WASHINGTON -- Dr. Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon-turned-insurgent presidential contender, compared abortion to slavery on Sunday, adding that he does not support exceptions for rape and incest when it comes to outlawing the practice.
"Think about this," he told "Meet the Press." "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?"
Rising in the polls in Iowa -- with its deeply evangelical Republican caucusgoers -- Carson called for overturning the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision and only conceded that "there's room to discuss" an exception if the health of the mother was at stake. Below is the relevant transcript, pasted in full because his answers were often hard to tease out.
CHUCK TODD: Okay. Do you want to see Roe v. Wade overturned?
DR. BEN CARSON: Ultimately, I would love to see it overturned.
CHUCK TODD: And that means all abortions illegal? Or is there still an exception that you would have?
DR. BEN 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.
CHUCK TODD: Life and health of the mother?
DR. BEN CARSON: Again, that's a extraordinarily rare situation. But if in that very rare situation it occurred, I believe there's room to discuss that.
CHUCK TODD: Rape and incest?
DR. BEN 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.
Carson's comments to "Meet The Press" are the latest in a fairly scattered history when it comes to abortion policy. Carson has stated his support for a bill that would ban abortions at 20 weeks. And as a neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins he was personally opposed to abortion. But as POLITICO reported, he also “has referred women to doctors who perform abortions [and] was a trustee of a foundation that gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Planned Parenthood.”
As for the slavery analogy, this seems to be a favorite of the presidential candidate's. He's compared Obamacare to slavery as well.