Connect With Us

“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
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“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 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
“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
“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.
“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.)
“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
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“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
“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.
“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
“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
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“[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 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.

17. Norplant: Birth Control or Social Control?

Source: EXTRA!, 130 W. 25th Street New York, NY 10001, Date: July/August 1992, Title: “Norplant: Birth Control or Control of Poor Women?,” Authors: Ethel Long-Scott and Judy Southworth

SSU Censored Researcher Judy Bailey

SYNOPSIS: If we are to believe the na­tional mainstream media and some politi­cians, Norplant, the implantable birth con­trol device of the Nineties, is quickly be­coming society’s cure-all birth control so­lution. With the media touting effective­ness and safety and politicians proposing giveaways and mandatory implantation as a solution to unwanted pregnancy, wel­fare and child abuse, Norplant seems to be a perfect solution for personal convenience and social control.

Norplant is produced in the form of birth control capsules that are implanted for five years in a woman’s upper arm. Promoted as a safe and effective method of birth control, Norplant was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in De­cember 1990.

The appeal of easy, no-maintenance birth control was ballyhooed in the press with such approving headlines as “A Sound Implant” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “A Matter of Choice” (Newsday). The press has for the most part ignored questions posed by doctors and women’s organiza­tions and instead touted pharmaceutical promotional statements of “effectiveness and choice,” while safety and sterilization considerations went unexplored.

Joyce Mills, chair of the Health Care Committee of the Women’s Economic Agenda Project (WEAP), charges that Norplant is unsafe and not adequately tested. “Women using Norplant in Brazil suffered central nervous system damage, prolonged menstrual bleeding and other serious side effects,” she reports.

The device is even more controver­sial since the dangers go beyond health risks. Legislators in Hawaii, Kansas, Loui­siana, Ohio, South Carolina and California are advocating mandatory implantation for some drug abusers and welfare moth­ers. California Governor Pete Wilson has proposed providing free Norplant to women receiving Medi-Cal, that state’s low-­income health program. WEAP called these proposals “a throwback to the days when California led the country in perfor­ming forced sterilization on poor women.”

While the American Medical Associa­tion (AMA) condemned the court-ordered use of Norplant for women convicted of child abuse and questioned state propos­als to pay women on welfare to use Norplant, its criticism has been ignored by the press.

The National Black Women’s Health Project warns that “with the availability of Norplant, we are witnessing the aggressive imposition of punitive birth control mea­sures on poor women and women of color, just as sterilization and other so-called population control measures have been forced upon African-American women and new, immigrants in this country histori­cally, and continue to be imposed on women of color in developing or so-called Third World countries around the world.”

In denouncing court-imposed use of Norplant, the AMA points out that for more than 200 years, the “common law has considered any medical treatment per­formed without a patient’s consent to con­stitute a battery.”

Nonetheless, the media continue to promote the drug’s effectiveness while downplaying its potentially dangerous side effects and ignoring its human rights implications.

 COMMENTS: Investigative author Ethel Long-Scott says the mass media did not give “sufficient or appropriate exposure to a surgically implanted birth control drug with unknown long-term side effects and with such incredible potential for social control. All the news coverage not only gave the pharmaceutical industry’s view that it was safe, but implied through tone and choice of comments that it could be a solution to the growing problem of in­creasing numbers of poor children. They also implied that because it might curb the birth rate of poor women, which the me­dia sees as a great social problem, we needn’t be as critical about its safety. The media generally didn’t bring up the wide­spread negative experience of women in Brazil, who found Norplant caused such great suffering and harm that they repulsed it.

“One of the most responsible things the media can do is alert people to what is really going on, beneath the surface of public policy. Norplant and its predeces­sors like just-approved Depo-Provera, are being publicly cloaked in the mantle of an advance in reproductive rights. In playing up that one aspect of these drugs above all others, the media pushes them as `good’ tools to carry out forced sterilization and restrict the reproductive rights of poor women. The Philadelphia Inquirer edito­rial suggesting Norplant as a solution to poverty is just the most blatant example of the attitude that underlies most media cov­erage. History gives us horrible examples of the havoc wreaked by societies that try to fix problems by eliminating the people they affect, rather than eliminating the causes of the problems.

“The context in which the media place their discussions of Norplant restricts soci­etal choices and the seeking of truth be­cause it sends the following sinister mes­sage: `Poor people are not functioning in a responsible manner. They are to blame for their own plight, as well as for some of our problems, like taxes that are too high, and we must make better decisions for them. If our economic system is not able to provide full employment, feed its people and keep its women and children safe and sheltered, out of doorways and away from random violence, it is not society’s fault. We as a society do not have an obligation to make sure that women and children are able to have a roof over their heads, mini­mal nutrition, decent health care and the basics for a dignified life. It is not up to society to make sure its benefits and pro­tections work for the poor as well as for the rich. That is the responsibility of these impoverished individuals and their fami­lies, and if they can’t do the job, we should keep them from bringing into the world more people who might possibly turn out like themselves.’

“Put most directly, the interests being served (by the limited coverage given the dangers of Norplant) are those of the middle, upper and ruling classes. The pharmaceutical industry obviously ben­efits in no small way from the media focus on the potential benefits of its products, rather than the harm they do, both demon­strated and potential. The people in power benefit from this attitude of, `if there’s a problem, blame the victims.’ There is a lack of sharp questioning about why the richest society the world has ever known must tolerate millions of unemployed, unconscionable lawlessness in the name of law enforcement, the criminal rape of low income neighborhoods by all sorts of unchecked predatory interests and ram­pant and escalating poverty. And that lack of sharp questioning, even where examples make this obvious, as with Norplant, pre­vents us as a society from debating and putting into place real corrections for the problems.

“In the United States and all over the world we are facing cataclysmic changes. Huge new societal questions are presented by the increasing replacement of workers by computerized machines and the struc­tural unemployment that results. If the media, by refusing to dig deeply enough into important issues, continue to promote rationalities and ideologies that support throwing people away, that support lying about or ignoring the mounting numbers of homeless and hungry souls in every city and town throughout our country, we will go down in history a nation that never understood why our economic system failed us, just as the leaders of the former Soviet Union never understood why their economic system failed them. It’s no acci­dent that eugenics and sterilization had important roles in Nazi Germany. Why aren’t people who see that issue in Norplant getting into the media? In the 1990s, will the media continue to play the role of a half-blind cheerleader for people in posi­tions of money and power who would rather settle the issue by regulating the behavior of the poor, even if it takes the imposition of a police state, instead of attacking the real problems?

“The big issue here, which the mass U.S. media almost universally fail to under­stand, is that our country’s ideology says the poor, as well as the rich, are capable of seeing what they need to improve their lot in life, and going for it. But the way our society functions today — with the gener­ous help of the media-the poor are seen as too ignorant and undisciplined to know that they need.”

Finally, even as this is being written in early 1993, it appears that, despite the eloquent pleas and warnings of journalists like Ethel Long-Scott, Norplant is well on its way to becoming America’s cure-all birth control solution for the 1990s.

Despite serious questions concern­ing its testing procedures and safety, not to mention the ominous implications for so­cial control, Norplant is now offered as a form of birth control by California’s Medi-­Cal; and on January 10, 1993, CBS News reported that a low-income Chicago high school has been selected as an experi­mental study site for the Norplant device. Nonetheless, the nation’s news me­dia have yet to put the issue on the national agenda for discussion.

Facebook Comments