This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 18, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.
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JOHN GIBSON, HOST: Should parents be notified when their teen daughters want an abortion? In November, Florida voters will decide on a state constitutional amendment requiring parental notification, after Judge Jonathan Sjostrom (search) yesterday refused to remove it from the ballot.
Joining us now from Tampa is Republican Johnnie Byrd (search), the speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, and from Buffalo, N.Y., Mary Alice Carr, director of advocacy programs for Pro-Choice New York (search). So let me go to the speaker first, Johnnie Byrd. So judge puts the thing on the ballot, it goes ahead, is it expected to pass?
JOHNNIE BYRD (R), FLORIDA SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Well, John, we're making progress in bringing Florida back into the mainstream with 44 other states that have very reasonable parental notification statutes that simply say parents should have notice when someone like Planned Parenthood is counseling their minor daughter to have an abortion.
And so, we think that the people of Florida ought to be able to simply vote up or down on that very important issue to the future of Florida families.
GIBSON: Mr. Byrd, does this notification amount to a de facto veto you're giving the parents? Are you expecting that notification will, in fact, be the parents stopping young women from having an abortion?
BYRD: No, this is simply giving the parents the right to be involved in the decision around the kitchen table. Right now, Planned Parenthood has succeeded in having parental rights stripped away. And what we're simply trying to do is to bring it back to the mainstream with 44 other states.
You know, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, they have a very different vision for the future of Florida. They have a vision where 14, 15, 16- year-olds are sexually active, conceive, have abortions and then buy a t-shirt that says, "I had an abortion." That is wildly out of step with mainstream Florida and America.
GIBSON: Mary Alice Carr, just so that it doesn't appear that Planned Parenthood or anybody else is coming between parents and their kids...
MARY ALICE CARR, PRO-CHOICE NEW YORK: Well, they're absolutely not coming between parents and their kids.
GIBSON: Well, no, they absolutely are if the parents aren't notified.
CARR: Parents are absolutely allowed to know anything about what's going on in their children's lives. I hate arguing against these laws — I'll be quite honest with you. I actually want to live in a society where parents and children talk about what is going on in their lives. And we are really happy to know that 90 percent of young women tell their parents already, that they do involve them in states where there are not parental notice laws.
What we fear for is the 10 percent of women who make very serious choices not to tell parents, for reasons that we know nothing about, for reasons that Mr. Byrd knows nothing about, about their families. That's who we fear for.
GIBSON: Wait a minute, let me just back up. Are you talking about those instances where the young woman is pregnant because of an incest or rape in the home?
GIBSON: OK, if that's the case, Johnnie Byrd, would you make an exception to this...
BYRD: Well, we've taken care of that.
GIBSON: Would you make an exception for that?
BYRD: We've made an exception; the law itself has an exception to that. It has nothing to do with that. That is a smokescreen.
CARR: It is not a smokescreen, Mr. Byrd.
BYRD: What this is about is that Planned Parenthood...
CARR: Incest is not a smokescreen.
BYRD: ... has a vision of the future where parents don't matter. Planned Parenthood wants to bring up a chair to the kitchen table and say, "Parents, yeah, you can sign this slip..."
GIBSON: But if a young woman comes in, if a young woman comes in and says...
CARR: I just want to say something about Planned Parenthood...
GIBSON: ...if a young woman comes in and says, "I am pregnant because of incest," why couldn't you have a waiver to the law at that point, if that's a claim that's being made?
BYRD: The law contains a waiver, it contains a waiver.
CARR: No, what the law says is they can go in front of a judge. And you, Mr. Byrd, have actually been talking for a long time about your fear of activist judges and how you're afraid that judges actually make decisions based on their own personal beliefs, not who comes in front of them, and that is also our fear. The waiver in front of judges actually doesn't do anything to help young women make decisions on this one. It doesn't do anything to protect them. It actually puts them in a situation...
BYRD: That's a big smokescreen, John. I tell you, the bottom line is this...
CARR: Mr. Byrd, haven't you been talking about activist judges in the beginning on this?
BYRD: ... that Planned Parenthood has a vision for the future they cannot sell to the legislature or Congress. So they go to their enablers in the liberal courts and then they mandate these ways out...
GIBSON: All right, I'm going to give Ms. Carr the last word, Mr. Byrd. She's having a hard time getting in. So Mary Alice...
CARR: No, I'm actually not. I'm actually being respectful of Mr. Byrd and his level of where he is in office.
GIBSON: Don't waste your time. Go ahead.
CARR: Here's what I'll say. Planned Parenthood actually knows, the first thing they do encourage young women to do is actually involve an adult, an adult they know that supports and cares about them. It is the 10 percent of young women out there who don't involve a parent, who actually want to involve another adult. And this actually stops them from being able to involve the person who's going to help them most.
GIBSON: All right, I've got to run. Ms. Carr, Mr. Byrd, thank you both, and good luck sorting this out.
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