Is Obama bailing on Planned Parenthood because of Kermit Gosnell? Actually, no.

Anti-abortion groups were quick to welcome the news that President Obama would not be attending Planned Parenthood's Thursday night gala. They attributed the decision to controversy surrounding abortion clinic doctor Kermit Gosnell, who is standing trial in Philadelphia  on first-degree murder charges involving the deaths of babies whose spinal cords he allegedly severed after they were born alive.

“Planned Parenthood last week admitted to knowing about the horrors going on inside Kermit Gosnell’s squalid Philadelphia clinic, but chose not to exercise its position as the leader in the abortion industry to put an end to the butchering of women and children," said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion political action committee Susan B. Anthony List, in a statement. "No matter the reason for his backing out, it is certainly a good time to distance oneself from Planned Parenthood."

Actually, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Wednesday the president had delayed his appearance at Planned Parenthood's annual gathering so he could spend more time with victims of last week's explosion in West, Texas. He will speak Friday at the group's national conference.

But never let accuracy get in the way of buzz.

Juliet Eilperin is The Washington Post's White House bureau chief, covering domestic and foreign policy as well as the culture of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. She is the author of two books—one on sharks, and another on Congress, not to be confused with each other—and has worked for the Post since 1998.

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Juliet Eilperin · April 24, 2013

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