On the April 23 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Michael Savage played an audio clip of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-NY) April 20 speech at Rutgers University in which Clinton commented on the April 18 Supreme Court ruling that upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. In the clip, Clinton asked, "What message does it send when the Supreme Court decides that women's health doesn't matter?" In response, Savage stated: "That's rubbish. That's Hitler dialogue. [Joseph] Goebbels [information minister in Nazi Germany] would be proud of you, Hillary Clinton. I know [former Chinese communist leader] Mao Zedong would have been proud of you." Savage also referred to Clinton as a "liar" and a "sickening person," and added, "[T]his is life and death you are talking about. It's not about women's health."
However, statements by experts on gynecology and obstetrics contradict Savage's assertion that the ban is "not about women's health." In a dissent to the Supreme Court's majority opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted that the court's decision "tolerates, indeed applauds, federal intervention to ban nationwide a procedure found necessary and proper in certain cases by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)." Ginsburg also wrote: "Retreating from prior rulings that abortion restrictions cannot be imposed absent an exception safeguarding a woman's health, the Court upholds an Act that surely would not survive under the close scrutiny that previously attended state-decreed limitations on a woman's reproductive choices."
Ginsburg went on to cite experts opposed to the ban who said that the procedure "is significantly safer for women with certain pregnancy-related conditions, such as placenta previa and accreta, and for women carrying fetuses with certain abnormalities, such as severe hydrocephalus."
Furthermore, an April 18 press release from the ACOG quoted its president, Dr. Douglas W. Laube, saying that the decision to uphold the ban is "shameful and incomprehensible." The statement also reiterated the ACOG's assertion that the ban "gravely endanger[s] the health of women in this country."
As Media Matters for America has noted, Savage often lashes out against prominent Democrats and progressives. He has referred to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) as "a loud-mouthed, foul-tempered woman," and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) as a "dirty socialist" who should "go to hell." Savage also "doubt[ed]" that Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) "would take our side" after a terrorist attack. Savage has also provided a platform for InsightMag.com's Jeffrey Kuhner to repeatedly smear Clinton with false and debunked claims.
Talk Radio Network, which syndicates Savage's show, says that Savage is heard on more than 350 radio stations. The Savage Nation reaches more than 8 million listeners each week, according to Talkers Magazine, making it the third most-listened-to talk radio show in the nation, behind only The Rush Limbaugh Show and The Sean Hannity Show.
From the April 23 broadcast of Talk Radio Network's The Savage Nation:
CLINTON [audio clip]: We've all seen it, and we have all heard it. When women and girls are objectified and devalued in popular culture, when a young black man can't get a cab at night, when a Muslim-American is a victim of a hate crime in the aftermath of 9-11, when a gay person is harassed at school or in the workplace. It even happens in a broader context, when people are silenced because they don't adhere to a particular --
SAVAGE: All right, turn her off. Hillary Clinton has and always will be a divider. Hillary Clinton has and always will be a race-baiter, a class-baiter. Hillary Clinton, plain and simple, has not changed at all. She may believe she did. And the fools in New York City were fooled by her. They like to think they're smarter than everybody. They're not smarter than anybody. They're rubes. I've found people in New York to be the biggest rubes in America because -- for one reason: They think they're smarter than everybody. And those who think they're smarter than everybody are usually the rube, by the way. And so they objectify anybody who lives west of the Hudson [River], ya hear? That's not objectification?
SAVAGE: Listen again to clip 10 now.
CLINTON [audio clip]: What message does it send when the Supreme Court decides that women's health doesn't matter? Now that Justice --
SAVAGE: Hold it, hold it. Women's health? You liar. You know, you are really a sickening person, Hillary. I've got to tell you, I've kept my hands away from this. But I will not stand idly by while you're talking about killing embryos up to the ninth month and call it women's health. That's rubbish. That's Hitler dialogue. Goebbels would be proud of you, Hillary Clinton. I know Mao Zedong would have been proud of you. But this is life and death you are talking about. It's not about women's health. It's about killing babies in the womb up to the ninth month.