O'Reilly claimed Hillary Clinton supports "things most Christians do not," then dismissed example of GOP support for death penalty

››› ››› ROB MORLINO

Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) supports "things most Christians do not, i.e., partial birth abortion." In fact, Clinton has consistently said she would support a ban on late-term abortions so long as there were exceptions to protect the health and life of the pregnant woman.

During the March 23 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) supports "things most Christians do not, i.e., partial birth abortion." When Fox News political analyst Kirsten Powers responded to O'Reilly by pointing out that "there are Republicans who support the death penalty, which the Catholic Church is against," O'Reilly dismissed her suggestion that his attack on Clinton was inconsistent, saying "Look, we don't do the justifying [of] bad behavior by pointing to other bad behavior here."

In fact, Clinton has consistently said she would support a ban on late-term abortions so long as there were exceptions to protect the health and life of the pregnant woman. O'Reilly made the claim during a discussion with Powers about a March 22 statement by Sen. Clinton on an immigration reform bill passed by the House of Representatives in December 2005 providing for the criminal prosecution of anyone who in any way "assists, encourages, directs, or induces a person" to enter into or reside within the U.S. illegally, or who "transports, moves, harbors, conceals, or shields from detection" such a person. Clinton said, "It is certainly not in keeping with my understanding of the Scripture, because this bill would literally criminalize the good Samaritan and probably even Jesus himself."

During a 1999 visit to St. Louis, Pope John Paul II spoke out against the death penalty. "I renew the appeal I made most recently at Christmas for a consensus to end the death penalty, which is both cruel and unnecessary," he said. "Modern society has the means of protecting itself, without definitively denying criminals the chance to reform."

From the March 23 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: I mean, look, let's just deal with the record. Certainly Mrs. Clinton supports things that most Christians do not, i.e., partial birth abortion. OK?

POWERS: Well, by that, you could also say that there are Republicans who support the death penalty --

O'REILLY: Look --

POWERS: -- which the Catholic Church is against.

O'REILLY: -- we don't do the justifying bad behavior by pointing to other bad behavior here.

From the October 8, 2000, debate between Clinton and Rick Lazio, New York's then-candidates for the U.S. Senate:

LAZIO: Well, I had a pro-choice record in the House, and I believe in a woman's right to choose, and my record clearly reflects that. But I do support a ban on partial-birth abortions. I think most New Yorkers support a ban on partial-birth abortions. Senator [Daniel Patrick] Moynihan [D-NY] called it "infanticide." Even former [New York City] mayor Ed Koch agreed that this was too extreme a procedure. This is an area where I disagree with my opponent. My opponent opposes a ban on partial-birth abortions. She is supported by NARAL, that is so extreme on this issue that it wants to kick the Vatican out of the U.N. because of its positions. And one of her supporters is a person who developed partial-birth abortions and who's done it hundreds of times. I don't agree with that. I think that's where we draw the line, on partial-birth abortions, but I do support a woman's right to choose, and my record reflects it.

CLINTON: Well, my opponent is just wrong. I have said many times that I can support a ban on late-term abortions, including partial-birth abortions, so long as the health and life of the mother is protected. I've met women who faced this heart-wrenching decision toward the end of a pregnancy. Of course it's a horrible procedure. No one would argue with that. But if your life is at stake, if your health is at stake, if the potential for having any more children is at stake, this must be a woman's choice. Now, the Republicans, rather than wanting to craft legislation that would carve out the constitutional exception that [Supreme Court Justice] Sandra Day O'Connor pointed to in her most recent decision about life and health, instead they'd rather play a political football game with this and put women's lives and health at risk.

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