Cool-headed Fox News host Bill O’Reilly believes women are so flippant when it comes to making decisions about abortions, some choose to terminate a pregnancy simply because they have a migraine and can’t be bothered to give birth.
The O’Reilly Factor host was discussing Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders' pro-choice stance on abortion with fellow Fox News analyst Kirsten Powers on Friday, when he made the following statement:
If you are going to say that the two Democrats running for president both favor pretty much abortion at any time, for any reason, and they hide behind the women's health issue, but that could be a migraine headache, you know. OK, I don't want to have the kid, my boyfriend left me, my husband left me, whatever it may be, I got a migraine, kid is going to be born next week.
Powers, who looked like her soul was being sucked out of her body during the entire exchange, replied, "I don't think that many people get abortions because they have a migraine headache."
(There are no hard numbers on how many women get abortions due to a headache, but I'm gonna go ahead and say zero, Bill. It's zero.)
Naturally, O'Reilly responded: "OK, it doesn't matter. It's theoretical."
Except it does matter: Insinuating that women are somehow cavalier, weak, or lazy for choosing not to have a baby is both insulting and damaging. As if women walk around like, "Hmm, I have a lot of errands this week, maybe I should ditch this pregnancy!"
Not only that, claiming that Democrats "hide behind" the "women's health issue" suggests that the abortion debate is not about women's health, which it most certainly is.
Perhaps O'Reilly needs to be reminded that, when abortion is illegal, maternal mortality increases. And the harder it is for women to access legal abortion, the more likely they are to take measures that put their lives at risk, such as trying to terminate pregnancies themselves.
So rather than make up theoretical scenarios about women getting abortions because they have a headache, maybe O'Reilly should spend some time reviewing the facts on how restricting abortion access actually hurts women in real life.
Taryn Hillin is Fusion's love and sex writer, with a large focus on the science of relationships. She also loves dogs, Bourbon barrel-aged beers and popcorn — not necessarily in that order.