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Way to Completely Misrepresent the “Conscience” Issue, Fox News

March 5, 2009

…by making it seem as though the idea that providers might go to jail for refusing to perform abortions if the Bush “conscience” rule is overturned by the Obama administration is legitimate or realistic at all. Because when you repeat and emphasize quotes that people would rather “go to jail” than do abortions, you completely ignore all of the existing rules that already allow providers to choose not to perform abortions. I don’t recall people rounding up Catholic hospital workers and hauling them off to jail prior to Bush’s last minute rule, and it’s not going to happen after it’s rescinded. Gah.

Thanks to Media Matters for pointing to this, and reiterating the actuality of the thing:

On the March 3 edition of Fox News’ Special Report and the March 4 edition of America’s Newsroom, hosts Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly, respectively, misrepresented the reported plans of the Obama administration to rescind a December 2008 Bush administration regulation to falsely assert that the Obama administration’s decision could result in doctors’ being prosecuted or discriminated against for refusing to perform abortions. In fact, federal law bans discrimination against doctors for refusing to perform abortions; proponents and opponents of the Bush regulation reportedly agree that because of the way it is written, the regulation could allow doctors and health care workers to refuse to provide other services or medical treatments that they feel violates their beliefs.

Media Matters has video of the clip in question. I could almost forgive Fox News for getting it wrong, as former HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt himself consistently and repeatedly misrepresented the rule.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. MomTFH permalink
    March 6, 2009 10:30 am

    And, the new rule specifically requires hundreds of thousands of facilities to be certified on paper that they do not discriminate in hiring against those that would invoke conscience clauses. So, a Dept of Health family planning clinic (which we have in my county) established solely for the purpose of distributing birth control, would have to certify that they don’t ask their potential employees if they object to distributing birth control.


  1. Rescission « Mom’s Tinfoil Hat

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