bill-oreilly

Does “potential human” comment make O’Reilly a pro-life opponent?

Bill O’Reilly may not be the perfect pro-lifer. On the program for Friday night’s episode, Bill addressed his “Talking Points: The unintended consequences of a liberal America.” Most of what he said on abortion I stood right by, but I do take issue with one word regarding how O’Reilly addressed the unborn. The emphasis below is mine:

On the social front the latest stats available show there were 1,200,000 abortions performed in the USA in the year 2008. That’s the latest stats. That means, that more than a million Americans will never be born.

Should the country be proud of that? Yet, we see wild applause when pro-abortion zealots speak at the Democratic convention, for example. Exactly what are they applauding that more than a million potential human beings are dead?

I am a fan of Bill O’Reilly and his program, but I do have a problem with him calling unborn children only “potential human beings.” Pro-lifers know that the unborn are already human beings, as a new human being is created right at conception, according to science. Do I expect Bill O’Reilly to make mistakes? Sure, he’s only human. And perhaps Bill is not as well-versed in the pro-life movement as others are

Now, this does not mean that I am giving him a free pass. But does this statement make him our enemy? No, I still think he is very much on our side, and certainly more so than other media figures.

Also, it’s important that we look at the rest of what O’Reilly’s statement contains. Despite how O’Reilly may be wrong about abortion being the death and destruction of only “potential human beings,” abortion is still a practice he seems to be against, judging from his whole statement. And I do think the last sentence of the first paragraph is especially telling: “[t]hat means, that more than a million Americans will never be born.” Regardless of whether O’Reilly sees the unborn as merely “potential human beings,” I think we can agree that O’Reilly sees it as a tragedy that those children aborted “will never be born.”

Later in the program, O’Reilly spoke with Laura Ingraham on the “Impact Segment: Does President Obama have his own War on Women?” His statements about abortion from that segment can be summed up to the effect that he thinks abortion is sometimes necessary, such as when the mother’s life is in danger. Ingraham replied that she doesn’t think there is ever an instance when it is necessary to kill a child. While I may find myself agreeing more with Ingraham than Bill on this, O’Reilly is not in the minority on such a view. A recent Marist poll shows that only 10 percent polled believe that abortion should never be permitted. And perhaps O’Reilly doesn’t know that it has been declared never medically necessary for a mother to have an abortion. I hope that Laura can educate Bill on this.

So again, I do not think that Bill O’Reilly holds the perfect pro-life position. I think that presently, few of us do. Ten percent is a low and unfortunate number, but I also think we should still celebrate the fact that 83 percent of American adults support significant abortion restrictions. And of course, let’s not forget that Bill has used his program as a venue to call for an investigation of Planned Parenthood. For that, I consider him very much on our side.

  • Josephine (D)

    One of my late relatives(I think my maternal grandmother’s sister) had an ectopic pregnancy. Obviously, the doctors did what they had to do, but those cases are quite rare.

    I am disappointed that O’Reilly is Catholic but does not fully understand the abortion issue. Every good Catholic should know the Church’s position on that.

    • Rebecca Downs

      At a March for Life breakout session (given by a well known priest at Georgetown) we discussed how the removal of an ectopic pregnancy is morally acceptable because the intent is to save the mother and the child dies as an unfortunate but unintended result.

      It is disappointing, and I’m not trying to stand up for O’Reilly just because I watch his program or anything, but issues with the supposed life of the mother can be difficult. Up until a few months ago I did not know that abortion was never medically necessary. A lot of people don’t either and even the most pro-lie politicians mention they believe in that exception if not more because it seems not only the right thing politically but morally (to other people at least). I think what the pro-life movement next needs to do is really try and educate and explain as patiently as possible that it is never medically necessary and that interventions to save the life of the mother are not abortions. People really do not like to hear that last part, let me tell you, but I will continue to stick by it as the truth.

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