Fox News has broken UK broadcasting rules for the third time in an 18-month period for breaching due impartiality rules by discussing only one viewpoint in the sensitive topic of abortion.
During a Fox Extra broadcast in April, Fox News contributor Judge Napolitano made a series of statements setting out his strong anti-abortion views.
He said abortion “continues to assault the moral and constitutional order” and is a “very very serious problem”.
He went on to compare the declaration of the baby in the womb as a “non-person” as reminiscent of “an infamous” court ruling in the Dred Scott vs. Sanford case in which the Supreme Court declared African Americans to be “non-persons”.
“How long can a society last when it allows the killing of the weakest among it, and what class of human beings will the Government next declare not to be a person”, Napolitano said.
Ofcom ruled that the programme broke broadcasting rules because no other viewpoints were included, meaning it was not duly impartial when discussing the controversial issue of abortion.
It is the third breach of Ofcom’s rules to go on Fox News’ record, after the broadcaster broke election broadcast rules by discussing the pros of Brexit while polling was still open.
Last year, Ofcom ruled a Fox News programme breached broadcasting regulations after it said Birmingham was a city “where non-Muslims just simply don’t go” four days after the attack on French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
Ofcom said the broadcast was “materially misleading and had the potential to cause harm and offence to viewers” at a time of heightened sensitivity following the Hebdo attack, and should have been corrected sooner.
It added it was “concerned that the licensee [Fox News] had not acted sooner to correct the statements or to broadcast an apology”.