Bryan Kemper and LifeNews Thinks Every Tornado Victim Should Get Pregnant

A natural disaster is a horrible thing to suffer through.  Besides the danger and the fear, you then have to face the loss, loss of loved ones, homes, cherished objects that represent memories from your life before the storm.

There are also some practicalities to be faced after a storm, such as how many women think to grab their birth control when a tornado is bearing down on their homes and they are being evacuated?

Planned Parenthood of Missouri is assisting those families, offering free birth control and condoms to those who have been displaced and who want to avoid an unintended pregnancy at a time when the added burden could exacerbate personal tragedy.  But anti-choice zealots never miss an opportunity to try and score political points.

Bryan Kemper, columnist for LifeNews, provides a vivid reminder that anti-choice activists cannot tell the difference between birth control and abortion.  Kemper declares that Planned Parenthood is offering “free abortions” in Joplin, rather than the condoms and birth control pills they actually offered to disaster victims.  Kemper writes:

In 2001 Planned Parenthood of NYC offered free abortions to women who lost a husband or boyfriend in the attacks on 9/11.  What a wonderful sentiment to send to grieving women; (Lost your husband? Let us kill his child for free). 

Planned Parenthood of Joplin, MO is following suit and offering their services for free to victims of the Tornado….Yepp, that is what these people need more than food, water, shelter and clothing; they need condoms and the pill. To quote Seth Myers and Tina Fey on Saturday Night Live, “Really”.  Really Planned Parenthood? Free birth control and abortion for people who are suffering, hungry, thirsty and traumatized sounds like such a wonderful community service.  Killing children is not heath care and it is certainly not disaster relief.

How wrong is Kemper?  Even Lifenews backed away from his claim, posting then deleting his article from their own website.

Blatantly lying to try to score political points off suffering tornado victims? Really, Byran Kemper?

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  • beenthere72

    He must not think much of women if he thinks we’d abort a pregnancy after our significant other has just been killed.   I can’t speak for everybody, but I don’t even want to have babies and I’d have that one. 

    And he is obviously completely ignorant to the commitment of the taking of birth control.


    It’s really tasteless to attack a healthcare provider that’s offering to provide free healthcare in a time of need.  

  • sertelt


    Looks like everyone can get it wrong once in awhile — Kemper, Lifenews, and you. A little bit of research on your part would have revealed to you that Mr. Kemper is not a “columnist for LifeNews” as you claimed. We post his opinion columns as we do many other pro-life commentators.

    As far as the post is concerned, we removed it immediately — within minutes — after verifying that the Joplin, Planned Parenthood does not perform surgical abortions or dispense the dangerous mifepristone abortion drug. However, we couldn’t prevent Google’s bots from doing thir work before the Kemper post could be removed.

    I know it’s easy for you to make wild-eyed claims that we “cannot tell the difference between birth control and abortion.” Your cheap shot notwithstanding, obviously we can.

    But if you actually have any interest in accuracy, let me direct you to the Joplin Independent, which published the original report Kemper based his post on:  “Included in the offering of a variety of health services for both men and women are distribution of free reproductive medications, blood pressure testing, diabetes and cholesterol screening and other reproductive health services.” (

    Kemper assumed, as did we, that “reproductive health services” meant abortions. And why not? “Reproductive Health Services” is the name of the one abortion facility run by Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, which operates the Joplin center. Under services offered ( the first service mentioned is “abortion.” So when an organization that names its clinic Reproductive Health Services says it is offering free “reproductive health services” and the top service it mentions under services is abortion, naturally the assumption is that it is offering free abortions.

    And offering free abortions at a time when people need food, shelter, medical attention and other needs — that would be offensive.

    So as far as “never miss[ing] an opportunity to try and score political points” is concerned…. Job well done, Robin.

