Offender: Chris Matthews, Hardball
Media Outlet: MSNBC, 1/28/09
The Offense: Host Matthews had this to say about whether family planning provisions should be included in the economic stimulus plan: “I don’t know. It sounds a little like China. . . . I think everybody should have family planning and everybody believes in birth control as a right. I’m for — abortion is a right and all that. It’s all right. But why should the federal government have a policy of reducing the number of births? I don’t know why the federal government has an interest in that. . . . These decisions should be family decisions, not federal decisions.”
NOW’s Analysis: As usual, Chris Matthews just doesn’t get it. The question is: Is Matthews just clueless, or is he intentionally playing the fool? The provision in question would help states extend coverage for family planning services to women who need and want it but can’t afford it. There is no place in the provision ordering women what to do with their bodies. It simply helps women avoid unplanned pregnancies. This is nothing like China’s one-child policy, and Matthews really should know better. His comments serve to demonize contraception and public funding of reproductive health care.
Take Action: Tell MSNBC what you think about Matthews’ comments.
Lisa Bennett, NOW Communications Director