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MSNBC's Sharpton Touts Deceptive Claims of Pro-Life Groups 'Lying' to Pregnant Women

Media Research CenterOn Thursday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, host Al Sharpton touted the pro-abortion group NARAL's deceptive attacks on "crisis pregancy centers" in Virginia which try to encourage pregnant women not to have abortions, as NARAL accused these pro-life groups of "lying." Picking up on an article posted by the far left Think Progress, the MSNBC host gave NARAL President Ilyse Hogue a sympathetic forum to promote her agenda.

In trying to prove these pro-life groups wrong, Sharpton quoted the CDC's Web site in describing condoms as acting as an "impermeable barrier," although he ignored the first line of the CDC document which concedes that condoms merely "reduce the risk of STD transmission," as the site displays the words "though not elminate" in parentheses, as the MSNBC host gave the impression that condoms could be considered infallible.

Sharpton introduced the segment:

Tonight a stunning undercover investigation that exposes the ugly truth behind a key part of the far right's anti-woman agenda. Workers at a right-wing crisis pregnancy center in Virginia are caught on tape literally lying to women about everything from abortion to birth control. In this clip, you'll hear a woman who went into the center for a free pregnancy test. She was being told by a staffer that condoms don't work.

After an audio clip of an unidentified clinic worker discussing the failure of condoms, Sharpton tried to make a rebuttal: "Of course that's not true. The CDC says latex condoms create an 'impermeable barrier' to STDs."

After another clip in which an increased risk of cancer by birth control pills was raised, Sharpton dismissed cancer concerns: "That is also not true. In fact, birth control pills only slightly increase the risk of breast cancer. And it actually reduces the risk of other cancers."

Sharpton tagged Virginia's special pro-life license plates as "anti-choice," and attacked the "extreme far right agenda." Sharpton:

The so-called crisis centers get funding from the state anti-choice license plates. And they get lots of support from Governor "Ultrasound" Bob McDonnell. These so-called crisis centers give out false medical information to women in order to push an extreme far right agenda. The GOP is waging war on women at the grassroots level, and it has to stop.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Thursday, August 8, PoliticsNation on MSNBC:

AL SHARPTON: Tonight a stunning undercover investigation that exposes the ugly truth behind a key part of the far right's anti-woman agenda. Workers at a right-wing crisis pregnancy center in Virginia are caught on tape literally lying to women about everything from abortion to birth control. In this clip, you'll hear a woman who went into the center for a free pregnancy test. She was being told by a staffer that condoms don't work.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE VOICE #1: Condoms are naturally porous.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE VOICE #2: Really?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE VOICE #3: Yes. And so they, there's a, you know, there's always a chance of them breaking. There's always a chance of there being spillage, you know, and condoms don't, you know, secure you from STDs either.

SHARPTON: Of course that's not true. The CDC says latex condoms create an "impermeable barrier" to STDs. In the next clip, that staffer even claims that birth control pills cause cancer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The first three ingredients in the birth control pill are carcinogenic. There are studies that have shown women who have taken the pill for four years prior to their first pregnancy have a 46 percent increased chance of breast cancer.

SHARPTON: That is also not true. In fact, birth control pills only slightly increase the risk of breast cancer. And it actually reduces the risk of other cancers. The so-called crisis centers get funding from the state anti-choice license plates. And they get lots of support from Governor "Ultrasound" Bob McDonnell. These so-called crisis centers give out false medical information to women in order to push an extreme far right agenda. The GOP is waging war on women at the grassroots level, and it has to stop.

Joining me now is Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL, pro-choice America who exposes outrageous, and these outrageous lies of the pregnancy centers, the crisis pregnancy centers in Virginia. Thanks for being here tonight, Ilyse.

ILYSE HOGUE, PRESIDENT, NARAL PRO-CHOICE AMERICA: Thanks for having me on, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Now, why did NARAL focus on these centers? And what should the public know about them?

HOGUE: Well, I mean, we'ave been looking at these centers all across the country for a very long time because not only are they lying to women, but they're actually endangering women's health. And aside from Virginia, we're seeing states like Ohio and North Carolina take money from much needed programs that actually support families that need the help and moving them into these crisis pregnancy centers that try and shame and humiliate women and endanger their health by giving them the kind of information that you played for your viewers. This is the face of the anti-choice movement. And the politicians that stand with them like Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia and like Governor Kasich in Ohio that voters have a right to know that these politicians support these centers that intimidate women and lie to them. And they are often doing it with taxpayer dollars.

SHARPTON: Now, I want to play a little more of the audio for people to hear. Listen to this one. This is another part of the undercover audio from that crisis pregnancy center. Listen to this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Any time an innocent life is ended on purpose, that's called murder. There are so many lives destroyed by abortion. Not only the woman, but anyone who she has a relationship with. It has the ability to completely destroy a woman's self-esteem, you know. Hey, I just killed my kid. What kind of a person am I? You will face that child again one day. At the end of the world, you're going to know that was my child that I chose to kill.

SHARPTON: Now Ilyse, we all are entitled to our opinion, but can you imagine some woman that is a victim of rape or incest being told this kind of stuff?

HOGUE: No. It's unimaginable. It's unthinkable. It's also really important that people understand that these crisis pregnancy centers are using taxpayer dollars, and they're actually going into neighborhoods with a disproportionate number of poor women, women of color, women who already don`t have enough access to the correct information to the kind of health care that reputable medical clinics provide. And not only are they endangering their health, but they're actually shaming them, and they are trying to humiliate them.

These clinics stand on the opposite side of every established medical association, every psychiatric association. And as you pointed out, the CPC's, I'm sorry, the CDC's. And that is why we're asking the question. Why do these politicians actually not only support these extremists and their war on women, but funnel taxpayer dollars through them? And I think the voters have a right to know.

SHARPTON: And it's not only these centers in Virginia, it's a broader issue. It's part of a bigger war against women that the right wing and the Republicans are waging. The fact of the matter is that 23 states have adopted abortion restrictions this year alone. Just this year. And Republican politicians aren't even trying to hide their views about women in the country. Watch this, Ilyse.

REP. TRENT FRANKS (R-AZ): Before when my friends on the left side of the aisle here try to make rape and incest the subject, because the incidents of rape are very low.

GOVERNOR RICK PERRY (R-TX): My goal, and the goal of many of those joining me here today is to make abortion at any stage a thing of the past.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI): We don't want a country where abortion is simply outlawed. We want a company where it isn't even considered. That's the kind of America we want.

SHARPTON: So this is widespread throughout the Republican Party, Ilyse.

(...)

-- Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center