On NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, GOP presidential contender — and recent Iowa frontrunner — Ben Carson compared women who decided to have abortions to slaveowners who “thought that they had the right to do whatever they wanted to that slave.”
The discussion came after host Chuck Todd asked if life began at conception, to which Carson answered “I believe it does.” Todd asked whose right should be superseded — the mother or the child.
“In the ideal situation, the mother should not believe that the baby is her enemy, and should not be looking to terminate her baby,” Carson said. “Things are set up in such a way that the person in the world who has the greatest interest in protecting her baby is the mother.”
Carson said “purveyors of a vision” have been allowed to “make mothers believe that baby is her enemy and that they have a right to kill it. Can you see how perverted that line of thinking is?
Todd asked what happens if someone has an unwanted pregnancy — should they have a right to terminate it?
No. Think about this. During slavery — and I know that’s one of those words you’re not supposed to say, but I’m saying it. During slavery, a lot of the slaveowners thought that they had the right to do whatever they wanted to that slave. Anything that they chose to do. And, you know, what if the abolitionists had said “I don’t believe in slavery, I think it’s wrong, but you guys do whatever you want to do.” Where would we be?
In 2013, Carson compared the Affordable Care Act to slavery, saying it was the worst thing that happened to America since slavery, adding “it is slavery, in a way.”
Slavery was a brutal system that trapped millions and millions of people in bondage for over 200 years. Obamacare is a law that Congress passed which has helped 17.6 million people get health insurance through the private insurance market and existing government health care programs.
Earlier this year, Carson revived the conspiracy theory that Planned Parenthood concentrated their clinics in black neighborhoods as a “way to control the population.”
Todd then asked about an interview with Yahoo! News’ Jon Ward wherein Carson would not say whether he wanted to see Roe v. Wade overturned. “I favor life. That’s what I favor,” Carson had said in response to questions about the case. “It means that we will try to protect human life because all people in our country have a right to the protections of the law,” he said describing the Supreme Court justices he’d appoint — those who “believe in life” and “understand that a baby in the uterus is a human being and is protected by the Constitution.”
Carson went farther than that on overturning the case on Sunday. “I would like to see it done in the right way,” he said, again mentioning an examination of the judges he would appoint, “how have they behaved, who have they associated with, rather than what they say in an interview.”
On the court case, Carson said “ultimately I would love to see it overturned.” Asked whether that would contained exceptions, Carson said “I’m a reasonable person, and if people can come up with a reasonable explanation of why they would like to kill a baby, I’ll listen.” To Carson, an abortion in the case where the life or health of the mother is threatened was “extraordinarily rare situation” but that if that “rare” situation occurred “I believe there’s room to discuss that.” He said he “would not be in favor of killing a baby” that came about because of rape or incest. He pointed to the “many stories” of people who have led “useful lives” after being born as a result of rape or incest.
Ben Carson has surged ahead of Donald Trump in recent Iowa polls, with Chris Wallace calling him the frontrunner there, citing an 84 percent favorability rating in a Quinnipiac poll on Fox News Sunday.
Iowa Republican voters find many of Carson’s extreme statements attractive, according to a recent Bloomberg/Des Moines Register poll. However, one area of his biography that repels them is the fact that he conducted research using tissue from aborted fetuses.
“As people get to know me, they know that I’m not a hateful, pathological person like some people try to make me out to be,” he said.
Chuck Todd asked why he so easily went to Nazi metaphors, like referring to the Gestapo when talking about health care. Carson said some rabbis had told him recently that he was “spot-on,” and blamed the media for being shallow and not thoughtful about his full meaning.