A Washington Times editorial claimed that "[t]he FDA and [Dr. Andrew] von Eschenbach have decided that women 18 and over should have "access" to the contraceptive pill known as Plan B, "while younger women can still get it with a prescription," and that Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Patty Murray are "blocking" [von Eschenbach's] nomination [to head the FDA] until the FDA agrees to make "Plan B ... available without a prescription and without any restrictions on age or access." Both assertions are false.
In a July 31 report on the Food and Drug Administration's purported endorsement of the over-the-counter sale of the "morning-after" pill, or Plan B, for women 18 and older, NBC News correspondent Tom Costello falsely reported that the conservative Concerned Women for America "advocates" allowing women 18 and older to obtain the drug.
In addition to calling Al Gore a "total fag" on the July 27 edition of Hardball, Ann Coulter also falsely credited activists who oppose abortion rights with placing an abortion ban on the ballot in South Carolina. In fact, it was supporters of abortion rights in South Dakota who placed a measure on the November ballot that would allow voters to uphold or strike down a state law banning most abortions.
Rush Limbaugh claimed that "the militant pro-abortion crowd" is "behind" efforts to legalize federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, "because you need abortions to get these [embryos]." In fact, embryonic stem cells "are derived from embryos that develop from eggs that have been fertilized in vitro ... and then donated for research purposes with informed consent of the donors."
Following a 700 Club segment about black ministers who oppose abortion, Pat Robertson claimed that Planned Parenthood supports "black genocide" and wanted to use Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as a black minister "who could do that for them."
Loading the player leg...
David Muir's report on the "morning-after" pill, or Plan B, on ABC's World News Tonight, included a conservative group's claim that allowing sales of the pill without a prescription would be unsafe, but provided no scientific evidence to support the claim, while omitting the fact that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) staff scientists and outside advisory panels have recommended that the FDA approve allowing over-the-counter sales.
Playing a clip of a 2005 speech in which Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said abortion should be "safe, legal, and rare," Chris Matthews suggested that she was being disingenuous and accused her of "trying to play it safe" on the issue in order to follow the "same poll-tested path" in 2008 as previous Democratic presidential nominees during failed bids for the White House. But Matthews offered no support for his suggestion that Clinton's 2005 statement on abortion was disingenuous, nor did he mention that she used exactly those words in describing her views on abortion in 1999.
On his daily BreakPoint radio commentary, convicted Watergate felon and Prison Fellowship Ministries founder Charles W. Colson claimed that legalized abortion created a labor shortage, forcing the United States to solicit undocumented workers from other countries to fill jobs that might have otherwise been occupied by the "40 million sacrificed since 1973" to abortion.
On his nationally syndicated radio program, Glenn Beck said of Native Americans who are considering circumventing a new South Dakota law banning nearly all abortions by opening an abortion clinic on an Indian reservation in the state: "Indians will have found something that can be more profitable than casinos, and that's abortion clinics. And then, look out, man -- exploiting everything illegal for profit."
Washingtonpost.com's newly hired Republican blogger Ben Domenech, in a post about the Supreme Court on his previous weblog, wrote that "[t]he worst black-robed men and women are worse then [sic] the KKK." He also asked rhetorically: "In the past 30 years, how many innocent lives has the KKK ended? How about the Judiciary?"
During a conversation about the potential presidential candidacy of Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, MSNBC's Chris Matthews misrepresented the position of Shannon O'Brien, Romney's Democratic opponent in the 2002 gubernatorial election, on parental consent requirements for pregnant teenagers seeking an abortion.
A Cybercast News Service article falsely reported that Rev. Jane Holmes Dixon, a retired Episcopal bishop of Washington, D.C., called the Mexico City Policy -- a Reagan-era rule, reinstated by President Bush, that prohibits U.S. funding of international groups that provide abortion services -- a "disgrace." In fact, Dixon was referring to Bush's proposed cuts in financing for international family planning programs.
Focus on the Family's James C. Dobson accused Harper's Magazine of "say[ing] the most crazy things" for reporting that he is "in favor of people who want to execute abortionists." In fact, Dobson has endorsed at least two political candidates, Randall Terry and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), who have expressed support for executing "abortionists."
An editorial in the Los Angeles Times misrepresented the position of President Bush on a South Dakota law banning all abortions except in cases in which a woman's life is threatened by a pregnancy. MSNBC host Chris Matthews also misstated Sen. John McCain's position on the bill.
A Wall Street Journal article on the constitutionality of South Dakota's recently passed abortion ban stated that Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito "expressed skepticism about abortion rights while working for the Reagan administration." However, the suggestion that Alito merely "expressed skepticism" about abortion rights mischaracterizes his clearly articulated view that there is no constitutional right to abortion.