O'Reilly Attacks Rep. Lee For Correctly Noting That Abortion Bill Supporters' Goal Is To "Go Back To The Days Of Coat Hangers"

Blog ››› ››› ADAM SHAH

Bill O'Reilly attacked a bipartisan group of 168 members of Congress for voting against a bill that criminalizes certain abortions under the guise of preventing sex-selective abortions. In particular, O'Reilly singled out Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), mocking a clip of her saying, "We're going back to the days of coat hangers. That's what they want to do. They want to criminalize doctors because what that says is, how do you know that a doctor is engaged in helping a woman abort because of the particular gender of the fetus?"

But Jackson Lee is correct.

As Jackson Lee noted, if passed, the bill would make it a felony for doctors to perform certain abortions. Opponents of the bill point out that the legislation could lead to racial profiling, would interfere with the doctor-patient relationship, authorizes the government, spouses, and other family members to get court injunctions to stop abortions, has serious constitutional problems, and, according to experts, would not actually be effective at stopping sex-selective abortions.

Moreover, Jackson Lee is correct that the ultimate goal of legislation such as this is to "go back to the days of coat hangers."

Indeed, one of the bill's proponents has made it quite clear that the "ultimate end" of the legislation is to prevent all abortions. According to House Judiciary Committee members who voted against the bill:

[S]ome proponents of this legislation have publicly admitted that it is intended to undermine, and ultimately overturn, the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision. For example, Steven Mosher, who testified at the Constitution Subcommittee hearing on this legislation, has written:

I propose that we -- the pro-life movement -- adopt as our next goal the banning of sex- and race-selective abortion. By formally protecting all female fetuses from abortion on ground of their sex, we would plant in the law the proposition that the developing child is a being whose claims on us should not depend on their sex.

Of course, this suggestion is not original with me. It was originally made by the redoubtable Hadley Arkes, who wrote in the pages of First Things in 1994 that ''we seek simply to preserve the life of the child who survives the abortion. From that modest beginning, we might go on to restrict abortions after the point of ''viability,'' or we could ban those abortions ordered up simply because the child happens to be a female. We could move in this way, in a train of moderate steps, each one commanding a consensus in the public, and each one tending, intelligibly, to the ultimate end, which is to protect the child from its earliest moments.

During the segment, O'Reilly also touted discredited anti-choice activist Lila Rose's latest deceptively edited hoax video in an attempt to smear Planned Parenthood as an organization that promotes sex-selective abortions.

In fact, the full video -- which O'Reilly did not air -- shows that the Planned Parenthood employee shown in the video brought up the idea of giving up the child for adoption, that the employee declined to refer the activist to an OB/GYN who "would be understanding of [the activist's] situation," and that the employee repeatedly noted that the activist's decision about whether to have a sex-selective abortion would be hers alone.

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