Ben Carson on Abortion

Tea Party challenger in Republican primary


Need civil discussion between pro-life and pro-choice

Q: Regarding the shooting at a Planned Parenthood location in Colorado Springs. Some abortion rights supporters have said that the rhetoric has led to that kind of violence. What's your view?

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.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2015 coverage:2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 29, 2015

I would love to see Roe v. Wade overturned

Q: Whose rights should be superseded? The mother or the unborn child?

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.

Source: Meet the Press 2015 interview moderated by Chuck Todd , Oct 25, 2015

Maybe exceptions for life of mother, not for rape or incest

Q: You have said that you would make all abortions illegal. Or is there still an exception that you would have?

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.

Source: Meet the Press 2015 interview moderated by Chuck Todd , Oct 25, 2015

Was personally against abortion; but what others do matters

Q: I want to ask you about something that occurred in Maryland in 1992. You were on the pro-life side of a ballot measure, but then joined the pro-abortion forces at a press conference to denounce that very same ad. Can you explain?

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?

Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Aug 23, 2015

Drugs OK to prevent conception in instances of rape & incest

Q: There seems to be confusion on the issue of abortion and exceptions to the case of rape and incest, because you said recently that if somebody is a victim of that kind of an attach, they can go to an emergency room and get the RU486 pill, but there are some 'right to life' groups that say that's a chemical abortion pill. Where are you on exceptions in the case of abortion?

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.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Aug 16, 2015

Planned Parenthood historically targets black communities

Q: You made some controversial comments this week about Planned Parenthood, saying, "one of the reasons you find most of their clinics in black neighborhoods is so that you can find a way to control that population." Do you really believe that Planned Parenthood is targeting African American communities to control the population?

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.

Source: ABC This Week 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Aug 16, 2015

I spent my career saving the lives of little babies

As a pediatric neurosurgeon, Carson said he spent his career "struggling to save the lives of little babies" and is "totally opposed to killing babies." But that statement did not fully answer the question about whether or not he supports abortion in cases where it is necessary to save the life of the mother.

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."

Source: Mediaite.com 2015 weblog on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Aug 11, 2015

Ban abortion more than 20 weeks after fertilization

On his website, Carson supports the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act which would make it illegal to have an abortion more than 20 weeks after fertilization, allowing exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the mother. It is not clear if he would push to overturn or uphold Roe v Wade.
Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series , May 3, 2015

No abortion for convenience

My entire professional life has been devoted to saving and enhancing lives. Thus, the thought of abortion for the sake of convenience does not appeal to me. Many of us turn a blind eye to the wanton slaughter of millions of helpless human babies who are much more sophisticated than some of the other creatures, when nothing is at stake other than the convenience of one or both parents. I am not saying that we should abandon our efforts to save baby seals and a host of other animals. Rather I am saying shouldn't we consider adding human fetuses and babies to the list?
Source: Washington Times, Ben Carson Op-Ed, "Physician's View" , Jan 21, 2014

The thought of abortion for convenience is repugnant

Thus, the thought of abortion for the sake of convenience does not appeal to me. I am not saying that we should abandon our efforts to save baby seals and a host of other animals. Rather I am saying shouldn't we consider adding human fetuses and babies to the list? Q
Source: Washington Times, "Physicians View on the Sanctity of Life" , Jan 21, 2014

Persuaded mother of hydrocephalic baby to cancel abortion

A few years ago, I was consulted by a woman who was 33 weeks pregnant with a baby who had been diagnosed by ultrasound to have hydrocephalus or water on the brain. She was on her way to Kansas at the recommendation of her local obstetrician to have an abortion, as Kansas was the only state that would allow a baby to be aborted that was perfectly viable outside the womb without life support. I discussed with her in great detail the implications of having a baby with hydrocephalus, and I discussed with her the many options that were available. In the end, she decided to complete the pregnancy, and we were able to place a shunt in the baby after it was born to divert excess fluid away from the brain. Although the baby had some developmental delays, she continues to thrive today.

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?

Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p. 99-100 , Jan 24, 2012

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