Planned Parenthood Runs False Ad Attacking Palin on Bogus Rape Kit Charge
by Steven Ertelt
October 1, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Planned Parenthood is running a new television commercial that makes the now-disproved charge that John McCain running mate Sarah Palin forced rape victims to pay for rape kits. The charge picked up mainstream media steam in previous weeks but has been rebutted as completely false.
The ad features a woman named Gretchen who appears to be a rape victim and she tells the audience "I just didn’t think it would happen to me."
"Under Mayor Sarah Palin, women like Gretchen were forced to pay up to $1,200 for the emergency exams used to prosecute their attackers," the Planned Parenthood ad claims.
"That is something to me that’s unthinkable. It scares me to death," Gretchen responds.
The problem with the Planned Parenthood ad is that Governor Palin never instituted the kind of policy the abortion business claims.
Planned Parenthood cites a September 22 CNN article to justify its claim that Palin’s policy was to charge women for the kits, but CNN indicates otherwise.
"Interviews and a review of records turned up no evidence that Palin knew that rape victims were being charged in her town," CNN reported.
It also indicates the sponsor of a bill in the Alaska legislature to end the practice of charging victims never spoke about the issue with Palin.
CNN also cites Judy Patrick, who was Palin’s deputy mayor, as saying the issue never came up before the town council and she doesn’t recall discussing the issue with Palin.
She said Palin reviewed every line of the city budget and sent her suggestions to department heads and never once balked at paying for rape kits.
As governor, Palin approved a funding increase for domestic violence shelters — giving them an extra $266,200 — and reauthorized a Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.
Meanwhile, columnist Warner Todd Huston rebuts the false claim in a recent article and notes the charge "stems from a May 22, 2000 article in the local Wasilla paper The Frontiersman and has been spun from a comment made by the Wasilla Police Chief. This comment was somehow made into a Sarah Palin policy."
"Evidence of the incident, though, shows no involvement by Palin at all," he explains.
Huston talks about how pro-abortion blogs picked up on the story and turned the Wasilla police chief’s opposition to a bill to require local police departments to pay for rape kits (he believed the rapists should be made to pay for them) into a theory that Palin hired the chief because he supposedly wanted women to pay for them.
"But, in reality, none of these charges can be found," Huston says.
Jim Geraghty, a writer at National Review, also investigated the claims and also found them bogus.
Geraghty looked to see how often Wasilla and Palin were mentioned in the debates about the rape kit bill. But he finds that there is not one mention of the town of Wasilla in the hearings over the bill.
Geraghty could not find a single instance of a rape victim ever having been charged for her own rape kit.
"In preparation to attend a hearing and support the bill, one of the states top law-enforcement officials found no case of a rape victim ever being charged," he writes. "And roughly a month after 30 Democratic lawyers, investigators, and opposition researchers, not to mention reporters from every major news agency in the country, landed in Alaska, we still have no instances to consider."
Additionally, Geraghty found that it was the hospitals in Alaska, not the police agencies, that were passing the bills on to the victims’ insurance companies.
The nonpartisan public policy group FactCheck of the University of Pennsylvania also condemned the charges as well saying there is no indication or evidence that Palin ever supported the policy.
Finally, Palin spokeswoman Maria Comella has said that the governor "does not believe, nor has she ever believed, that rape victims should have to pay for an evidence-gathering test."
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