"Facing Reality: Choice," a Fox News documentary – which started as a visit to my Fayetteville, Arkansas, ob-gyn clinic more than 18 months ago – aired Saturday, October 28th. For a "Faux" News event, it was remarkably "fair and balanced." Well, as well balanced as anything you will ever see on Faux.
I was contacted by Rachel Feldman, a producer for the Fox organization, a few days before she arrived to do preliminary interviews with me and my staff, and the patients who had agreed to be interviewed on camera and have their procedures filmed. After Fox and I reached an agreement and the patients selected and had agreed to go on camera with Fox, Rachel called in a camera, sound and lighting crew, and she and I went to work. As I recall, Rachel interviewed at least patients receiving abortion care who agreed to have their procedures and conversations filmed. She also visited in their homes and with friends and family members. One of the patients receiving abortion care on camera, Kayla, had a friend who begged to be interviewed and filmed telling her story as well. This was the young woman seated on the bed with Kayla in one of the segments. A few days after signing the waivers and giving the interview, that young woman called me and begged that her filmed material not be used. Apparently she had reconsidered and became terrified that her picture and story would appear on camera. Unfortunately, her material had already been sent to Fox, and they refused to return any of it, though the only time her image is seen is with Kayla.
Am I pleased with the job Rachel Feldman did? Absolutely. Is it "fair and balanced?" Considering that I had no patients who were giving a baby up for adoption or receiving abortion care as a result of severe or fatal fetal anomalies during the time frame I worked with her, and we could find no other abortion care providers willing to work with her, I think she did the absolute best she could have done.
When Rachel approached me about doing this documentary, I interviewed her as hard as she interviewed me. Given that she was working for the anything-but-fair-and-balanced Faux News Channel, I was very suspicious of her motives. She repeatedly promised me that her interest was only in doing the best job she could of getting my story and the women whom she interviewed stories out as sensitively and fairly as she could. And this was the reason I did my best to get my friends and colleagues in the New York and Boston areas to cooperate with her.
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Having found NO other physicians, other than Brooke's obstetrician, willing to participate in this endeavor, I think she did an incredible job.