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Bill O’Reilly Misrepresents NY Times Editorial As A Way To Smear Pro-Choice Liberals

Reported by Priscilla - December 30, 2008 -

Last night’s (December 29th) “Talking Points” was yet another Bill O’Reilly hate and paranoia filled screed about how, if the “far left” got its way, it’s the end of the world as he knows it. Bill had a litany of fatuous and baseless accusations about what the NY Times is, supposedly, advocating. According to Bill, the newspaper that he loves to hate (and get his pitchfork wielding crowd to do the same – although they’re not the type who read the times – or who read at all!) “called for a repeal of a law that allows health care workers to opt out of the abortion industry.” As the saying goes, “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” As such, the misinformation that Bill puts out in short, unsubstantiated sound bites is scary as it incites a very uninformed base with information that, in this case, is a total LIE.

The editorial, “A Parting Shot At Women’s Rights” is excellent. It mentions the odious “global gag rule” that Bush imposed on his first day of office and then discusses the draconian changes to Health and Human Services rules that Bush has approved (at the behest of the anti-choice lobby) as a last, middle finger salute to American women. The editorial states, accurately, that “the new regulation aims to hinder women’s access to abortion, contraceptives and the information necessary to make decisions about their own health. What makes it worse is that the policy is wrapped up in a phony claim to safeguard religious freedom.” The editorial, accurately, states that the “conscience clause” which allows doctors and nurses to opt out of abortions is being expanded to included other categories. The new regulation even covers those who sterilize the instruments used in an abortion. As noted in the editorial, “the impact will be hardest on poor women who rely on public programs for their health care.” (Comment: But what does Bill care about poor women or women in general? Back in the "traditional" halcyon days of Bill's youth, which he would like to go back to, comfortable women from his neck of the woods got “D&C’s” when poor women were dying in botched, back alley abortions!) The regulations have an impact beyond abortion as it would allow pharmacists to refuse to provide the morning after pill – even in cases of rape. The pharmacist would be under no obligation to refer the women to another pharmacist or another pharmacy. It would allow religious hospitals to refuse to perform an abortion even when the woman’s life was in jeopardy. According to “Judith Waxman, a lawyer for the National Women's Law Center, "Leavitt's office has extended the law far beyond what was understood. "This goes way beyond abortion," she said. It could reach disputes over contraception, sperm donations and end-of-life care.” The rule covers any facility that receives federal funding and would permit the government to refuse funding to those facilities that “discriminate” against those who refuse to do their jobs. Senators Patty Murray and Hillary Rodham Clinton lobbied the Bush administration to not enact the rules; but to no avail. There is talk of reversing the decision by congressional legislation. The NY Times editorial stated: “The Health and Human Services regulation is due to become effective on Jan. 20, Inauguration Day. By acting right away to suspend its implementation, President-elect Barack Obama and his choice to succeed Mr. Leavitt, Tom Daschle, can block irresponsible changes that threaten people’s rights and defy the federal government’s duty on public health. They should do so, and promptly follow up with a formal rule-making proceeding to rescind the regulation once and for all. And they can get rid of the gag rule.”

Comment: Bill O’Reilly lies again. What the Times and many American women are proposing is rescinding a regulation that radically expands the HHS rule. They are NOT proposing getting rid of the “conscience clause.” And the issue goes far beyond "opting out of the abortion industry." But facts are unimportant when you are promoting a rightwing agenda. And BTW, please check out the Planned Parenthood website for Cecile (Governor Ann’s daughter) Richards explanation of this “final attack on women.” There is a link to a petition to request that President Elect Obama reverse the rule immediately. You know what to do.