Wisconsin Newspaper’s Abortion Funding Draws Pro-Life Criticism

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 1, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Wisconsin Newspaper’s Abortion Funding Draws Pro-Life Criticism

by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
June 1, 2004

Madison, WI (LifeNews.com) — A Madison, Wisconsin newspaper that contributed $25,000 to help the local Planned Parenthood affiliate build a new abortion and training facility has admitted to giving financial support to the abortion business for the past 20 years.

Last week Wisconsin Right to Life rebuked the paper and its charitable giving division, the Evjue Foundation, Inc., for its open support for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and its Comprehensive Reproductive Health Center in Madison, which includes an abortion training program.

"It’s one thing for a newspaper to advocate a pro-abortion position, but it’s quite another thing when that newspaper directly contributes to the destruction of human life by making a $25,000 contribution to a Planned Parenthood abortion center," said Susan Armacost, legislative director of Wisconsin Right to Life.

Dave Zweifel, editor of The Capital Times and board member of the Evjue Foundation, says the Foundation has given money to Planned Parenthood for the past 20 years.

"Planned Parenthood indeed may counsel women on abortion but it also provides a great service to young people in making informed decisions on extremely important sexual questions," Zweifel said.

In addition to family planning and testing for sexually transmitted diseases, the 6,500 square-foot facility the Evjue Foundation grant helped build also provides on-site medical and surgical abortions, as well as a residency training program. It is the only facility to performed medical and surgical abortions in south central Wisconsin.

Zwiefel is not the only Capital Times employee on the Evjue Foundation board. Clayton Frink, the paper’s publisher, and five other employees sit on the board, with eight community members who represent the University of Wisconsin Foundation and the Madison Community Foundation.

According to the Capital Times and the Evjue Foundation’s website, the Foundation is a result of the will of William Evjue, the paper’s founder, who expressed a wish that the paper’s success be shared with "organizations that best exemplify the beliefs that he championed during his lifetime, causes that could improve the quality of life for all the people in the Dane County area." The Foundation has awarded of $24 million in grants since its founding in 1970.

The new facility opened in January, and is located near the Truax campus of Madison Area Technical College.

Armacost told LifeNews.com, said her group was "appalled, but not surprised" at the donation.

"Given the particular bent of the paper this is something they would do," Armacost explained.

Armacost said the Madison newspaper is almost always biased on abortion-related stories. "On occasion a story is fair," Armacost said. "But there is always a bias."

The Capital Times did have other similar organizations in Dane County they could have supported without aiding Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry.

Liz Osborn, Executive Director of Care Net Pregnancy Center of Dane County, told LifeNews.com her organization has already planned to build a 10-bedroom maternity home just down the road from Planned Parenthood’s newest facility. Care and services will be provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without charge.

Madison residents are not the only ones subject to an openly pro-abortion newspaper in their town.

The Houston Chronicle in Texas has also tossed their journalistic objectivity aside, having donated between $1,000 – $4,999 on at least two occasions to their local Planned Parenthood affiliate.

During a keynote address to a luncheon for Friends of Planned Parenthood, an editorial board member of the Chronicle said that if the paper was not so openly supportive of Roe v. Wade or the "right" to an abortion, she would not have taken the editorial position with the paper.

Meanwhile, a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center has found that journalists at national media outlets consider themselves more liberal and less conservative than nine years ago. Of those surveyed, 34 percent describe themselves as liberal, up from the 22 percent that called themselves liberal in 1995. Only 7 percent called themselves conservative in 2004, up from an even smaller 4 percent in 1995.

While not monolithic, most liberals tend to back abortion while most conservatives normally take a pro-life position.

Related web sites:
Wisconsin Right to Life – https://www.wrtl.org