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At the back room of your local Planned Parenthood


Ben Carson is doing that thing again where he lets extremely stupid words come out of his mouth, and then defends them because anyone criticizing him is a tool of the oppressive politically correct agenda that is ruining America. Having conclusively proven that the Holocaust never could have happened if German Jews had refused to surrender their pistols and rifles to wipe out the SS, he's decided to play Historical Analogy Bingo with another topic, explaining that women who have abortions are a lot like slaveholders, possibly because they twirl their long moustaches and laugh evilly.

[contextly_sidebar id="ujic9TwRjislbqo2iPslggLR31WX9UGW"]On Sunday's Meet the Press, Carson said he knew people might make a fuss about the comparison, then slyly made it anyway, knowing full well that when it comes to the Republican base this year, he can pretty much say any crazy shit he wants as long as he says it softly and mentions Jesus now and then:

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 what if the 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?

The second part of the comment, that the attempt to outlaw abortion is the moral equivalent of the fight to abolish slavery, and therefore no compromise is possible, is certainly not new to arguments over legal abortion. Carson's only innovation is making explicit the unstated assumption in the analogy, which is that a pregnant woman is exactly like a slaveholder. In a sense, maybe we should thank him for getting that out there, since it makes the absurdity of the claim that "pro-lifers" are just like abolitionists a lot clearer.

As Leah Berkenwald argued in Ms Magazine in 2011:

The problem here is that the slavery analogy only makes sense if you believe having an abortion is somehow equivalent to owning a human being. (It isn’t.)

Do we really need to go into all the reasons that abortions are different from slavery? Like, for instance, that slavery was a national institution that involved the lifetime ownership and trade in living human beings, while abortion is an individual choice about a woman's control over her own reproduction? Also, fetuses eventually get borned, after which they have full rights as people, while a slave was enslaved for life, barring the rare emancipation or self-purchase? Also, as many have learned to their chagrin, fetuses are absolutely useless at forced labor.

As Berkenwald points out, if anyone is losing their autonomy when abortion is banned, it's women -- no more control over your body for you, lady, because you need to keep that thing inside you until it's a precious little borned baby, after which the GOP is no longer interested in the little moocher.

Still, even though he wants to ban all abortions except, maybe, in cases where a woman's life is endangered by continuing a pregnancy, Carson said he's willing to listen to folks who disagree:

"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," Carson told host Chuck Todd.

See? Very reasonable. Just as long as we start from the premise that all fertilized eggs have full citizenship rights, of course. As to allowing abortions in cases of rape or incest, Carson would have none of that, because why discriminate against a person who is a fertilized egg simply because of the circumstances of that person's fertilization?

“Rape and incest I would not be in favor of killing a baby because the baby came about in that way," he said, adding that there were "many stories of people who have led very useful lives who were the result of rape or incest."

It's mostly a matter of encouraging your rape or incest baby to read Ben Carson's book, which explains how he overcame all the early disadvantages that he had. You, too, can become a useful person, rape baby!

[contextly_sidebar id="NfHileRzUa0S5sfwIEQp75OwwQlxtvvZ"]Unfortunately, Carson did not connect his comments on abortion to his other recent insights, like his thoughts on mass shootings. But give him a week, and he'll get there -- maybe fetuses could start bum-rushing doctors, shouting "They might be able to abort one or two of us, but they can't get us all! Follow me, and we'll make it to the birth canal!" Or maybe they could simply point the cannula to the guy in the next womb.

[WaPo / Ms]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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