Colorado Newspaper Editor Gets Planned Parenthood Abortion Award

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 21, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Colorado Newspaper Editor Gets Planned Parenthood Abortion Award

by Paul Nowak Staff Writer
July 21, 2004

Durango, CO ( — Planned Parenthood president Gloria Feldt recently honored the editor and chairman of a Colorado newspaper for her support of the pro-abortion movement.

Morley Ballantine, editor and chairman of the Durango Herald, received the Margret Sanger Award, named for the founder of Planned Parenthood. Ballantine’s mother, Elizabeth Cowles, knew Sanger and founded Planned Parenthood of Iowa.

The Ballantine Family Fund, has been a contributor, since 1981, to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ Durango Health Center.

Pro-life leaders were "disgusted" at the news, indicating bias in yet another media outlet.

"Morley C. Ballantine ought to be ashamed to be accorded an award that is linked with an avowed racist, who believed in ‘more from the fit, less from the unfit’ and who called minorities, ‘human weeds,’" said Leslie Hanks, vice president of Colorado Right to Life, referring to Sanger.

"That a Colorado newspaper would laud such an award being given to its editor is laughable," added Hanks. "One would hope and pray that the good people of Durango will let the Herald know that this is unacceptable for an "objective" news source.

Among the guests at the luncheon honoring Ballantine on Thursday were state Sen. Jim Isgar (D-Hesperus) ad Ballantine’s son, Richard, the Herald’s publisher.

Bias against the pro-life perspective has become apparent in numerous cases of flagrant media bias in the past several months.

In May, an editorial board member for the Houston Chronicle spoke at a Friends of Planned Parenthood luncheon, and proclaimed her pride in her, and her paper’s pro-abortion stance.

"I am a journalist who has for more than a decade been outspoken on the editorial page of the Houston Chronicle in favor of women’s reproductive rights," said Andrea Georgsson. "The Chronicle is a ‘pro-choice’ newspaper and we have never hesitated to support women’s unfettered access to abortion, family planning information, education and support."

That support included financial contributions to the state’s largest abortion business, activity that got the newspaper listed in the Brazos Valley Coalition for Life’s boycott list.

Last September, the Chicago Tribune published a letter to the editor, submitted by Bill Beckman, executive director of the Illinois Right to Life Committee, entitled "Paul Hill is not Pro-Life, nor is he a martyr." In each instance where Beckman used the word "pro-life," the Chicago Tribune changed the word to "anti-abortion."

This change was damaging, as Hill, who has been convicted of killing abortionists, may have been anti-abortion but his actions were not pro-life – a fact that reputable pro-life organizations have highlighted and major media outlets ignored.

In March, a biased editorial policy on abortion at the Los Angeles Times was taken too far when an entertainment section’s review of Richard Strauss’ opera "Die Frau Ohne Schatten" was called "an incomparably glorious and goofy anti-abortion paean."

"Its about children who aren’t born yet screaming to be born — not abortion," said Mark Swed, the Times music critic who wrote the review as a "pro-life" performance, referring to its celebratory depiction of life.

A copy editor had followed a Times’ policy to replace all references to "pro-life" with "anti-abortion," without considering the context of the statement. The change implied a bent on the abortion issue either in the play or in the reviewer’s interpretation thereof — an idea that Swed did not want conveyed in a piece bearing his name.

ACTION: Contact the Durango Herald editor Morley Ballantine at (970) 375-4508. You can send a general email by clicking here or a letter to the editor by clicking here.