O'Reilly Shoots It Out With Salon.Com Editor Over Dr. Tiller, Late-Term Abortions

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," June 12, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Now for the top story tonight, joining us from San Francisco is Joan Walsh [editor of Salon.com]. Do you feel that late-term fetuses deserve any protections at all, Ms. Walsh?

JOAN WALSH, EDITOR OF SALON.COM: You know, Bill, that really is the hardest, hardest issue in the abortion debate. They make up 1 percent of all abortions. And certainly there are abuses. But the vast majority of that 1 percent happen to be women who were either diagnosed with breast cancer very late stage, have to choose between their baby and chemotherapy. That young girl's story was really tragic, but I have also read the story of a 9-year-old who was raped by her stepfather, who didn't know she was pregnant until very late. And women who found out late in their pregnancies, tragically, that their babies really would die in a matter of days, they would be subject to surgery, etc., etc. So…

O'REILLY: Well, all of that, if they find that out, all of that is — can be taken care of in many hospitals. The Supreme Court, as you know, has ruled, even in states that outlaw late-term abortion, if the mother's health is catastrophic danger, abortion can take place.

Click here to watch part 1 of the shoot-out!

WALSH: Right. That is the great majority of these abortions, Bill.

O'REILLY: So this Tiller thing is bogus. And I believe you know it. If you don't, I'm going to play you another sound bite that will — should prove it to you. You're wrong first of all. And to attack me and call my vile and the other names that you called me on your Web site is unconscionable. But let me stick to this.

WALSH: Really?

O'REILLY: 60,000 abortions according to The Washington Times. The man charged $6,000 each, became a millionaire doing it. According to all of the investigations…

WALSH: Oh, I thought it was $5,000 the last time I saw…

O'REILLY: What was that?

WALSH: The last time I saw your show, it was $5,000, he was charging $5,000.

O'REILLY: No, he upped it. In the last couple years of his life he upped it to $6,000.

WALSH: Oh, OK. Thank you, Bill.

O'REILLY: All right . So you know, a woman with breast cancer who was undergoing chemo or whatever couldn't have gotten the abortion unless she could come up with $6,000 bucks. He wasn't doing it pro bono.

WALSH: That wasn't always true actually.

O'REILLY: Yes, it was.

WALSH: He actually did…

O'REILLY: It was actually almost 100 percent true because you haven't seen…

WALSH: It really…

O'REILLY: Ms. Walsh, have you seen the investigative documents?

WALSH: Bill, we just have different sets of facts on this.

O'REILLY: No, it isn't a matter of difference. It's a matter of facts. Have you seen the investigative documents the state of Kansas put together against Tiller? Have you, madam?

WALSH: I have skimmed them.

O'REILLY: You have skimmed them.

WALSH: I have skimmed them, yes.

O'REILLY: You have skimmed them. Then you know — well, if you have skimmed them…

WALSH: I have skimmed them.

O'REILLY: And it's shocking to me that you wouldn't read them if you're going to accuse somebody like me of being a vile accomplice to murder that you wouldn't read them, but if you skimmed them.

WALSH: I didn't — I said you were vile. I did — I did not accuse you of being an accomplice to murder.

O'REILLY: All right.

WALSH: So let's be really clear about our language here. I never said it.

O'REILLY: All right, I'm vile because I'm looking out for late-term fetuses who you believe have no rights at all. Now I asked you in the first question: Do you believe late-term fetuses should have any protections in the United States at all? Do you?

WALSH: I believe that late-term abortion, under the current circumstances, to save the life of the mother…

O'REILLY: Save the life of the mother, nobody's arguing with. Tiller was aborting late-term fetuses for casual reasons. That's what he was doing.

WALSH: I really haven't seen any evidence of that, Bill.

O'REILLY: OK, all right, hold it now.

WALSH: We live in different worlds.

O'REILLY: Ms. Walsh, hold it, hold it.

WALSH: Bill.

O'REILLY: Hold it.

WALSH: I know the stories of women who suffered tragedy.

O'REILLY: Hold it. Hold it.

WALSH: Bill, you had a long lead into this. You had plenty to say.

O'REILLY: All right, you're filibustering, Ms. Walsh. Ms. Walsh, stop talking. You just said you haven't seen any of evidence of that, OK? Here's a tape from Dr. Paul McHugh, head of the psychiatric school at Johns Hopkins University, madam. Roll it.


DR. PAUL MCHUGH, PSYCHIATRIST: I didn't think that those records supported the idea that these women were likely to suffer a substantial and irreversible impairment. They highlighted certain kinds of things, which out of context were hard, of course, to appreciate. But were sometimes of a most trivial sort from saying that I won't be able to go to concerts, or I won't be able to take part in sports to more serious ones such as I don't want to give my child up for adoption.


O'REILLY: Your reaction?

WALSH: I don't necessarily know what makes those men any better judges of these women's conditions than Dr. Tiller. Bill, we live in different worlds. You believe your experts. I believe mine.


WALSH: I've talked to dozens of women who support what Dr. Tiller did.

O'REILLY: So you're saying that Dr. McHugh, head of the psychiatric school at Johns Hopkins University, is lying?

WALSH: I don't — no, I didn't say he's lying. I'm not sure what he's looking at and I'm not sure what makes him more qualified just from looking at records than…

O'REILLY: What makes him more qualified is that he's head of one of the most prestigious psychiatric schools that he's retired now in the United States.

WALSH: But he's reading from records.

O'REILLY: No, he did his own investigation.

WALSH: He's not examining the patient.

O'REILLY: He did he his own investigation.

WALSH: Did he, Bill?

O'REILLY: Based upon the testimony that was given to the Kansas authorities. Look, all right, I'm going to take a break.

