The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post all reported Sen. John McCain's assertion at a forum hosted by Pastor Rick Warren that he believes "a baby [is] entitled to human rights" "[a]t the moment of conception." But none of the articles raised the question of how McCain reconciles this statement with his support for federal funding of embryonic stem cell research and certain exceptions to a ban on abortion.
In The Case Against Barack Obama, David Freddoso misrepresents findings by the Illinois state government to claim that a statement by Sen. Barack Obama explaining his opposition to a bill that amended the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975 was "not true." Obama asserted that "measures mandat[ing] lifesaving measures for premature babies" were "already the law" in Illinois. Freddoso falsely asserts that the Illinois Department of Public Health and a letter from the Illinois attorney general's office refute Obama's statement. They do not; indeed, a reported statement by the Public Health Department supports it.
Discussing Jerome Corsi's The Obama Nation, Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama "numerous times, three times in Illinois voted for legislation that would allow doctors and patients to murder babies who survived abortions and were out of the womb. Radical stuff. Three times he voted for this." Limbaugh misrepresented the legislation Obama voted against, a bill that amended the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975 and that opponents said was unnecessary, as the Illinois criminal code unequivocally prohibits killing children, and posed a threat to abortion rights.
Jerome Corsi, author of the book, The Obama Nation, falsely claimed on Hannity's America that Sen. Barack Obama said, "Even if a child was born ... the woman still had the right to kill the child in an abortion." Corsi similarly falsely asserted on Hannity & Colmes that "[a]fter a child's born, Obama ... in the [Illinois] state Senate, wanted the child killed if the mother desired an abortion," and on Sean Hannity's radio program, said that "Obama's on record as let's kill the baby if that's what the mother wants." In fact, Obama has never supported giving people the right to kill their children.
Discussing the issue of whether health insurance plans that cover Viagra should also cover birth control, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly asserted: "Viagra is used to help a medical condition -- that's why it's covered. Birth control is not a medical condition, it is a choice." But O'Reilly's assertion is contradicted by professional medical associations that have stated that pregnancy is a medical condition and that "[c]ontraception is medically necessary" for women.
On Hardball, Chris Matthews asserted, "I don't hear Democrats talk ... about the need to reduce the number of abortions." He continued: "[Y]ou don't hear them talking a lot about the need for education, for much fewer, maybe enormously fewer, unwanted pregnancies, which is the reason people get abortions." In fact, Sen. Barack Obama said in April, "[W]e should be doing everything we can to avoid unwanted pregnancies that might even lead somebody to consider having an abortion."
On Hardball, George Will described female pro-choice voters as "women who believe, in the words of Barack Obama, that they shouldn't be punished with a baby." As video of Obama's remarks shows, Obama was discussing sex education, not abortion, when he made the comment Will highlighted.
In recent comparisons of Barack Obama's and John McCain's positions, Gannett News Service and the Associated Press claimed that McCain opposes a constitutional amendment banning abortion. However, McCain has previously asserted that he supports such an amendment, and McCain advisers have reportedly said that he would not try to change the Republican Party's platform on abortion, which in 2004 called for a constitutional ban on abortion.
Ed Henry and Jessica Yellin joined the growing list of CNN anchors and reporters who have embraced the lexicon of social conservatives, characterizing Christian conservative voters as "values voters" and equating an opposition to abortion rights with "family values." Henry suggested that support for reproductive choice is not a "family value" and that being pro-choice is inconsistent with being "pro-family," while Yellin suggested that those who are not "white evangelical voters" vote on something other than values.
Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson suggested that Sen. Barack Obama should "come out strongly for policies that would reduce the number of abortions -- support for pregnant women, abstinence education, the responsible promotion of birth control." In fact, Obama has advocated the policies Gerson mentioned: "education" that "include[s] abstinence" and "information about contraception."
Nationally syndicated radio talk-show host Hugh Hewitt falsely asserted that Sen. Barack Obama had "gotten a question or into a debate about abortion rights for minors" when he said of his two daughters: "[I]f they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby. I don't want them punished with an STD at the age of 16." In fact, Obama was responding to a question about "the issue of HIV and AIDS and also sexually transmitted diseases with young girls."
On MSNBC Live, NBC News' Andrea Mitchell falsely suggested that Sen. Barack Obama was discussing abortion when he said of his two daughters at a March 29 campaign event: "I don't want them punished with a baby." In fact, as CNN reported, Obama's comments were in response to "a question about how his administration, if he's elected, would deal with the issue of HIV and AIDS and also sexually transmitted diseases with young girls."
A Washington Times editorial falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama "argu[ed] cold-bloodedly on the Illinois Senate floor that babies who survive botched late-term abortions should not be considered 'persons' because this would be tantamount to admitting 'that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a -- a child, a 9-month old -- child that was delivered to term.' " In fact, he was not discussing "late-term abortions" in the remarks the editorial highlighted; Obama was asserting that the bill in question, which was not limited to late-term abortions, would "essentially bar abortions."
A Washington Post article by Dan Balz described Rudy Giuliani as "[a]t odds with the majority of his party on abortion, guns and gays," but failed to note that Giuliani has shifted his position on these issues, moving toward more conservative stances on them, since launching his campaign for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.
In an article on "what you might not know about" Sen. Barack Obama, The Washington Post's John Solomon wrote that, as a state senator, Obama "declined to take a position" on parental notification legislation, "voting 'present' instead of 'yes' or 'no.' " Solomon continued: "But five years earlier, he had filled out an issues questionnaire ... opposing such notifications." But Obama's "present" votes were reportedly part of a strategy he had worked out with the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council, which opposed the measures.