On his radio show, Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that it "is never the case" that a "mother's life is in danger" during pregnancy because "you can always have a C-section and do those kinds of things." In fact, several potential pregnancy complications, such as an ectopic pregnancy, which is "the leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths in the first trimester" or preeclampsia, which "affect[s] up to one in seven pregnant women" can threaten the life of a pregnant woman.
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On Fox News' Special Report, Fred Barnes misrepresented Sen. Joseph Lieberman's position on legislation that allowed the federal government to intervene in the Terri Schiavo case. Barnes claimed that Lieberman said only that "he would have allowed her to keep ... the feeding tube in." But on Meet the Press in 2005, Lieberman couched the issue in terms of what the law required, not what he would personally do if put in a situation similar to Schiavo's family: Congress' involvement in the case "was justified" because "as a matter of law, if you go -- particularly to the 14th Amendment, [a person] can't be denied due process, have your life or liberty taken without due process of law."
A Washington Times editorial claimed that "[t]he FDA and [Dr. Andrew] von Eschenbach have decided that women 18 and over should have "access" to the contraceptive pill known as Plan B, "while younger women can still get it with a prescription," and that Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Patty Murray are "blocking" [von Eschenbach's] nomination [to head the FDA] until the FDA agrees to make "Plan B ... available without a prescription and without any restrictions on age or access." Both assertions are false.
In a July 31 report on the Food and Drug Administration's purported endorsement of the over-the-counter sale of the "morning-after" pill, or Plan B, for women 18 and older, NBC News correspondent Tom Costello falsely reported that the conservative Concerned Women for America "advocates" allowing women 18 and older to obtain the drug.
In addition to calling Al Gore a "total fag" on the July 27 edition of Hardball, Ann Coulter also falsely credited activists who oppose abortion rights with placing an abortion ban on the ballot in South Carolina. In fact, it was supporters of abortion rights in South Dakota who placed a measure on the November ballot that would allow voters to uphold or strike down a state law banning most abortions.
Rush Limbaugh claimed that "the militant pro-abortion crowd" is "behind" efforts to legalize federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, "because you need abortions to get these [embryos]." In fact, embryonic stem cells "are derived from embryos that develop from eggs that have been fertilized in vitro ... and then donated for research purposes with informed consent of the donors."
On Fox News' Your World, ABC anchor John Stossel advocated the legal sale of organs, citing the fact that "hot dogs don't spoil when we get to them" as evidence that "the market figures out ways to make these things work."
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The White House released a series of statements, reportedly initiated by new press secretary Tony Snow, attacking specific media reports and editorials as misleading. Conservatives in the media have touted the statements as indicative of a new willingness on the part of the White House communications office, led by Snow, to call the press on its misinformation. But Media Matters for America has found that, of the six "Setting the Record Straight" releases issued from May 8 to May 11, at least four are highly misleading.
Following a 700 Club segment about black ministers who oppose abortion, Pat Robertson claimed that Planned Parenthood supports "black genocide" and wanted to use Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as a black minister "who could do that for them."
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David Muir's report on the "morning-after" pill, or Plan B, on ABC's World News Tonight, included a conservative group's claim that allowing sales of the pill without a prescription would be unsafe, but provided no scientific evidence to support the claim, while omitting the fact that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) staff scientists and outside advisory panels have recommended that the FDA approve allowing over-the-counter sales.
Playing a clip of a 2005 speech in which Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said abortion should be "safe, legal, and rare," Chris Matthews suggested that she was being disingenuous and accused her of "trying to play it safe" on the issue in order to follow the "same poll-tested path" in 2008 as previous Democratic presidential nominees during failed bids for the White House. But Matthews offered no support for his suggestion that Clinton's 2005 statement on abortion was disingenuous, nor did he mention that she used exactly those words in describing her views on abortion in 1999.
On his daily BreakPoint radio commentary, convicted Watergate felon and Prison Fellowship Ministries founder Charles W. Colson claimed that legalized abortion created a labor shortage, forcing the United States to solicit undocumented workers from other countries to fill jobs that might have otherwise been occupied by the "40 million sacrificed since 1973" to abortion.