NRL News

PPFA’s “Maggie” Awards tell interesting story

by | Aug 23, 2012





By Dave Andrusko

Gary Trudeau

I must confess when I read the press release announcing Planned Parenthood’s 2012 Maggie Awards for Media Excellence,  I was more interested in which journalists, bloggers, and political cartoonists had previously received the award for  “exceptional coverage of reproductive rights and health care issues“ than this year’s crop. But I resisted the temptation, hard as it was.

In the release, PPFA president Cecile Richards announces

“This year, we’ve seen the continuation of serious legislative attacks on reproductive health care in states all across the country,” adding, “We honor these journalists today for highlighting the devastating impact of these attacks and enhancing the public’s understanding of reproductive rights and health care issues.”

Who are some of this year’s winners? Naturally cartoonist Garry Trudeau, who lampooned Texas’s ultrasound law (since upheld by the federal courts) in a series I dubbed at the time Trudeau’s “March Madness.”

It was Trudeau’s second shot across the pro-life bow. 27 years ago he wielded his pen in an attack on Dr. Bernard Nathanson’s hugely influential video, “The Silent Scream.” Dr. Nathanson, who traced his own pro-life conversion back to the impact of ultrasounds, galvanized a national debate when he used an ultrasound to show an actual abortion. Trudeau satirized the unborn baby as “Tiny Timmy.”  There was enough skittishness that Trudeau and his then-syndicate scaled back distribution.

How about March of 2012? In one interview Trudeau said, “I spend much less time playing defense, presumably because of the ubiquity of topical satire these days. ‘South Park’ and ‘The Daily Show’ have stretched the envelope so much, most editors no longer see ‘Doonesbury’ as the rolling provocation they once did.”

And on top of that, he gets a “Maggie.”

Who else? Well, just as ultrasound legislation was a huge issue this year, so too is the Catholic Bishops’ resistance to the Obama mandate. Laura Bassett, of the Huffington Post, received her award for hammering the Bishops, who are unwilling to stand idly by while Obama’s Health and Human Services  attempts to coerce religious institutions to pay for health insurance plans that cover medical procedures and drugs contrary to their religious beliefs and consciences.

Other recipients at the awards luncheon (which, we’re told, “was part of Planned Parenthood’s annual Organizing and Policy Summit, which brings together hundreds of Planned Parenthood staff and volunteers from across the country”) told stories of the wonderfulness of Planned Parenthood (“Planned Parenthood Saved Me”) and lots about the sex lives of teenagers.

HT to

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Categories: PPFA