While Donald Trump derides Dr. Ben Carson’s quiet demeanor, the neurosurgeon has managed to quietly lob some verbal firebombs of his own.
The latest is regarding his thoughts on abortion – and his comparison to slavery.
Carson made the comparison in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” yesterday. According to the Christian Science Monitor, “After acknowledging that his comparison was controversial, Dr. Carson told host Chuck Todd, “During slavery – and I know that’s one of those worlds you’re not supposed to say, but I’m saying it – during slavery, a lot of the slave owners thought that they had the right to do whatever they wanted to that slave. Anything that they chose to do. And what if abolitionists 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?”
Carson further explained that Roe v. Wade should be overturned – with no exceptions. When asked about controversial cases involving rape or incest, he said “I would not be in favor of killing a baby because the baby came about in that way,” citing “the many stories of people who have led very useful lives who were the result of rape or incest.”
And if the pregnancy caused the mother’s life to be in danger, Carson said “there’s room to discuss” terminating the pregnancy, but such cases are “an extraordinarily rare situation.”
By comparing abortion to slavery, Carson suggests that both practices deny humans their fundamental rights. “We’ve allowed the purveyors of the vision to make mothers think that that baby is their enemy and that they have a right to kill it. Can you see how perverted that line of thinking is?” Carson asks in the interview.
Carson’s strong pro-life views go even further than what his Seventh Day Adventist faith preaches. The church says abortions may be appropriate “for the most serious reasons,” such as the mother’s health, rape, or incest, but the decision to end a life “must not be thoughtlessly destroyed” and the decision is ultimately between the mother and God.
“Therefore, any attempts to coerce women either to remain pregnant or to terminate pregnancy should be rejected as infringements of personal freedom,” the church explains.
This statement will no doubt be a lightning rod in the weeks ahead, as Republican and conservative voters narrow down their choice for the nominee. A large swath of Republicans wish their party would just steer clear of the abortion issue, and in fact drop it all together. So far, Carson’s point of view hasn’t hurt him in the polls – certainly not in Iowa where he has a nearly double-digit lead over Donald Trump, at 28 to 19 percent.
Still we have a lot of rows to hoe before the first caucus – and another debate this week. (Hopefully it won’t devolve into another food fight). Abortion is just one issue among many – and a deeply personal one. But as a woman I must say it’s not the only important issue for me, and I hope it’s not the only issue on which other female voters make their decision.
[Note: This article was written by Michele Hickford]