Ben Carson: Legalized Abortion Is No Different Than Slavery

Ben Carson
(Image by Gage Skidmore, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license.)

Most of us already know that when all the hyperbole is exhausted, Ben Carson is really no different from Donald Trump and a good part of the nation found that out on Sunday morning. As Carson sees it, there is no difference between abortion and slavery.

Carson sat down for a lengthy interview on NBC’s “Meet The Press.” When Chuck Todd asked Carson if he believed women should have the right to abortion, Carson had this to say:

“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 slave owners 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 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?”

But just when you thought Carson had the pro-choice crowd painted into a corner, he gave a lovely revelation of just where his moral fiber really lay. When Todd asked him if he was willing to allow the option of an abortion in cases where the mother’s life and/or health would be endangered, Carson said that if such an “extremely rare situation” were to ever occur, he believed there would be “room to discuss that.”

Unless I heard this wrong, Carson seems to think that there are situations where a mother would not have that option under such circumstances. As many of my longtime readers on Daily Kos know, I was a pro-life liberal until 2011, when several instances of Republican overreach on abortion gradually led me back to being pro-choice. Even when I was pro-life, it was a no-brainer for me–if the mother’s life or health would be endangered by continuing a pregnancy, it would be morally wrong not to allow the option of an abortion.

I also believed that it would be equally wrong not to allow victims of sexual assault that option as well. But not Carson. When Todd asked him if he would favor abortion under those circumstances, Carson didn’t hesitate in saying that he would not, citing the “many stories” of people who were products of rape and incest.

Riddle me this, Ben. What would you say to that little girl in Paraguay who was raped by her mother’s boyfriend, and was forced to carry the baby to term? Even though medical opinion is unanimous that it is far too dangerous to allow a girl that young to become a mother, Paraguayan officials refused to bend. Carson’s statements leave me wondering if he would agree with Mike Huckabee, who believed that while this situation was “a terrible tragedy,” allowing an abortion under these circumstances would “compound the tragedy.” It sure sounds like it, considering that he’s starting from the premise that abortion is no different from slavery.

Carson also seems to forget that a good number of the people to whom he’s referring were born during a time when sexual assault was somehow considered the woman’s fault. Forcing a woman to keep her baby under those conditions amounts to violating her all over again. I believed that even when I was pro-life, and I still believe it now. Contrary to what the Susan B. Anthony List may have you believe, that’s not a “political judgment.” It’s basic decency.

I often say that I didn’t leave the pro-life movement, but that the pro-life movement left me. This screed by Carson is a lovely reminder why.

Darrell is a 30-something graduate of the University of North Carolina who considers himself a journalist of the old school. An attempt to turn him into a member of the religious right in college only succeeded in turning him into the religious right's worst nightmare--a charismatic Christian who is an unapologetic liberal. His desire to stand up for those who have been scared into silence only increased when he survived an abusive three-year marriage. You may know him on Daily Kos as Christian Dem in NC. Follow him on Twitter @DarrellLucus or connect with him on Facebook. Click here to buy Darrell a Mello Yello.