In recent comparisons of Barack Obama's and John McCain's positions, Gannett News Service and the Associated Press claimed that McCain opposes a constitutional amendment banning abortion. However, McCain has previously asserted that he supports such an amendment, and McCain advisers have reportedly said that he would not try to change the Republican Party's platform on abortion, which in 2004 called for a constitutional ban on abortion.
Ed Henry and Jessica Yellin joined the growing list of CNN anchors and reporters who have embraced the lexicon of social conservatives, characterizing Christian conservative voters as "values voters" and equating an opposition to abortion rights with "family values." Henry suggested that support for reproductive choice is not a "family value" and that being pro-choice is inconsistent with being "pro-family," while Yellin suggested that those who are not "white evangelical voters" vote on something other than values.
Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson suggested that Sen. Barack Obama should "come out strongly for policies that would reduce the number of abortions -- support for pregnant women, abstinence education, the responsible promotion of birth control." In fact, Obama has advocated the policies Gerson mentioned: "education" that "include[s] abstinence" and "information about contraception."
Nationally syndicated radio talk-show host Hugh Hewitt falsely asserted that Sen. Barack Obama had "gotten a question or into a debate about abortion rights for minors" when he said of his two daughters: "[I]f they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby. I don't want them punished with an STD at the age of 16." In fact, Obama was responding to a question about "the issue of HIV and AIDS and also sexually transmitted diseases with young girls."
On MSNBC Live, NBC News' Andrea Mitchell falsely suggested that Sen. Barack Obama was discussing abortion when he said of his two daughters at a March 29 campaign event: "I don't want them punished with a baby." In fact, as CNN reported, Obama's comments were in response to "a question about how his administration, if he's elected, would deal with the issue of HIV and AIDS and also sexually transmitted diseases with young girls."
A Washington Times editorial falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama "argu[ed] cold-bloodedly on the Illinois Senate floor that babies who survive botched late-term abortions should not be considered 'persons' because this would be tantamount to admitting 'that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a -- a child, a 9-month old -- child that was delivered to term.' " In fact, he was not discussing "late-term abortions" in the remarks the editorial highlighted; Obama was asserting that the bill in question, which was not limited to late-term abortions, would "essentially bar abortions."
A Washington Post article by Dan Balz described Rudy Giuliani as "[a]t odds with the majority of his party on abortion, guns and gays," but failed to note that Giuliani has shifted his position on these issues, moving toward more conservative stances on them, since launching his campaign for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.
In an article on "what you might not know about" Sen. Barack Obama, The Washington Post's John Solomon wrote that, as a state senator, Obama "declined to take a position" on parental notification legislation, "voting 'present' instead of 'yes' or 'no.' " Solomon continued: "But five years earlier, he had filled out an issues questionnaire ... opposing such notifications." But Obama's "present" votes were reportedly part of a strategy he had worked out with the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council, which opposed the measures.
In an interview on This Week, George Stephanopoulos did not challenge Fred Thompson's assertions that "I think ... that Roe versus Wade should be overturned" and that "I've had a pro-life voting record my entire career on every conceivable issue that came up before us for almost a decade." Similarly the Politico reported that Thompson "trumpeted his own anti-abortion credentials after receiving the endorsement of the National Right to Life Committee." Neither Stephanopoulos nor the Politico noted that Thompson has reportedly expressed support for abortion rights, as well as for Roe v. Wade.