Research/Study Research/Study

STUDY: Fox News Used The Term “Baby Parts” In Reference To Planned Parenthood More Than Any Other Cable News Network

Fox News and Fox Business were responsible for 83 of 119 mentions of the phrase “baby parts” or “parts of babies” on major cable news networks from July 14, the day an anti-abortion group began releasing videos smearing Planned Parenthood, and November 26, the day before a gunman attacked a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood facility. The alleged gunman reportedly used the phrase “no more baby parts” in subsequently explaining his motivation to law enforcement.

  • Center For Medical Progress Released 11 Deceptively-Edited And Misleading Videos To Smear Planned Parenthood

    Center For Medical Progress (CMP) Has Released 11 Deceptive Videos Aimed At Smearing Planned Parenthood. Since July 14, a previously unknown anti-choice group called the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) has released 11 deceptively-edited videos containing undercover footage of discussions with Planned Parenthood personnel and staff members of private, for-profit biomedical procurement companies. The videos purport to show, and the accompanying press releases allege, that Planned Parenthood is illegally selling fetal tissue and altering abortion procedures in order to profit from the sale of fetal tissue. Scores of media outlets have reported that the combined footage shows no illegal behavior by, or on behalf of, Planned Parenthood, and that the words of Planned Parenthood personnel who were secretly filmed have been “grossly [taken] out of context.” [Media Matters, 8/31/15]

    Suspected Planned Parenthood Shooter Reportedly Used The Phrase “No More Baby Parts” To Explain His Actions

    Suspect In Planned Parenthood Shooting Reportedly Used The Phrase “No More Baby Parts” To Explain His Actions. According to a November 28 Washington Post report, Robert Lewis Dear Jr., the alleged shooter at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado, used the phrase “no more baby parts” to explain his actions, following his arrest. The Post also noted that a law enforcement official believed that the attack was “definitely politically motivated”:

    The gunman suspected of storming a Planned Parenthood clinic and killing a police officer and two others used the phrase "no more baby parts'' to explain his actions, according to a law enforcement official, a comment likely to further inflame the heated rhetoric surrounding abortion.

    The attack on the clinic, allegedly by Robert Lewis Dear Jr., was “definitely politically motivated,'' said the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is still underway. NBC News, which first reported the comment, said that Dear also mentioned President Obama in a range of statements to investigators that left his precise motivation unclear. [The Washington Post, 11/28/15]

    Leading Up To The Attack, The Phrases “Baby Parts” And “Parts Of Babies” Were Widely Repeated On Cable News Networks -- Fox News Led The Charge

    Use Of Term

    Cable News Networks Aired The Phrase “Baby Parts” Or “Parts Of Babies” 119 Times Between The Release Of The First CMP Video And The Attack On Planned Parenthood. In the time period between July 14, the date the first CMP video was released, and November 26, the day before the attack on the CO Planned Parenthood facility, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, Fox Business and CNBC aired the phrase “baby parts” or “parts of babies” 119 times.

    Fox News Aired The Phrase “Baby Parts” Or “Parts Of Babies” More Than Any Other Cable News Network. Of the 119 mentions of the phrase “baby parts” or “parts of babies” across the cable news networks, Fox News led the field with 72 mentions spread out across 14 separate shows. Sean Hannity's show Hannity aired the most mentions. Fox Business Network mentioned “baby parts” or “parts of babies” an additional 11 times. 

    “Baby Parts” And “Parts Of Babies” Phrases Were Aired On Cable News Networks 47 Times Outside Of Fox News. Outside of Fox News, CNN aired the second most mentions of the phrases “baby parts” and “parts of babies” on cable news networks, with 28 mentions, most of them stemming from CNN's three hour long morning show New Day. Fox Business aired 11 mentions, MSNBC aired six, and CNBC aired two mentions of either phrase.

    Anti-Abortion Activist Most Prevalent In Use Of Term “Baby Parts.” Among individuals who used the phrase “baby parts” or “parts of babies” on cable news networks, CMP's founder David Daleiden -- the person behind CMP's deceptive videos -- used the terms the most often. Daleiden appeared on CNN once and on Fox News five separate times, and used the term “baby parts” a total of 12 times. CNN's Chris Cuomo used the term the second most frequently with nine mentions during CNN's New Day. CNN political commentator Ben Ferguson used the terminology six times, as did Fox Business host Stuart Varney.

    Media Matters searched Lexis Nexis and IQ Media for the terms “baby parts” and “parts of babies” between July 14 and November 26, 2015 on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, and Fox Business. Re-aired episodes were not included in the results.