If there weren’t, well, lives at stake, Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell’s dodging of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson’s questions about whether abortion was the taking of a human life would be comical.
Just check out how often Swalwell (who is, of course, from California) dodged it in an appearance Tuesday night (transcript omits some cross chatter):
Carlson: Do you think it is the taking of a human life, abortion?
Swalwell: I think that, right now … before viability, a woman should be able to make her own decision. After viability, in the case of her own psychological health, in the case of rape or incest, she should also be able to make that decision.
Carlson: OK, but is it the taking of a human life?
Swalwell: That is a woman’s personal decision.
Carlson: OK, but what do you think? I’m not asking about the decision, I mean is it human life or not?
Swalwell: She’s terminating something that she does not want, and that’s her own choice.
Carlson: OK, but do you think it’s human life?
Swalwell: Do I think—I think, at viability, a baby … should be decided by the woman. She’s the one who has to have it.
Carlson: You brought it up, that’s why I’m pressing you, but do you think, before viability, it’s a human life or something else?
Swalwell: I think it’s not viable yet, Tucker, and courts have decided this and it’s a woman’s decision.
Carlson: You’re not going to answer my question, now or ever I suspect, but you should because it’s a basic question I think.
This is … a muddled mess of illogical thinking.
And it really gets to the gist of the abortion debate, which is this: Is the unborn baby human or not, and if not human, at what point does she become human?
Because after all, if the baby isn’t human, it’s irrelevant if women want to have abortions, just as it’s irrelevant if they want to remove tumors or a few cells or have any other number of medical procedures.
But if the baby is human … it’s horrifying that our society wouldn’t protect her life, just because she’s in a vulnerable, dependent position.
Yet this is the question over and over again that the left won’t deal with.
Maybe they won’t deal with it because it threatens their current abortion policies. After all, it’s risible to argue that a full-term baby isn’t human in the womb, and yet acquires humanity passing through the birth canal.
Yet our current laws act like that is the case. Right now, the United States is one of only seven countries in the entire world that allows abortion on demand after 20 weeks.
As President Donald Trump— who pledged during his campaign to make the late-term abortion ban the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act law—bluntly put it in one of his debates with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, “If you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.”
Incidentally, that’s not a position that aligns with most Americans’ viewpoints: A mere 27 percent of Americans think that abortion should be allowed beyond the first three months, outside of rape/incest/life-of-the-mother situations, according to a January Marist poll sponsored by the Catholic organization Knights of Columbus.
It’s not surprising that Americans aren’t comfortable with abortion during all nine months. The increasingly prevalence of ultrasounds has made seeing unborn babies much more vivid than it was in decades past.
And the age at which unborn babies are viable is steadily lowering: In 2011, a baby born at 21 weeks survived in Germany, according to Time.
There’s no doubt that women who face unexpected pregnancies, particularly women in difficult circumstances, have a tough situation. There’s much as a culture that we can—and should—do to help support these women, whether it’s helping them financially or emotionally or in other ways. Thankfully, there are private organizations across the country that do just that—and deserve our support.
It’s irrelevant what the courts think about when life becomes human. It’s irrelevant what abortion activists think about when life becomes human.
What is relevant is science—which tells us that an unborn child has her own unique DNA at the moment of conception.
If Swalwell doesn’t think unborn babies are human, he should say that (and be ready to explain why having your own unique DNA and being able to grow into an adult human aren’t signs of being human).
But if he does think that unborn babies are human or are human at the time they are viable, he should realize it’s time to demand justice for those babies and their right to life, no matter how tragic the circumstances in which their lives began.
Nor is it just Swalwell who refuses to take this question seriously. When House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was asked a similar line of questions in 2015, she refused to answer:
CNS News: In reference to funding for Planned Parenthood: Is an unborn baby with a human heart and a human liver a human being?
Pelosi: Why don’t you take your ideological questions—I don’t, I don’t have—
CNS News: If it’s not a human being, what species is it?
Pelosi: No, listen, I want to say something to you. I don’t know who you are and you’re welcome to be here, freedom of this press. I am a devout practicing Catholic, a mother of five children. When my baby was born, my fifth child, my oldest child was six years old. I think I know more about this subject than you, with all due respect.
CNS News: So it’s not a human being, then?
Pelosi: And I do not intend to respond to your questions, which have no basis in what public policy is that we do here.
If you’re going to make public policy about who lives and dies, it’s relevant who is human and who’s not. Sadly, that doesn’t seem to be something many on the left agree with.