WALSH: Bill, he was…

O'REILLY: We'll calm down a little bit.

WALSH: Everything he was ever accused of…

O'REILLY: It's the same argument.

WALSH: ...what he did was legal.

O'REILLY: Joan, it's - that's right.

WALSH: What he did was legal.

O'REILLY: What he did was legal. I've asked you two questions: Do the fetuses of late term have any protections? You haven't answered it. You're right. What he did was legal, but it was wrong and it was brutal. And you, because of your ideology, won't acknowledge it.

Now I'm going to take a deep breath. You take a deep breath. We're going to bring Ms. Walsh back. Give her more of a say.


O'REILLY: Continuing now with our lead story, the far left on the attack. Joining us from San Francisco, the editor of Salon.com, Joan Walsh. Now I want to ask you once again, third time, do you believe late-term fetuses are entitled to any protections in the United States of America?

WALSH: I believe the law should be what it is, Bill.

O'REILLY: All right, so 37 states ban the procedure and you're okay with those 37 states banning it?

WALSH: Yes, I'm fine with some states banning it, but I personally think it should be legal. I think it's always got to be the decision of the mother.

O'REILLY: OK, you think it's always got to be legal, but you are not willing to state that a late-term fetus is entitled to any national protection at all, none? It's got to be…

Click here to watch part 2 of the shoot-out!

WALSH: No, I'm not, I'm really not.

O'REILLY: OK, all right, fine.

WALSH: But the issue here, you know, Bill…

O'REILLY: As long as you're honest.

WALSH: ...you know, there are a lot of things that are legal in this country that people are very upset about. There are people who think guns should be abolished. I'm not one of them, but let's just take that an example.

O'REILLY: No, we're not going to take that as an example. We have more important things to talk about.

WALSH: Now would it be OK for those people to go crusade against gun dealers and put their pictures up and call them baby killers and say they have blood on their hands…

O'REILLY: But look…

WALSH: ...and picket their stores?

O'REILLY: Joan, look, you can make any theoretical argument you want.

WALSH: That's a legal right that many people think should not be.


WALSH: You need to change the laws. You don't need to crusade like a vigilante against somebody doing a legal medical procedure.

O'REILLY: Oh, baloney. I didn't crusade anything.

WALSH: And that's what you did.

O'REILLY: Everything I reported is absolutely true. Tiller was running…

WALSH: 42 times you mentioned him. 42 times — 24 times you called him a baby killer.

O'REILLY: Hey, over a period of five years…

WALSH: Four.

O'REILLY: …he was running an abortion mill. Everybody in Kansas knows it.

WALSH: A legal facility.

O'REILLY: And you don't care. You don't care.

WALSH: He was running a legal facility.

O'REILLY: You know who has blood on their hands? You. You don't care about these babies.

WALSH: That's ridiculous, Bill.

O'REILLY: It isn't ridiculous. You're the zealot.

WALSH: You're a piece of work.

O'REILLY: No, you're the one who has brought…

WALSH: I don't have blood on my hands.

O'REILLY: You're the zealot, who won't even…

WALSH: I didn't crusade for anything.

O'REILLY: ...consider — you won't even consider that this man…

WALSH: I work for abortion reduction. I'm a pro-choice Catholic…

O'REILLY: Oh, baloney.

WALSH: ...who believes in abortion, reduction and working with young girls and giving them rights and giving them information.

O'REILLY: You made this guy out to be Dr. Welby.

WALSH: Don't demonize me, my friend.

O'REILLY: Oh, look.

WALSH: Don't demonize me, my friend. You'll be sorry.

O'REILLY: You couldn't care less anything that he did.

WALSH: Really?

O'REILLY: Anything that he did was OK with you. Anything that Tiller did…

WALSH: It was legal, Bill.

O'REILLY: ...was OK with you because of your far-left lunacy.

WALSH: It was legal, Bill.

O'REILLY: Anything he did was OK with you.

WALSH: Bill, am I going to get to talk here or will I always have to talk over you?

O'REILLY: No, I asked you the question. You don't answer it. You want to talk about gun control.

WALSH: You are asking me one question over and over and over again.

O'REILLY: You don't believe that any protections at all…

WALSH: I'm telling you that what he did was legal.

O'REILLY: And you think Tiller is Dr. Welby.

WALSH: And I didn't say he's Dr. Welby. But yes, I know women who consider him a hero, Bill.

O'REILLY: Yeah, and you do, too.

WALSH: That is a divider in our society.

O'REILLY: You do too. You think he's a hero.

WALSH: You know what, I do. I do consider him a hero.

O'REILLY: I know. There you go. Thank you, thank you.

WALSH: And look, Bill, you crusaded against him.

O'REILLY: You bet.

WALSH: You crusaded against him. He had been shot twice already.

O'REILLY: And I'm sorry about that.

WALSH: His clinic had been exploded.

O'REILLY: I'm sorry about that.

WALSH: His clinic had been attacked, bombed, vandalized.

O'REILLY: But my constitutional right says I can say what I say. You say what you say, as vile as you say it, you can say it. And I would never condemn you for saying it. You are misguided. You have blood on your hands because you portray this man as a hero when he killed late-term babies for casual reasons.

WALSH: And you routinely attack people on the left. Jeanane Garafalo, Michael Moore, who you think their rhetoric leads potentially to violence. It never has led to act to one act of violence. But you've already driven that crazy guy in Knoxville last year who read your writings and then went and shot up a church and shot liberals. That's already happened once and you don't feel any responsibility at all now that it's second a second time, Bill? Talk about blood on your hands.

O'REILLY: Ms. Walsh, I appreciate you coming on the program. I think everybody knows exactly where you're coming from.

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