O'Reilly falsely suggested no abortion laws prohibit abortions in cases of rape and incest

››› ››› LILY YAN

On his radio show, Bill O'Reilly falsely suggested that no state would prohibit abortions in cases of rape and incest if such a prohibition were constitutional. In fact, at least two states, South Dakota and Louisiana, have passed laws to take effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned that prohibit abortions even in cases of rape and incest.

During the August 26 broadcast of his radio program, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly claimed that "no law is going to prevent a woman from giving birth [sic] when she's raped or has incest. No law. Ever. It's the same thing with the parental notification. Every bill has an abuse clause in it. Every bill has. If you're afraid to tell your parents, if there's incest, if there's violence in your home, you can go to the courts and they'll decide whether you can have the abortion, not your parents, OK? Every law says it." He added: "But the crazies, the pro-abortion people, the people who worship at the altar of reproductive rights, don't care. They want abortion on demand, any kind of abortion at any time." In fact, at least two states have passed laws to take effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned that prohibit abortions even in cases of rape and incest:

  • In 2005, South Dakota passed an abortion ban that would take effect "on the date that the states are recognized by the United States Supreme Court to have the authority to prohibit abortion at all stages of pregnancy." The legislation allows an "[e]xception to preserve life of pregnant female" but no exceptions in cases of rape or incest.
  • In June 2006, Louisiana passed a law to take effect if the "Supreme Court ... reverses, in whole or in part, Roe v. Wade," that "[p]rohibits abortion, except when necessary to save the life of the mother." The bill removed clauses to the existing Louisiana abortion law that provided an exception for women to obtain an abortion in cases of rape or incest.

O'Reilly made his comments after an interview with Cliff Schecter, author of The Real McCain (PoliPointPress, May 2008), who said of women voters, "I think they're gonna look at the Republican platform and see the opposite side of the zealotry and see that, you know, when you've got a platform telling women that they have no control over their bodies when they're the victims of rape or incest, that they have absolutely no choices even early on in their pregnancy, I think that that is going to, you know, we're one justice away from that potentially becoming the law." Following the interview, a caller said, "I just called about Schecter's comment about abortion and sort of your reaction to it when he mentioned rape and incest being a huge issue for women in the suburbs. ... I find that to be a red herring issue that has absolutely nothing to do with abortion as an issue."

From the August 26 broadcast of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:

O'REILLY: If you have a changing society, OK?

SCHECTER: Yep.

O'REILLY: If you have a society that's not the same in 2008 that it was in 2000 -- and let's take the abortion issue. More and more and more, Planned Parenthood and the abortion zealots have made inroads. Now, 12-year-olds can have abortions and then their parents are not told.

Now, a guy in Kansas, George Tiller, OK, can kill a baby -- kill a baby -- a half-hour before the baby's supposed to be birthed for no reason whatsoever other than the mother has a pain in her foot. OK? Mother's health: pain in the foot, migraine headache, whatever it may be. So, anybody looking at this says, "You know, the spectrum has gone too far to the left and I'm gonna readjust my opinion to try to get it under control."

SCHECTER: Right.

O'REILLY: So, that's why I don't have that much problem with McCain's changing of positions.

SCHECTER: Well, here's what I would say to that. I think a lot of women -- particularly in the suburbs. I'm here in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio, and you see some of the changing demographics here. You see in a lot of places -- I think they're gonna look at the Republican platform and see the opposite side of the zealotry and see that, you know, when you've got a platform telling women that they have no control over their bodies when they're the victims of rape or incest, that they have absolutely no choices even early on in their pregnancy, I think that that is going to, you know, we're one justice away from that potentially becoming the law. A lot of women are frightened by that and --

OREILLY: Yeah, but they're mostly liberal women. Because if you saw the debate with Warren, McCain clearly won that because Obama waffled --

SCHECTER: Well, that's why --

O'REILLY: -- on when a person is a person. And McCain didn't.

[...]

O'REILLY: 1-877-9-NOSPIN. I'm gonna zip right to the phones and go to Elizabeth in St. Louis. What's going on, Elizabeth?

CALLER: Hey, Bill, I just called about Schecter's comment about abortion --

O'REILLY: Hmm-mm.

CALLER: -- and sort of your reaction to it when he mentioned rape and incest being a huge issue with women in the suburbs. First of all, I'm a woman in the suburbs. Second of all, I find that to be a red herring issue that has absolutely nothing to do with abortion as an issue. Women, when they're raped, can go to the hospital and get their uterus scraped. That's not anything to do with abortion at all. I mean, that -- rape and incest have -- are such a small percentage of any abortions in this country that I find that even giving it credence drives me insane.

O'REILLY: Listen, you're absolutely right that the abortion issue is very rarely honestly discussed. It's demagogue all over the place by both sides, but doctors will tell you -- look, first of all, very few American doctors will perform abortions, OK? I think it's less than 10 percent.

CALLER: Thank God.

O'REILLY: So that tells you something. OK. The second thing is, partial-birth abortion is never necessary with all the technology they have now -- never necessary.

Thirdly, as you pointed out, when there's a disaster, no law is going to prevent a woman from giving birth when she's raped or has incest. No law. Ever. It's the same thing with the parental notification. Every bill has an abuse clause in it. Every bill has. If you're afraid to tell your parents, if there's incest, if there's violence in your home, you can go to the courts and they'll decide whether you can have the abortion, not your parents, OK? Every law says it. But the crazies, the pro-abortion people, the people who worship at the altar of reproductive rights, don't care. They want abortion on demand, any kind of abortion at any time.

Posted In
Government, Health Care, Reproductive Rights
Network/Outlet
Westwood One
Person
Bill O'Reilly
Show/Publication
The Radio Factor
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