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“Project Censored shines a spotlight on news that an informed public must have . . . a vital contribution to our democratic process.” —Rhoda H. Karpatkin, president, Consumer’s Union
“At a time when the need for independent journalism and for media outlets unaffiliated with and untainted by the government and corporate sponsors is greater than ever, Project Censored has created a context for reporting the complete truths in all matters that matter. . . . It is therefore left to us to find sources for information we can trust. . . . It is in this task that we are fortunate to have an ally like Project Cen-sored.” —Dahr Jamail
“[Censored] should be affixed to the bulletin boards in every newsroom in America. And, perhaps read aloud to a few publishers and television executives.” —Ralph Nader
“Project Censored is one of the organizations that we should listen to, to be assured that our newspapers and our broadcasting outlets are practicing thorough and ethical journalism.” —Walter Cronkite
“In another home run for Project Censored, Censored 2013 shows how the American public has been bamboozled, snookered, and dumbed down by the corporate media. It is chock-full of ‘ah-ha’ moments where we understand just how we’ve been fleeced by banksters, stripped of our civil liberties, and blindly led down a path of never-ending war.” –Medea Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare, cofounder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK.
“Censored 2014 is a clarion call for truth telling. Not only does this volume highlight fearless speech in fateful times, it connect the dots between the key issues we face, lauds our whistleblowers and amplifies their voices, and shines light in the dark places of our government that most need exposure.” –Daniel Ellsberg, The Pentagon Papers
“Activist groups like Project Censored . . . are helping to build the media democracy movement. We have to challenge the powers that be and rebuild media from the bottom up.” —Amy Goodman
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“For ages, I’ve dreamed of a United States where Project Censored isn’t necessary, where these crucial stories and defining issues are on the front page of the New York Times, the cover of Time, and in heavy rotation on CNN. That world still doesn’t exist, but we always have Project Censored’s yearly book to pull together the most important things the corporate media ignored, missed, or botched.” –Russ Kick, author of You Are Being Lied To, Everything You Know Is Wrong, and the New York Times bestselling series The Graphic Canon.
“Most journalists in the United States believe the press here is free. That grand illusion only helps obscure the fact that, by and large, the US corporate press does not report what’s really going on, while tuning out, or laughing off, all those who try to do just that. Americans–now more than ever–need those outlets that do labor to report some truth. Project Censored is not just among the bravest, smartest, and most rigorous of those outlets, but the only one that’s wholly focused on those stories that the corporate press ignores, downplays, and/or distorts. This latest book is therefore a must read for anyone who cares about this country, its tottering economy, and–most important– what’s now left of its democracy.” –Mark Crispin Miller, author, professor of media ecology, New York University.
“Project Censored brings to light some of the most important stories of the year that you never saw or heard about. This is your chance to find out what got buried.” –Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System.
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“Project Censored continues to be an invaluable resource in exposing and highlighting shocking stories that are routinely minimized or ignored by the corporate media. The vital nature of this work is underscored by this year’s NSA leaks. The world needs more brave whistle blowers and independent journalists in the service of reclaiming democracy and challenging the abuse of power. Project Censored stands out for its commitment to such work.” —Deepa Kumar, author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire and associate professor of Media Studies and Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University
“The staff of Project Censored presents their annual compilation of the previous year’s 25 stories most overlooked by the mainstream media along with essays about censorship and its consequences. The stories include an 813% rise in hate and anti-government groups since 2008, human rights violations by the US Border Patrol, and Israeli doctors injecting Ethiopian immigrants with birth control without their consent. Other stories focus on the environment, like the effects of fracking and Monsantos GMO seeds. The writers point out misinformation and outright deception in the media, including CNN relegating factual accounts to the “opinion” section and the whitewashing of Margaret Thatcher’s career following her death in 2013, unlike Hugo Chavez, who was routinely disparaged in the coverage following his death. One essay deals with the proliferation of “Junk Food News,” in which “CNN and Fox News devoted more time to ‘Gangnam Style’ than the renewal of Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ law.” Another explains common media manipulation tactics and outlines practices to becoming a more engaged, free-thinking news consumer or even citizen journalist. Rob Williams remarks on Hollywood’s “deep and abiding role as a popular propaganda provider” via Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. An expose on working conditions in Chinese Apple factories is brutal yet essential reading. This book is evident of Project Censored’s profoundly important work in educating readers on current events and the skills needed to be a critical thinker.” -Publisher’s Weekly said about Censored 2014 (Oct.)
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“Project Censored interrogates the present in the same way that Oliver Stone and I tried to interrogate the past in our Untold History of the United States. It not only shines a penetrating light on the American Empire and all its deadly, destructive, and deceitful actions, it does so at a time when the Obama administration is mounting a fierce effort to silence truth-tellers and whistleblowers. Project Censored provides the kind of fearless and honest journalism we so desperately need in these dangerous times.” —Peter Kuznick, professor of history, American University, and coauthor, with Oliver Stone, of The Untold History of the United States
“[Censored] offers devastating evidence of the dumbing-down of main-stream news in America. . . . Required reading for broadcasters, journalists, and well-informed citizens.” —Los Angeles Times
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast

