negotiates-With-Terrorist-States" … 10) Bittergate … 11) Hamas' Chief Political Adviser Hopes BO Will Win Election … 12) Banning Handguns Backpedal … 13) Who Exactly Are "The Rich" He's Going to Sock it to? … 14) Flag Pin Backpedal … 15) Once Open to School Vouchers That Work, Now Deadset Against … 16) Now OK with residual force in Iraq...up to 50,000 troops. … 17) First voted against a law protecting babies who survive an abortion procedure, then lied saying he didn't, then finally forced to admit that he did vote to deny such born babies protection. 18) … "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country." ~ MO

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