Pilot Editorial

Tuesday, July 9, 2002

Remember the baby

To read and watch the regional and national coverage of the Planned Parenthood stand-off, one would think the problem in Storm Lake is an issue of medical privacy rights, rather than a dead child.

It has all become very melodramatic, with the state leader of Planned Parenthood saying she's ready to be thrown into jail to preserve her convictions, and the matter becoming quickly knotted up in court. Esteemed law professors and New York civil libertarian activists are being heard from.

Does anyone remember why we were having this debate in the first place? Does anyone remember the child?

No one wants to throw a Planned Parenthood leader into a dungeon. Local officials want the decision of a judge to be followed, and will apparently resort to a contempt of court approach to back it up. Planned Parenthood has every right to appeal to a higher court.

All of the legal maneuvering is fine, and at least CNN, MSNBC, the Today Show, the New York Times, etc., had something to keep them busy.

The issue of pregnancy test privacy is a valid one that is worthy of attention. But tangling it up with the investigation of a baby's death may not be productive.