Weekly Standard executive editor and FOX News Channel host Fred Barnes misrepresented Senator John Kerry's position on abortion, falsely asserting that Kerry is "against a ban on partial-birth abortion. And he also is against parental consent." Barnes made this false assertion during the October 10 edition of FOX Broadcasting Company's FOX News Sunday, on which he is a weekly panelist.
As Media Matters for America has noted, Kerry has, in fact, voted to restrict late-term abortions "where there was a clear exception for [the] life or health of women." Regarding the issue of parental notification for teenagers seeking abortions, Kerry voted for an amendment that would have required parental notification except in certain cases, such as pregnancies that resulted from incest with a parent or when a doctor determined that notifying a parent could lead to abuse.
Barnes ignored the fact that Kerry explained his position on these issues during the October 8 presidential debate:
KERRY: I'm against the partial-birth abortion, but you've got to have an exception for the life of the mother and the health of the mother under the strictest test of bodily injury to the mother. Secondly, with respect to parental notification, I'm not going to require a 16- or 17-year-old kid who's been raped by her father and who's pregnant to have to notify her father. So you got to have a judicial intervention. And because they didn't have a judicial intervention where she could go somewhere and get help, I voted against it. It's never quite as simple as the president wants you to believe.