    Steven Ertelt, Editor

  • juls

    Dear Steven–

    Actually, it’s your fault that your assumption led you to believe that.  For the millions of us — myself included — who use birth control (but not abortions, since I haven’t had one), we would “assume” that “reproductive health services” means a wide variety of those things–perhaps abortions, though since they list “abortion,” a euphemism seems unnecessary.  I take birth control to control endometriosis–in this situation, I would be eternally grateful for someone there handing out the pill to keep my chronic illness in check.  You’ll also notice that the list of services offered is in alphabetical order, so abortion would come first.  Millions more women go to PP every year for things besides abortions, presumably at this clinic as well.  Thankfully, they offer those, or the abortion rate would doubtlessly be higher–not to mention the terror of finding oneself pregnant after such a tragedy–people DO in fact need both condoms and the pill.

    If you had an iota of journalistic responsibility, you’d have assured BEFORE posting Kemper’s piece that the details were accurate, not “within minutes” of discovering the error.  In the days of such rapid dissemination of information, perhaps a review of your posting policies is in order.  *If you’re posting someone’s “opinion columns” on a regular basis, they are a columnist.  That’s what that means.  Even if the person is not being paid.

  • elburto

    dangerous mifepristone

    [citation needed]

    Also, lol forever @ “How dare you say he’s one of our columnists, he ISN’T, he just writes columns for us”.

    Men have no place telling ANY WOMAN what to do with her body or her life. You pro-liar, anti-choice creeps have one agenda, and that’s the full control of women and girls, because you believe they’re inferior to you ball-bearers and should be submissive to you.


  • prochoicekatie

    Don’t blame Google for being efficient at what it does. Just because your website protocol seems to have some gaps (fact checking) doesn’t mean other companies should be expected to be equally “slow on the take.”

    Joplin Indy piece you reference is a classified, not a report or article.

    Planned Parenthood offers services in Joplin
    Updated: 2011-05-26 05:19:21
    Planned Parenthood, 710 Illinois Ave., Joplin, is providing free medical services throughout the month of June. Included in the offering of a variety of health services for both men and women are distribution of free reproductive medications, blood pressure testing, diabetes and cholesterol screening and other reproductive health services.


    Especially during crises, the agency believes that it is important that women maintain their birth control and avoid a gap in medication.


    Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Mondays, closed on Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays and closed on Saturdays and Sundays.


    To contact Planned Parenthood in Joplin phone (417) 781-6500.


    Perhaps most important: Instead of guessing, Kemper could have decided to call them up and ask. The number is RIGHT THERE.


    By the way, calling out Robin for the assumption that someone whose columns you post is a columnist in the same piece you defend your assumption regarding what services are meant by reproductive health services and the assumption that ALL services would be free as well is SO CLASSY.

  • prochoicekatie

    Duplicate post. Oops.

  • colleen


    Under services offered ( the first service mentioned is “abortion.”

    ‘abortion’ is first on the list because the services offered are listed in alphabetical order.

    That said,  no one who has actually worked as an editor would find your string of weak excuses, denial and pathetic arrogance even slightly convincing (although whining about the “Google bots” was pretty amusing). Folks on the right need to learn to take personal responsibility for their failures.

  • prochoicekatie

    Let’s take Kemper and at their word and assume they took the time PRIOR TO writing their politically expedient piece to look up what services were being referred to in the classified. What Steven is telling us is that instead of looking up the services at the Joplin clinic (which comes earlier in the list of MO health centers and first if you searched “Joplin”) they looked for a different clinic so they could make a bad assumption. Frankly, that sounds more stupid to me.

  • cycles

    Even in the situation of an abortion (as opposd to more innocent-sounding contraception), isn’t it good to know that Planned Parenthood is stepping up to the plate to offer much-needed services to people whose lives are in turmoil? What an awful situation to be in, if you needed an abortion and weren’t able to get to one because of a tornado or a terrorist attack of whatever. Among the tragedy-related stresses I don’t need, add “forced to have a baby because the clinic was destroyed” to the list.

  • alysoncoromandas

    Yeah…if I was had just lost my home in a tornado, the last thing I would want was an unintended pregnancy. 

