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O'Reilly Defends Abortion

Reported by Marie Therese - November 15, 2004 -

A quick note to our readers. This and a few of my subsequent posts are late. Occasionally, life takes over and writing posts must drop to the bottom of the priority list. I'm reporting on these topics because I think they further illuminate the new themes of the Bush administration as promoted by FOX News Channel.

On November 11, 2004 Bill O'Reilly made a 180 degree shift and supported a teenager's right to choose without notifying her parents first.

O'Reilly defended a Texas Supreme Court Judge who sided with a 17-year-old girl and allowed her to obtain an abortion without first notifying her parents.

Shocking, you say? Not when I tell you that the name of that Texas Judge was Alberto Gonzales, current White House Counsel, defender of torturing prisoners and Attorney General-elect of the United States.

My transcript follows. Note how O'Reilly - notorious for excoriating "liberal activist judges" - twists in the wind as he endeavors to justify Gonzales' actions.

O'Reilly: We like President Bush's nominee for Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales. His tough stance against terrorism is what's needed in this very dangerous world. But, some conservatives have doubts about Gonzales, because of an underage abortion controversy. Joining us from San Antonio, Texas is Allan Parker, a lawyer for the Justice Foundation, a parents rights advocacy group. Now, this happened in the year 2000 when Gonzales was on the Supreme Court of Texas and involved a 17-year-old girl who got pregnant, wanted to have an abortion, but didn't want to tell her father, because she feared he would physically abuse her. Pick it up from there.

PARKER: Under the Texas Parental Notification law, there are three provisions where a girl can go to court and get permission to have an abortion without notifying her parents.

One of those is emotional abuse. The other is if she's sufficiently mature and the other is if it is in her best interests to do so. The case you're talking about was one of several that were very controversial and dealt with emotional abuse. And, of course, the law and everyone would agree if there's a serious risk of emotional injury, then probably there should not be parental notification....The question is - what is it? If a girl says "My parents would kill me if they knew I was pregnant," is that really emotional abuse?

O'Reilly: But this girl was quite specific and this girl said she would be beaten by her father and could prove it by pointing [to] what happened to her siblings and [she] would be thrown out of the house, if he knew. And so Gonzales said "That's enough for me. If that kind of evidence is put forth in the court, I'll allow the girl to have the abortion and have the state be the ward." I mean, I don't have a problem with that. But maybe I'm not seein' the whole case?

PARKER: The case that I'm most familiar with and some of the other, it was a much lower standard...

O'Reilly (interrupts and overtalks the last 5 words so casual listener would not know what Parker said): But I want to talk about this 17-year-old girl because this was the one he divided on. The conservatives came down on him. This is the one, because she was gonna have the abortion in the second trimester, which made it even more intense.

PARKER: Yeah. They tend to all be 17-year-old girls. These are girls [who] tend to be under the age and some of the conservatives, for example, if you were interested in their opinions in the case, said that the girl did not offer sufficient evidence of emotional injury and one of the things that's different in these cases - the parent is not there to defend himself or herself ...

O'Reilly: That's true.

PARKER: ... from the charges.

O'Reilly: That's true.

PARKER: And some people think that, therefore, someone must take some active interest in presenting the parents' view. Some people want to reform it by - if there's danger of abuse ...

O'Reilly (interrupts and overtalks last 6 words): But, do you see the ...

PARKER: ... provide an advocate.

O'Reilly: You see the difficulty here. This is an enormously difficult problem for both the courts and the girl and the family. If the girl's telling the truth and her father is an abusive guy and he's gonna slug her and throw her out as soon as the state tells the father that this is in play, father's gonna wig out. If the girl is just makin' it up, because she doesn't want to be embarassed in front of the father - so Gonzales, I guess, I think he's a responsible guy. I mean, c'mon, he's the Presidential Counsel. He looks into it. He sided on the girl's - don't you have to give Gonzales the benefit of the doubt here?

PARKER: Well, I think Gonzales was sort of in the middle of the court on this issue. He was ...

O'Reilly: He sided with the girl.

PARKER: ... with the majority of the court. Yes, and in most of the cases, he sent it back for lower courts to look into it in more depth and more detail. The Legislature didn't define these terms, so the court had to. And members of the court split on what the definitions ought to be and sometimes they split on what the standard of proof ought to be, because that's another serious questions in a case like this....

O'Reilly: Right.

PARKER: ... how much evidence do you need to establish this?

O'Reilly: I mean, But ...

PARKER: The members of the court disagree.

O'Reilly: I'm gonna give Gonzales the benefit of the doubt here. I mean, I'm not gonna be mad at him because he sided with this 17-year-old girl. Because I figure that Gonzales is responsible enough to make the decision based on evidence. I'll give you the last word.

PARKER: Well, I think the conservatives said it should have been the trial court, who saw the girl, making that determination. He could tell whether of not she was telling the truth or not and they were somewhat concerned that the Supreme Court [of Texas] was throwing out what the lower courts had done, who had a better chance to see the girl.


Just imagine that this was a "liberal" judge. Do you honestly believe that O'Reilly would be willing to give THAT judge "the benefit of the doubt"? In a pig's eye! This is one of the clearest examples of pro-Bush bias I've seen on FOX.

To read about how FOX News feels about judges and the courts in general go to any one of these posts:

The Legacy of Torture, 6/17/04

Weekly Feeding of the Faithful, 6/26/04

When It Comes to Terrorism Lose the Constitution, 11/10/04

Where Do the Civil Liberties Weight In?, 11/13/04