Anderson Cooper Confronts GOP Operative Kellyanne Conway on CNN with Facts That Disprove Her False Claim about Rise in Sex-Selection Abortions

After a commercial break, Anderson Cooper came back on the air with the actual text of the Guttmacher Institute report and essentially called Kellyanne Conway a liar to her face

We’re so used to Republican operatives going on cable news shows and lying with impunity that it has become newsworthy when a news host exposes one of them in a lie in real time during a broadcast.

This happened recently on CNN when Soledad O’Brien challenged disgraced former Bush I chief of staff John Sununu, a Mitt Romney surrogate, during an interview after he trotted out the Romney campaign’s lie that Pres. Obama had “gutted Medicare.”

Similarly, Anderson Cooper challenged Republican operative/pollster Kellyanne Conway when she attempted to distort a conversation about Missouri tea party candidate Todd Akin’s claim that women’s ovaries naturally repel the sperm of rapists by interjecting a false claim (at about 03:30 in the video above) that there has been a rise in sex-selection abortions in the United States:

KELLYANNE CONWAY: The “Washington Post” reported on August 10th that there are Democrats who are going to the convention in Charlotte who want their plank expanded. They feel that it’s too draconian. It doesn’t allow for partial birth abortion bans. It doesn’t ban sex selection. You’ve got all these little baby girls being killed just because they’re girls in this country —

COOPER: Wait, wait.

CONWAY: I mean, Paul, under what —

COOPER: Excuse me, where is that happening?

CONWAY: Excuse me?

COOPER: Where, as you say, we have all these baby girls being killed in this country because — on sex selections, on abortions? Where —


COOPER: Where is the evidence on that?

CONWAY: The Guttmacher Institute which is the research on Planned Parenthood has data on sex selective abortions. And actually Congress — the House just passed a bill to ban that. I’m not sure it ever went to the Senate. And I’m sure President Obama would veto it if it was put on his desk —

COOPER: But statistically, there’s not really much evidence that that is actually occurring in the United States. Amongst some immigrant groups in small numbers it may be occurring but in no statistical measure is it significant.

CONWAY: Well, we should look at Guttmacher Institute’s statistics to really illuminate us on that. But it does — it does occur because there’s so much science now people can — they can know the gender of their baby and they make their choices accordingly. COOPER: It occurs overseas a lot but again I don’t think the evidence is here in the United States. I’ll double-check it. But I just read earlier.

CONWAY: Thank you.

Later, after a commercial break, Cooper came back on the air (at minute 06:46) with the actual text of the Guttmacher Institute report and essentially called Conway a liar to her face:

COOPER: Before the break, Kellyanne, you mentioned the Guttmacher Institute information on sex, selective abortion in the United States. Here’s what they actually say in a May 30th press release titled “Sex Selective Abortion Bans: A Disingenuous New Strategy to Limit Women’s Access to Abortion.” The study acknowledges the practice does go on overseas as we mentioned and perhaps in certain Asian-American communities in the United States in small numbers. But, quote, “In the United States, meanwhile, there is limited data indicating that sex-selective abortion may be occurring in some Asian communities. Although the U.S. sex ratio at 1.05 males for every female is squarely within biologically normal parameters.”

So I just wanted to put that out there.

If Kellyanne Conway looks familiar, it’s because she was one of chorus of media types and GOP activists — all of whom happened to have blond hair — who turned their daily spittle-spewing bile about the Clintons in the 1990s into lucrative careers up through today. In addition to Conway, whose name was Kellyanne Fitzpatrick then, the other Clinton-hating blonds were MSNBC host Chris Matthews (who has since had a change of heart), Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham and Barbara Olson.

Barbara Olson, who wrote two anti-Clinton books, died in the plane that hit the Pentagon on 9/11. Her husband Ted Olson was the lawyer for George W. Bush in the landmark Bush v. Gore case in 2000 in which the Supreme Court selected Bush over Vice Pres. Al Gore to be president. Ted Olson is is best known now as the conservative lawyer on the legal team fighting to overturn Proposition 8, the anti-gay marriage amendment to the California Constitution.


Partial transcript of “AC 360” segment with Paul Begala and Kellyanne Conway follows on the next page.


  • Jane Chance
    August 22, 2012 - 6:02 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this one Jon. Don’t often watch AC but delighted to know that this one of many, Rep. rumor mongers was called out on live TV.

    • August 22, 2012 - 6:48 am | Permalink

      Me either, Jane. I just happened to be watching, but couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing.

  • Jim
    August 22, 2012 - 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Great piece, but what bearing does hair-color have on anything? That’s just a strange ad-hominem attack and takes away from your argument.

  • August 22, 2012 - 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Simple. Kellyanne Conway is liar. Thanks you Anderson Cooper.

  • Greg
    August 22, 2012 - 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Look at the poisonous look in er eyes after he cites facts. She really wants to rip him apart for showing her for a liar.

  • Keri
    August 22, 2012 - 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Anderson Cooper should have called her a liar, because that’s what she did. It’s all these little lies that add up and add up and cause the real facts to be lost. This is how “death panels” started.

  • Jason
    August 22, 2012 - 5:02 pm | Permalink


    1) The vast majority (like 85-90%) of abortions in the US take place at or before 12 weeks’ gestation, and;

    2) It’s nigh-impossible to differentiate the sex of a fetus on ultrasound prior to *14-15* weeks, and;

    3) There is no cultural tendency to devalue girls in the same fashion as in Chinese and Indian cultures;

    It seems like this is unlikely to ever be a problem. It looks rather more like other abortion “issues” the Right has tackled in recent years – a Trojan Horse to attack general abortion rights.

  • Becky
    August 23, 2012 - 11:42 am | Permalink

    Sex selection in favor of males is happening in the US. A study done by researchers at UC Berkeley looked at U.S. 2000 Census data. They found that among U.S.-born children of Chinese, Korean, and Asian Indian parents there is a male bias. The study reported, “If there was no previous son, sons outnumbered daughters by 50%.” The conclusion: “We interpret the found deviation in favor of sons to be evidence of sex selection, most likely at the prenatal stage.”

    Most other countries have laws that ban sex selection to protect girls from this kind of discrimination. The US needs to join them.

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