Gillibrand says Fox News commentators have 'deeply distorted' issues surrounding abortion

Gillibrand says Fox News commentators have 'deeply distorted' issues surrounding abortion
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2020 Democratic presidential candidate Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandAt debate, Warren and Buttigieg tap idealism of Obama, FDR Trump court pick sparks frustration for refusing to answer questions Klobuchar, Buttigieg find themselves accidentally flying to debate together MORE on Monday doubled down on her criticism of Fox News, saying that some of the network's commentators have "deeply distorted" issues surrounding abortion. 

The comments came after the New York senator sparred with Fox News anchor Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceAmash says Sanford presidential bid won't impact decision on whether he runs in 2020 Trump labels GOP challengers the 'Three Stooges' Pompeo: Taliban talks are dead 'for the time being' MORE after he questioned if it was "polite" of her to criticize the network's coverage during a Fox News town hall on Sunday. 

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“I wanted to make this point clear that this issue about women’s reproductive freedom has been deeply distorted by commentators on Fox News that are trying to create this myth that decisions about reproductive care and the rights of a woman to decide when she’s having kids and how many she’s having, and under what circumstances she’s having them, is somehow an issue about infanticide," Gillibrand told BuzzFeed News.

"Because it’s not. [Infanticide is] illegal, it’s a red herring, and it’s just not true. So I want to talk about truth and I want to speak truth to power and I believe that Fox News has to be responsible for truth and fact."

She added, “We all have a responsibility to tell the truth and fight against fear, hate, and division that’s really pervaded across America under President TrumpDonald John TrumpHarris bashes Kavanaugh's 'sham' nomination process, calls for his impeachment after sexual misconduct allegation Celebrating 'Hispanic Heritage Month' in the Age of Trump Let's not play Charlie Brown to Iran's Lucy MORE.”

Gillibrand on Sunday became the latest 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to appear in a town hall event hosted by Fox News. While answering a question from a retired neonatal nurse about third-trimester abortion, Gillibrand criticized the news network for its coverage.

"What we have created, unfortunately, is a false choice and a false narrative. And Chris, I want to talk about the role that Fox News plays in this because it's a problem. I can tell you before President Trump gave his State of the Union, Fox News talked about infanticide. Infanticide doesn't exist," Gillibrand said. 

Wallace took issue with her criticism, noting that the network had brought her onto its airwaves for an hour and it was treating her fairly. 

"I understand that maybe to make your credentials with the Democrats who are not appearing on Fox News, you're going to attack us," Wallace said. "I'm not sure it's frankly very polite when we've invited you to be here." 

Gillibrand replied that she'd "do it in a polite way" before Wallace asked her to answer the question instead of talking about Fox News. 

Gillibrand later said that "what happens on Fox News is relevant because they talked about infanticide for 6.5 hours ... right before President Trump's State of the Union, mentioned it 35 times."
 
"That is not the debate of what access to reproductive care is in this country. It doesn't happen. It's illegal. It's not a fact. And I believe all of us have a responsibility to talk about facts," she added. 
 
Gillibrand's campaign took a dig at Wallace's remarks on Monday by selling canvas totes with the quote "frankly, not very polite" emblazoned across the front.
 
Gillibrand's town hall with Fox News averaged 834,000 viewers, according to early Nielsen Media Research numbers shared by the network.
 
Her appearance came as many 2020 Democratic candidates weigh the benefits of appearing on the network. Sens Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg have appeared at the network's town halls.