This is a partial transcript from The O'Reilly Factor, January 20, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST:  In the "Impact" segment tonight, tomorrow is the 31st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, legalizing abortion in the USA.  Obviously the issue is a polarizing one.  According to a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll, 44 percent of Americans are pro-choice, 44 percent pro-life.  Both camps are very vocal.  With us now, Alexander Sanger, the author of the book, "Beyond Choice: Reproductive Freedom in the 21st Century."

I guess you were not too happy that Congress overwhelmingly passed the partial birth abortion ban.  But all polls say 75 percent of Americans do not want that procedure.  How did you process that?

ALEXANDER SANGER, AUTHOR:  Well, I say to the American people, why do women have this procedure in the first place?  Why do women have an abortion after the mid-point of their pregnancy, where they have to have a procedure that is so difficult?

O'REILLY:  I think there are all kinds of reasons, don't you?

SANGER:  Yeah, and so they are necessary for the woman who is going to have it.  And so my response is, it's the role of government to make sure that the fertility of women is protected.  And this procedure, which a lot of the American people find distasteful and even those who...

O'REILLY:  But not you?

SANGER:  That procedure protects a woman's fertility the best...

O'REILLY:  All right.  Well, that -- you know, you don't find that...

SANGER:  ... and that's why I say this should be legal.

O'REILLY:  You don't find that procedure distasteful?

SANGER:  I've seen it.  It is.

O'REILLY:  Yes.

SANGER:  Yes.

O'REILLY:  It's absolutely barbaric, and for those who believe that...

SANGER:  And the reason it should be permitted, Bill, is because it protects a woman's fertility...

O'REILLY:  No.  Well...

SANGER:  ... better than anything else.

O'REILLY:  You can -- you can protect somebody in a variety of different ways, but you -- taking a life -- a potential human being's life by somebody who has an anxiety attack and doesn't want to have a baby, that's unjustifiable, in my opinion.  If it's a catastrophic illness or a matter of life and death, I understand.

SANGER:  Yes, but...

O'REILLY:  But you know -- look...

SANGER:  ... women are not going to do that for any -- for a frivolous reason.  They're going to have an abortion...

O'REILLY:  Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.  That's not true.

SANGER:  ... late in a pregnancy...

O'REILLY:  That's not true.  We have had cases here on THE FACTOR...

SANGER:  ... for serious...

O'REILLY:  ... Mr. Sanger -- and I'm sure you know about them -- where women have actually murdered their born babies, but because the umbilical cord wasn't severed, they're not charged.

There are a lot of unstable people out here who will harm fetuses for a variety of reasons.  You know fetal alcohol syndrome.  You know the drugs and all of that.

SANGER:  And laws do nothing to protect those babies.

O'REILLY:  The laws do nothing to protect those babies.  That's right.

SANGER:  That's right.  Even when they're born.

O'REILLY:  That's correct.  The laws don't protect them, and that is barbaric.

SANGER:  The women still do it, so why do - why do we have a law that's going to get in the woman's way of getting the health care she needs?

O'REILLY:  Because someone has to protect a viable fetus who could live on its own.

SANGER:  They are protected.  They are protected.

O'REILLY:  They're not, and we...

SANGER:  Well...

O'REILLY:  I cited case after case on this program.  All right.  Now public funding for abortion.

SANGER:  All right.

O'REILLY:  Forty-four percent -- half the country says we don't believe -- our conscience says this is wrong, all right.  Why should they have to pay for somebody else's abortion?

SANGER:  Because I think the -- this society should protect everyone's ability to become a parent, and family planning, reproductive health are what women need in order to have the children they want when they want to have them.  That includes family planning.  That includes, in some cases, abortion.

O'REILLY:  All right.  So you're telling me that if I in my conscience say abortion is murder, all right, that I have to use my money so someone else can have an abortion?  You're saying that is morally right?

SANGER:  The poor people who need public funding need this health care more than middle-class people.

O'REILLY:  Well, then have you fund them.  You can fund them.  Don't use my tax money.

SANGER:  Well...

O'REILLY:  Set up...

SANGER:  ... we actually do.

O'REILLY:  Set up a private institution run by you, Mr. Sanger, and you pay for it.  But you're now having in government -- you support government intruding on me or anybody else who doesn't believe abortion is correct...

SANGER:  Oh, I think...

O'REILLY:  ... and taking our money -- confiscating our money to do something that's against our conscience.

SANGER:  I think we ought to have a level playing field that enables people to have the children they want to have when they want to have them, and that includes providing family planning, prenatal care, and, if necessary, more...

O'REILLY:  Well, let's take it one by one.

(CROSSTALK)

SANGER:  ... space for children.

O'REILLY:  But I think the government intruding in somebody's conscience like that is unconstitutional.

Last question for you.  Parental notification, all right.  Many states now say children as young as 11, girls, can have an abortion and not tell their parents.  Do you support that.  How can you justify that?

SANGER:  Well, I don't think a girl of that age has got the maturity to make the decision, so I don't support it.  What I do support is not getting the law unnecessarily involved in a family matter.  The problem is there's a conflict between the teenage girl who's pregnant and her parents.  That...

O'REILLY:  Why?  Why would there...

SANGER:  ... teenage girl...

O'REILLY:  Why would there be a conflict?  Sometimes...

SANGER:  Well, that's because...

O'REILLY:  ... the parents can work that out.

SANGER:  Well, they do work it out, but, in a lot of cases, the parents want that teen to give birth when she doesn't want to, or, alternatively, the parents want the teen to have an abortion and she wants to have a child.

So I say to your pro-life listeners, if you want to have a parental consent for abortion, do you also support parental consent for child birth...

O'REILLY:  Where are the parents' rights?

SANGER:  ... and they don't.

O'REILLY:  See, the minor lives with the parent.

SANGER:  That's right.

O'REILLY:  The parent has legal rights over the minor, yet you want to take those rights away in the reproductive area.  That's outrageous.

SANGER:  Only when there's a conflict.  That teenage girl is going to be a mother...

O'REILLY:  All right.

SANGER:  ... and I -- in those cases, I support the mother over the grandparents.

O'REILLY:  As always, we'll let the audience decide, Mr. Sanger.  Thanks for coming in.

SANGER:  Thank you.

O'REILLY:  We appreciate it.

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