14. New Laws Restrict Access to Abortions in US


Mother Jones
September/ October 2001
Title: “The Quiet War on Abortion”
Author: Barry Yeoman

Faculty Evaluator: Greta Vollmer
Student researcher: Kara Stout

A quiet war against abortion rights is being conducted by many local governments in the United States. Cities and counties are placing repressive legal restrictions on abortion providers under the guise of women’s health laws. These restrictions can include: width of hallways, jet and angle type of drinking fountains, the heights of ceilings, and how long one must wait between initially seeing the doctor and when the procedure can be performed.

These legal ordinances are known as TRAP laws. TRAP stands for Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers. These laws attempt to restrict all aspects of the physical environment related to an abortion. While called women’s health laws, they are seldom applied to any medical facility other than abortion clinics. The goal of TRAP laws is to discourage and make extremely difficult a woman’s legal right to choose abortion. In the words of one right-to-life leader, the idea is to create an environment “where abortion may indeed be perfectly legal, but no one can get one.”

TRAP laws have been passed in several states including Utah, Connecticut, Louisiana, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Alabama, Colorado, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Illinois, Nebraska, and Texas. Complying with TRAP laws can be very expensive. Remodeling modifications such as hallway width, angle and jet types for drinking fountains, ceiling height, doorway width, counseling room dimensions, air-circulation rates, outdoor weed-control practices, and separate changing rooms for men have resulted in the closing of cash-poor abortion clinics. Sometimes the clinics are closed only temporarily, but often the repairs are simply too expensive and the clinic is forced to cease operating altogether.

In 1992, when the Planned Parenthood v. Casey ruling established continued support for the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, a new stealthier strategy was shaped by pro-life campaigners. Right-to-life advocates began thinking about other ways to attack abortion rights that were not so overtly challenging to the Roe v. Wade decision. By claiming that abortions take place in dirty facilities and cause such illnesses as depression and breast cancer, right-to-lifers have subtly moved away from the moral and legal debate and into a nebulous realm of “women’s health.”

Dorinda Bordlee, a right-to-life advocate and staff counsel for Americans United for Life, says, “What’s good for the child is good for the mother. So now we’re advocating legislation that is good for women.” With this reasoning, anti-abortionist make laws sound plausible and even necessary. However, the dimensions of a counseling room will clearly not guarantee a safe and correct abortion. Counseling room size does not protect a woman’s health, but it does restrict the availability of abortions.

Louisiana’s newest anti-abortion law, known as the civil-liability law, would allow any woman who has had the procedure to sue the doctor for up to 10 years-not just for her own injuries, but also for “damages occasioned by the unborn child.” While still being challenged in court, this civil-liability law threatens the viability of clinics in the entire state of Louisiana.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly supported a woman’s right to abortion, but these laws are quietly taking that right away. If these laws remain unchallenged it may mean the end of legal abortions in the United States.

COMMENTS BY GRETA VOLLMER, PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH, SONOMA STATE UNIVERSITY: The Supreme Court is only one vote away from overturning Roe v. Wade. This fact alone is disturbing. Yet in the meantime, abortion rights currently guaranteed by this critically important court case are being chipped away by restrictions and statutes implemented at the state and local levels. It is essential that the press continue to highlight all attempts to limit and constrain this fundamental right. The right to an abortion is moot if in fact a woman cannot find providers or services are targeted to such an extent by harassment through ordinance, such as the TRAP laws described in this article.

UPDATE BY AUTHOR BARRY YEOMAN: “The Quiet War on Abortion” was the first national magazine article detailing the myriad ways that pro-choice legislators and grassroots activists use legislation and lawsuits to chip away at women’s reproductive rights. It informed readers about a stealthy strategy that previously had flourished underground.

Few mainstream media outlets picked up the story. However, the article won Washington Monthly’s December 2001 Journalism Award. It was also highlighted by the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation’s Daily Reproductive Health Report. Pro-choice organizations like the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy and the National Abortion Federation have used it as part of their public awareness campaigns. And various pro-choice groups, including Planned Parenthood of Mar Monte and the Westchester Coalition for Legal Abortion, feature it on their web sites. At California’s Humboldt State College, historian Gayle Olson-Raymer uses the article as part of the syllabus for her terrorism class.

Across the country, there have been recent court hearings on these abortion restrictions, but no new decisions. Several bills were introduced this year in statehouses across the country, but so far nothing has passed. Two harassment lawsuits against clinics, one in North Dakota and the other in California, concluded unfavorably for the pro-life activists, though appeals are still possible.

Readers wanting additional information can go to the web sites of Center for Reproductive Law and Policy ( or the National Abortion Federation (

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