Ben Carson on Abortion
Tea Party challenger in Republican primary
CARSON: There is no question that hateful rhetoric, no matter which side it comes from, is something that is detrimental to our society. Our strength in this country has traditionally been in our unity and we are allowing all kinds of circumstances to divide us and make us hateful toward each other. When you have outside forces, global Islamic radical jihadists who want to destroy us, why would we be doing that to ourselves? We at some point have got to become more mature. No question the hateful rhetoric exacerbates the situation, and we should be doing all we can to engage an intelligence, civil discussion about our differences.
Q: Should those who oppose abortion rights tone down their rhetoric?
CARSON: I think both sides should tone down their rhetoric and engage in civil discussion.
CARSON: In the ideal situation, the mother should not believe that the baby is her enemy and should not be looking to terminate the baby.
Q: What if somebody has an unwanted pregnancy? Should they have the right to terminate?
CARSON: No. Think about this. During slavery, a lot of the slave owners thought that they had the right to do whatever they wanted to that slave. And what if the abolitionist had said, you know, "I don't believe in slavery. I think it's wrong. But you guys do whatever you want to do"--Where would we be?
Q: Definitively, do you want to see Roe v. Wade overturned?
CARSON: I would love to see it overturned.
CARSON: 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.
Q: Life and health of the mother?
CARSON: Again, that's an extraordinarily rare situation. But if in that very rare situation it occurred, I believe there's room to discuss that.
Q: Rape and incest?
CARSON: Rape and incest, I would not be in favor of killing a baby because the baby came about in that way. And all you have to do is go and look up the many stories of people who have led very useful lives who were the result of rape or incest.
A: I made no bones about the fact that I used to be a Democrat. Over the course of time, my views have changed dramatically. In 1992, I personally was against abortion, but I was not for causing anybody else to do anything. I changed because I began to think about, if abolitionists a long time ago had said, "I don't believe in slavery, but anybody else can do it if they want to," where would we be today?
CARSON: I think that when conception occurs, life occurs. But I do believe in contraception. So let's say someone has been raped and they are administered that drug, it can prevent ovulation which allows that egg to come down, because a healthy sperm can live for up to five or six days, but if ovulation doesn't occur, then you're not going to have conception.
CARSON: Well, you have to go back to the beginnings of the organization. Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger believed that certain people, including blacks, were inferior and that the way you strengthen the society is you get rid of them. She basically believed in eugenics.
In cases such as those, Carson said you have to "look at the individual situation," but called the "life of the mother" question "largely a spurious argument" because advances in medicine have made it so "that situation rarely occurs."
While abortions performed solely to save the life of the mother are rare, doctors have asserted that they can be medically necessary. And even the National Right to Life Committee has stated its position is "to allow abortion if necessary to prevent the death of the mother."
There were many premature infants in our neonatal intensive care unit who were several weeks younger than the baby in question. Why was it difficult to defend a baby that was 5 weeks further along in development?
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