  • crowepps

    Planned Parenthood Offers Free Abortions to Miners’ Widows
    A Satire by
    The Raving Atheist

    Tallmansville, W.Va., January 10, 2006

    That was, you know, a satire?  A satire is, you know, not ACCURATE or REAL.


    I spent quite a while looking for a contemporaneous source of the ‘Planned  Parenthood wanted 9/11 widows to abort’ but there sure doesn’t seem to be anything on the net anywhere except just tons and TONS of ProLife sites that talk about a ‘press release’ or a ‘fundraising letter’ or a ‘PP statement’ that offered “free abortions” and no links to any actual sites or proof anywhere.  A few that had details quoted Joan Malin of PP as saying “For two weeks, we offered all of our services free to everyone who needed them” which doesn’t seem to support the 9/11 widows meme at all.


    And of course after Katrina PP was actually offering birth control, which nobody except extremists lunatics who make up their own science considers abortion.

  • crowepps

    Not having to pick through the rubble of your house to find your prescription would seem like a real blessing to me, but then I understand that the whole point of birth control pills is to give people the ability to plan their family so that children can be born at the best possible time.  IMO that isn’t when you’re newly destitute, homeless and have just had your job sucked away by a tornado.

  • crowepps

    The people in Joplin are suffering the after effects of a horrible tragedy and haven’t even yet been able to identify all their dead.  It’s just tasteless and narcicisstic to shove their pain and trauma aside and turn the event into an opportunity for people from someplace else entirely to whine about their obsession with Planned Parenthood being ‘evil’.  The Planned Parenthood clinic there is staffed by Joplinites extending their hand to their fellow Joplinites and trying to help.  Total strangers shouldn’t be butting in to make it All About Them and their extremist ideology.

  • elburto

    Women? Choosing? Heresy, shut your mouth! They should surrender to God’s will and have as many babies as they can. The prison and military industrial complexes won’t run themselves!

  • sangetencre

    “Kemper assumed, as did we, that “reproductive health services” meant abortions. And why not? “Reproductive Health Services” is the name of the one abortion facility run by Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, which operates the Joplin center.”

    It’s also a term that quite commonly encompasses the provision of pap smears/cancer screenings, contraception, and further treatment for women and men.

    You and your ilk, in your zeal to paint PP as nothing more than a place that doles out abortions, tend to ignore that fact.

    Also, didn’t anyone ever tell you that delightful little anecdote about making “assumptions?” Really. As an editor? You should bloody well know better.

  • roquinn

    And if they were handing out free abortions? Who could possibly be in more need of that kind of compassion than someone who has just lost everything? If Planned Parenthood isn’t, then I hope/suspect that supportive women around the country are willing to help foot the costs for anyone in Joplin that needs one.

    Meanwhile, what are these two yoyos offering the devastated citizens of Joplin, MO? Nothing but the same, tired, misogynist, vitriolic shit that they offer all women, all the time.

    With all the shame they try to ladle onto everyone else, you’d think they’d have  a little to spare for their own hatefulness.

  • colleen

    With all the shame they try to ladle onto everyone else, you’d think they’d have  a little to spare for their own hatefulness.

    Clearly they come from a religious tradition which  discourages self reflection and honesty

  • vesperatom

    Not only is this schmo unable to understand the OBVIOUS difference between birth control and abortion, he can’t even watch Saturday Night Live correctly. “Really” was a Weekend Update segment started during the Seth Meyers/AMY POEHLER era, not Tina Fey. (Fey did a cameo ONCE w/ Meyers and Poehler, but it’s Meyers and Poehler’s bit.) But, it’s certainly not surprising that in Bryan Kemper’s world the actual identities of women are inconsequential.

  • juls

    Thanks so much for looking that up.  I spent about 20 minutes, but my daughter was calling and I had work to do and didn’t have time to keep up the search.  It sounded so ridiculous, and I couldn’t find anything relevant and not from the pro-life trolls to back it up…I seriously doubted it, obviously.  And now I know!  Gracias!