Fox News is the media mouthpiece for those who not only want to eliminate a woman's right to an abortion, but are also very upset that health care policies now cover contraception, which they equate with abortion, at no cost. The newest "outrage" in the pro-life community is an ad that, without the aid of Fox News, would be just another video among many done by the Center for Reproductive Rights. On Wednesday, "The Five" provided an echo chamber for pro-life indignation. Later in the evening, Sean Hannity used the ad as a means to attack the president about votes he took in the Illinois legislature (big, big, big in pro-life land) and whine about how he's forced to pay for women's birth control. Poor Hannity!
The ad in question is a PSA done by the Center for Reproductive Rights. It is one of several that feature Hollywood personalities. The ads encourage viewers to go to the Center's website and sign a petition regarding reproductive freedom, to be sent to politicians. This ad features the actor, Mehcad Brooks, in the persona of a man who is celebrating an anniversary which we learn is the 40th anniversary of Roe V Wade. While it might have been created as satire, one can understand why many have taken offense to his smooth and seductive tones, a legitimate point given the seriousness of abortion.
On Wednesday night, Hannity began with a backdrop framing the requisite Fox message for the day: "Roe V Wade Anniversary Outrage." He reported on the "downright offensive video" to "quote, celebrate." He played the video. Hannity asked Democratic strategist Penny Lee if she found it "cold and callous." She agreed that it was "outrageous."
Hannity then launched into his attack on the president: "One of the things that surprised me as we had this war on women during this last election cycle was Barack Obama voted three times against the born alive infant protection act where children that survived botched abortions would be guaranteed medical help." He expressed surprise that "that didn't become a bigger issue." Fact Check - This bogus issue was dealt with during the 2008 election. It concerns Obama's votes against a law that he and others including Republicans felt would abolish the right to abortion in Illinois. By the time that the bill had language protecting abortion, Obama was in the US Senate. Eric Zorn has a detailed account.
Katie Pavlich, from the right wing "Townhall," claimed that "the left" has "trivialized" abortion which "is a serious medical procedure which has psychological damage on women who undergo the procedure for years to come." Fact Check - The pro-life meme that abortion causes depression is not supported by the evidence. She said it wasn't brought up in the last election. Fact Check - It was used by various anti-abortion groups and cited, by Mike Huckabee, in a speech during the Republican convention.
When Hannity asked Lee what she thought of Obama's "policy" on born alive, she said she "disagrees with him." (Huh? This is federal law about which Obama has made, as far as I know, no statement). She expressed the hope that abortion would be "safe, legal, and rare" and that motherhood should be supported - a laughable assertion given that Hannity doesn't support a safety net.
Hannity claimed that "access to contraception" is a "false argument" because birth control is cheap and available. Fact Check - IUD's are expensive. He advanced the bogus right wing meme that "people want the government to pay for it, why should I pay for it. Why should any hard working taxpayer pay for it." Fact Check - It's insurance companies that are paying for it - insurance that, in many cases, women are also paying for. Pavlich said that we shouldn't have to pay for abortions and birth control. Fact Check - We don't pay for abortions per the Hyde Amendment. Hannity accused those who are pro-choice of "celebrating" abortion.
Word to Hannity: Roe is something to be celebrated - but in somber and reflective tones that address the horrors of what went before - something that is never addressed on Fox News which values fetuses and those in vegetative states (think Hannity and Terri Schiavo). And once those fetuses become poor children, they're just part of the lazy moochers who want free stuff!!!!
I’m 51 years old.
I have 2 children.
Draw your own conclusions.