WaPo "Fact-Checker" Falsely Claims HHS Officials Are Trying to Restrict Contraceptives

A one-month dosage of hormonal birth control pills is displayed Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif. The California Senate approved SB999 by Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, that would allow California women to receive a year supply of hormonal birth control in one trip to the pharmacy, on Friday. It now goes the governor. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Is it 2012 again? This has shades of “unbiased journalist” George Stephanopoulos’ ridiculous questioning of Mitt Romney during a Presidential debate in which he started a narrative that Mr. Romney was out to ban birth control. The charge was silly at the time and it’s even sillier to see it tried again today.


The Washington Post wrote an article entitled: Christian Conservatives in Trump Administration Build Global Anti-abortion Coalition

We’ll get to what it says in a moment, as it reads like a press release from Planned Parenthood, but first, here is how The Washington Post’s “Fact-Checker” described the article.

Those dastardly Christian conservatives, am I right?

Kessler claims that Trump’s HHS is trying to “restrict” contraceptives around the world. That’s simply not true, at all. Not even a little bit.

Let’s take a look at the article itself.

Huber’s appearance at the event — sponsored by C-Fam, a think tank with Catholic ties whose mission is “to defend life and family at international institutions,” and Nigeria, which generally supports comprehensive family planning — is part of a bold new effort by the Trump administration to build an international coalition to restrict access to abortion and promote traditional values about the family.

Hmm, no mention of restricting contraceptives. Let’s keep going.

Over the past few months, Huber and other U.S. officials have traveled the world inviting other nations to join the cause. In meetings, according to people privy to the discussions who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the negotiations, Huber, who previously founded an abstinence-only sex education group, has explained that “health and rights mean different things to different people.”


What’s wrong with abstinence exactly? Nothing. But it’s become a bogeyman to the left because they see it as undermining the abortion industry. You can’t have an abortion if you never get pregnant.

Here’s the only part of the article that even really mentions contraceptives.

Country delegates and others briefed on the conversations said U.S. representatives talked about how the millions spent on contraceptives have not always been effective in lowering the rate of unwanted pregnancies and suggested this money could be put to better use for “sexual risk avoidance” (or abstinence) education and other programs.

Nowhere in the article is there evidence provided that HHS officials are seeking to restrict contraceptives. There’s not even any mention of them asking other countries to do so via their own actions. Instead, there’s simply a vague suggestion that U.S. officials may have discussed shifting some resources around to maximize its efficiency toward the same goal, i.e. pregnancy and disease prevention.

That is not the same as “restricting contraceptives” and to describe it as such is a transparent attempt to push the liberal narrative. Kessler’s goal was to put out the impression that HHS officials are out there lobbying other countries to ban birth control. In reality, their only real sin is not making abortion the staple of their policy goals.


In the end, that’s what this is really about. All must bow before the altar of the abortion lobby or you immediately get accused of being against “women’s health.” Conflating contraceptives with abortion is simply an easy way to do that. It’s dishonest and frankly, it’s nonsense. In reality, there is no movement among the right in this country or elsewhere to restrict contraceptives. The fact that the media continue to push that lie says nothing good about their credibility and everything about their partisan motivations.


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