Fox News Host Fact-Checks Republican Talking Point on Abortion

Fox News host Howard Kurtz on Sunday corrected a conservative journalist’s claims about pro-abortion Democrats supporting infanticide, a claim he has frequently corrected on-air in recent months.

During a Sunday edition of his Fox News program, Media Buzz, Kurtz hosted journalist Caroline Downey, of the conservative magazine National Review, for a discussion about abortion laws in the wake of the recent Arizona Supreme Court decision. The ruling from last week allowed a law banning abortion from 1864, before Arizona was officially a state, to remain on the books.

Such decisions have been unpopular in the wake of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade in June 2022. This has raised alarm among some Republicans, fearing that their stances on abortion rights could cost them major races in the forthcoming 2024 elections. Former President Donald Trump, the GOP’s presumptive 2024 nominee for president, recently released a statement saying that he is not in favor of a nationwide abortion ban.

During her Sunday appearance, Downey suggested that the GOP’s major issue was launching sufficient “counterattacks” against what she called Democrats’ “extremism” on abortion, invoking false claims that they support the killing of infants after they are born.

fox news abortion correction
Above, demonstrators gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on December 1, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Fox News host Howard Kurtz on Sunday corrected a guest’s claims about abortion.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

“It’s not effective counterattacks, because what Trump said in his statement was the extremism of the Democrats is astounding and it’s not marketed enough, the fact that they could support abortion up until the moment of birth and verges on infanticide,” Downey said.

In response, Kurtz offered a correction on that point, as he has done in the past.

“Well, the infanticide thing is a bit of a Republican talking point,” Kurtz said. “Nobody is killing babies that have already been born.”

Newsweek reached out to Trump’s office via email on Sunday for comment.

In March, Kurtz offered a similar correction after airing an interview he conducted with Trump himself. Trump made the claim about Democrats supporting the killing of infants after they are born, citing misinterpreted comments from former Democratic Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. Kurtz also noted that late-term abortions, another common GOP talking point, are extremely rare and almost always done when tragic health defects are detected in the third trimester.

“On late-term abortions, former Virginia Governor Ralph Northam did say that in cases of severe deformity or non-viable fetus, the mother and doctors would decide what to do once the baby was born,” Kurtz said. “But later backed off, with a spokesperson saying he was not talking about killing babies, but extremely rare and tragic cases. A CDC survey says fewer than 1 percent of all abortions take place at or after seven months of pregnancy.”