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Megyn Kelly Promotes Anti-Choice, Anti Kagan Myth About Late Term Abortions

Reported by Priscilla - June 30, 2010 -

Fox “News,” as the mouthpiece for the right wing, never wastes an opportunity to provide support for those who oppose abortion. The most overt example of this anti-choice sentiment was Bill O’Reilly’s smear campaign against Dr. George Tiller. Tiller performed legal late term abortions and was murdered by a man who shares Bill O’Reilly’s anti-abortion views. In disparaging women who utilized Tiller’s services, O’Reilly claimed that women had these abortions if they were just having a bad hair day. Fox “news” woman, Megyn Kelly also let her feelings be known about late term abortions and, in a discussion about Tiller, used the term “baby” rather than fetus and “murder” for abortion. Recently, however, during a discussion with Bill O’Reilly, Kelly defended SCOTUS Judge Ginsburg dissent on a so called “partial birth” abortion ban decision. While O’Reilly spouted the requisite anti-choice talking points, Kelly argued from reality based facts and distinguished “fetus” from “baby.” Thus, it was surprising to learn that Kelly, in discussing SCOTUS nominee Elena Kagan’s abortion rights record, distorted Kagan’s position to say that Kagan’s support of a health exception (which was Ginsburg’s position) on late term abortion would allow women who just had a “headache” to obtain an abortion. Interesting – has the anti-choice movement given Fox “News” their marching orders?

Yesterday, on America’s Newsroom, Kelly didn’t use the qualifier, “so called” to the term “partial birth abortion.” The term “partial birth abortion” was coined by anti-choicers and the National Council of Catholic Bishops to make the procedure, “intact dilation and extraction,” seem “gruesome” and thus provide a basis for banning it under all circumstances. When Kagan was Solicitor General, she advised President Clinton to "support a proposal that would ban abortions after the fetus has become viable with a narrowly drawn health exception that would apply only if a physician 'certifies that continuation of the pregnancy would ... risk grievous injury to [the mother's] physical health'." It was hoped that Clinton's support of the "compromise" health exception proposals being developed by two Democratic senators, in a less restrictive bill, would prevent an override of a Clinton veto of the more restrictive bill.

Kelly provided a Fox “News” shout out to the anti-choice audience: “And critics of partial-birth abortion, a gruesome procedure, say you put a health exception into that ban and women -- women can go in essentially who abuse the law for a headache, and get an abortion in the third trimester in a way that's very gruesome.”

Comment: “Gruesome” is an editorial comment and on word used by the anti-choice lobby (anti-choice zealot Jill Stanek uses "heinous" and "gross") to describe a form of late term abortion. As a “news” person, Kelly shouldn’t be making subjective, value judgments about a medical procedure. But she really showed her anti- choice slip and her contempt for women in a difficult situation, when she misrepresented the health exception by referring to women who “abuse” the law “for a headache.” Hopefully, Ms. Megyn will never be in a situation where carrying a fetus to term could result in "a severely debilitating disease or impairment specifically caused by the pregnancy, or an inability to provide necessary treatment for a life-threatening condition." In other words, rather than just a headache, she could die! But hey, this is Fox “News” and in the interests of “real journalism,” they have a duty to present “news” – the “news” being whatever talking points the radical right wing gives them. A quick perusal of anti-choice websites shows that they oppose Kagan because they feel she is sympathetic to a woman’s right to an abortion. Thus, for Kelly, the talking points are all about smearing Kagan by painting her as sympathetic to those nasty bad girls who get abortions because they have “headaches.” Of course, the reality for both Kagan’s advice to Clinton and the women needing late term abortions is very different – but then this is Fox “News” after all!