Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson defended his pro-life position this week in Iowa after facing criticism for comments he made about the pro-life movement and Terri Schiavo.
“My position is that abortion should not be done,” Carson told Bloomberg Politics. “I believe that it’s murder and I don’t think that’s hateful speech. That’s just telling the truth.”
As evidence of his pro-life position, Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, told people to look at his life. Carson said he is the only candidate running for president who has saved people’s lives.
“I’m the only one who has ever operated on premature babies all night long to save them – the only one who’s operated on babies inside of the womb, the only one who’s come up with new techniques and procedures to save lives, over which I got a lot of controversy early on, but now many of those things have become standard procedure that continue to save lives all over the world,” Carson told Bloomberg.
Carson said he opposes abortion in cases of rape and incest, too. He told the interviewer that he knows people who were born as a result of rape, including televangelist James Robinson whose mother was raped and almost aborted him.
“And he’s had a positive impact on hundreds of thousands of lives,” Carson said.
Last month, Carson blamed “peer pressure” for American’s acceptance of abortion as a “woman’s right,” during a speech at the First Choice Pregnancy Center banquet in Las Vegas, according to Raw Story.
“Someone has tried to make this into an issue of women’s rights,” the former neurosurgeon told the pro-life crowd Monday. “What about the baby? You know, it’s one of the most sacred relationships in the universe, a mother and that child inside of her.
“How have we become so distorted that we have managed to convince women that that baby inside of her is her enemy and that she has a right to kill it,” Carson said. (A side note: Interestingly, when Raw Story, a liberal news outlet, reported Carson’s comments, it removed the phrase “to kill it” from his quote and did not include ellipses to indicate that Carson’s comment continued.)
Carson told the crowd that at one time in his life he also had given into the peer pressure of “the culture of death” and believed abortion was a choice: “I personally wouldn’t agree with it but anyone else can do what they want. I mean, why would I interfere with someone else’s choice?”
Carson faced some backlash from pro-lifers in late November for his response to the mass shooting around a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood abortion facility in November. In an interview with CBS soon after the tragic incident, Carson claimed that the pro-life movement uses “hateful rhetoric.”
“There is no question that you know hateful rhetoric no matter which side it comes from – right or left – is something that is detrimental to our society,” Carson told CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “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. And the rhetoric is extremely immature, divisive and is not helpful when you have outside forces – global Islamic radical jihadists who want to destroy us.”
Carson added that there’s “No question the hateful rhetoric exacerbates the situation” and urged “intelligent, civil discussion” about differences.
Others questioned Carson earlier in November after he said a bill to save Terri Schiavo’s life was “much ado about nothing.”
He later explained his comments in an email to LifeNews:
“I am steadfastly opposed to euthanasia. I have spent my entire career protecting life, especially the life of children. I regret that my recent comments about Terri Schiavo have been taken out of context and misinterpreted. When I used the term ‘much ado about nothing,’ my point was that the media tried to create the impression that the pro-life community was nutty and going way overboard with the support of the patient,” Carson said.