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In Promoting “Pro-Life” Talking Points, Bill O’Reilly Smears Dr. Tiller, Kathleen Sebelius, and American Women

Reported by Priscilla - April 29, 2009 -

On Monday night’s (April 27th) “Reality Check” segment, Bill O’Reilly continued his smear of Dr. Tiller and Kathleen Sebelius. But it really isn’t surprising given that Fox News provides a forum for the talking points of the conservative Christian right wing and the number one issue for that group is abortion. Poor Bill just can’t deal with the fact that Dr. Tiller continues to perform legal, late term abortions – despite Bill’s ongoing incendiary rhetoric that includes the catch phrase “Tiller the baby killer” – which is, from a legal perspective, totally erroneous as Dr. Tiller was recently acquitted of performing illegal abortions. And despite Bill’s last little smear of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, her nomination for Secretary of Health of Human Services was approved, yesterday, by the Senate in a 65 to 31 vote. But in smearing Tiller and Sebelius, O’Reilly also smeared women who, for whatever reasons, opt to have late term abortions.

O’Reilly wanted to let viewers know that Sebelius recently vetoed a bill restricting late term abortions in Kansas which, according to Bill, was introduced “because of the notorious 'Tiller the baby killer' where Dr. Tiller destroys fetuses for just about any reason right up until the birth date for $5,000.” He added that Sebelius is “one of the most pro-abortion politicians.” Like the Fox News “Grapevine,” this little tid-bit provided maximum propaganda with minimum fact. If Bill were a responsible “journalist,” he would have provided the salient detail that Sebelius felt that the bill contained provisions that might be unconstitutional, one of which would allow a woman or immediate relatives to sue an abortion provider suspected of violating the state abortions law. She stated that “The provisions in this bill that would allow for the criminal prosecution of a physician intending to comply with the law will lead to the intimidation of health care providers and reduce access to comprehensive health care for women, even when it is necessary to preserve their lives and health. While I agree that we should try to reduce the number of abortions, it cannot be at the increased risk to the life or health of women.” Ah, there’s the rub, “intimidation” of health care providers – something near and dear to O’Reilly and his anti-choice zealots who want to create a climate in which fewer doctors perform abortions which would thus limit a woman’s reproductive options. And intimidation does seem to be part of Bill's "journalism" playbook.

But let’s deconstruct O’Reilly’s LIE that Tiller is destroying fetuses “for just about any reason right up until the birth…” “Abortions after the 22nd week of pregnancy are illegal in Kansas unless necessary to prevent serious health threats to the woman” – ergo, the reasons are clearly stipulated. Late term abortions are done, in accordance with federal statute and a SCOTUS decision, when there are fetuses that are dying, malformed, or threatening the mother’s life. But misogynist Bill seems to think that if the gals are having a bad hair day, they drop by Dr. Tiller’s clinic. Bill’s use of the “pro-abortion” descriptor was straight out of the “pro-life” movement. Bill doesn’t understand that those of us who support a woman’s right to have an abortion, support her right to choose between childbirth and abortion. To say that we promote abortion is totally wrong as, once again, we support a woman’s choice – something that far right zealots, like Bill O’Reilly, would eliminate. But Bill is a “traditionalist” who yearns for the “good old days” when women died as a result of botched, illegal abortions.

So thanks Bill for your continuing denigration of women who, in the case of a late term abortion, face the decision which, if not allowed, could result in their deaths. And thanks for the incendiary terminology about “baby killing” (The legal and scientific term is fetus. The “baby” terminology is religious and, I might add, not embraced by all religions) as it motivated those who murdered abortions providers and who sought (and still seek) to vandalize abortion clinics. It’s terminology that inspires all of your pals who scream at women who, for whatever reason, make a decision to walk into an abortion clinic.

Don’t ya love it when a 59 year old, right wing conservative male media TV “journalist,” (or whatever the hell he is) with a past accusation of sexual harassment, opines on personal decisions that women make regarding their bodies. Just who, exactly, is Bill O’Reilly “looking out for” because it sure isn’t women.