Tucker Carlson spent the first quarter of his show all but celebrating Alabama’s new law that bans almost all abortions – from the perspective of three white men, only.
Carlson, a virulent and dishonest opponent of abortion, opened his show with a suggestion that Alabama was just exercising its state’s right with the new law (and never mind that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled otherwise).
Carlson followed that up with a discussion with Elijah Haahr, Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives, which is working on its own anti-abortion law.
Hume’s title is “senior political analyst” at Fox. It suggests he’s supposed to analyze, not advocate. But Hume didn’t hold back, to put it mildly.
HUME: [E]stimates are as many as 60 million human lives, millions of those with beating hearts snuffed out by abortion since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. That is a staggering total of loss of human life.
Planned Parenthood calls itself something it’s not which is about parenthood. It is certainly not about parenthood. And you have all these other euphemisms, you know: women’s choice, women’s health, and my favorite of all is reproductive rights because if abortions are about one thing, it’s not reproduction. It is anti-reproductive rights. And you can kind of sense that it is understood on the part of those who adopt such terms that they’re skating on moral thin ice here and they better not call this really what it is which is the taking of innocent human life.
Carlson was all ears. But he wanted more of an attack on pro-choicers, apparently, because he prodded Hume for more inflammatory smearing. Hume readily complied.
CARLSON: Do you think the hysteria that you see on the subject, really from one side, from the pro-choice side comes from the fact that deep down they know it’s an atrocity?
HUME: Yes, I think it does.
Hume went on to call Roe v. Wade a legal “abomination” and he claimed that “pro-choice lawyers and legal scholars will admit that.”
Then came the pièce de résistance:
HUME: Science is telling us more and more all the time about just how much of a person these fetuses are.
Watch these two men long to subjugate women's bodies and erase our right to choose below, from the May 15, 2019 Tucker Carlson Tonight.
Many years ago NPR did a story that had nothing to about abortion, yet it sends an important message about unwanted children – the typical outcome of forcing women to have babies. NPR did a prison story and found, if I recall, 70% of prisoners were unwanted children. Of course, I would never advocate abortion to lower crime; however, the point is there are social consequences to forced births.
Forced births is the issue as proved by Republicans typically being opposed to making access to birth control affordable – even free – so it’s widely available. Abortion rates fall as birth control use goes up, a truth so obvious you wonder why Republicans miss it. Which is the point. They don’t. They are part of the ‘be fruitful and multiply’ crowd. A call to the nascent nation of Israel thousands of years ago when it was in the nation building mode, not a command thousands of years later to nations which have enough population. In fact, Earth’s resources arguably are so stressed we have too much population.
Which gets to the central opposition to abortion: misinterpretation of the Bible. Jesus, of course, said nothing about abortion. The Old Testament is pretty much mum on it as well though both sides of the argument infer things from the Bible. Abortion wasn’t unknown to our forefathers writing the Bible. Some herbs were widely believed to cause abortions. In fact, Numbers 5:16-22, while ambiguous, appears to discuss priests giving such a concoction to an accused adulteress.
Oft quoted is Exodus 21:22-23 which both pro-life and pro-choice camps quote. Which is to say it’s ambiguous but, by my reading, appears to talk of accidental harm caused a pregnant woman, not harm to the product of her miscarriage. Interestingly, Hosea 9:14 places a curse on the tribe of Ephraim to experience spontaneous miscarriages – abortions: “Give them, O Lord – what will you give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.” Does God himself cause abortions? Hmmm….
Of course no argument, scientific or religious will convince right-wingers like Hume to change his position. But I do ask Hume to ponder what would be the social consequences if 60,000,000 unwanted children – one fifth of our population – populated America. And many subsequently wanted and loved children probably counted in the millions – see my opening argument – went unborn.
As far as his vicious swipe at Planned Parenthood, they actually do a fair amount to help women with the issues of parenthood, including all kinds of screens and tests that actual women find medically necessary and in fact life-saving.
As for his nonsense about Griswold v Connecticutt (which he’s repeated a bunch of times on Fox News and it’s been false every time he’s said it), the “right to privacy” was not “invented”. That’s a complete, utter falsehood and Hume knows it. In fact, the Griswold decision was discussed at the Earl Warren Supreme Court in 1968 with a specific reference to whether the constitution allows for privacy – and the 7 justices who agreed on this (including Byron White!) noted that you find that understanding in areas of the Bill of Rights like the freedom from improper searches. If you had no right to privacy, then any search could be conducted and you would have no recourse. With that right, the authorities can’t just bulldoze into your place. It’s why we have things called WARRANTS which judges have to approve. So there is an understood right to privacy that is found in the Constitution. Which is why the 1973 case of Roe, discussed at the Warren Burger Supreme Court goes with that right to also note that women have the right to deal with internal medical matters without having states and localities get into their business. This is something that most conservatives used to understand as a matter of keeping the government “out of our bedrooms”. But with the evangelical group and the deplorables now ruling the GOP, they appear to have forgotten that and are now trying to eliminate the notion that anyone has a right to privacy.
But we should remember that Carlson is marching in lockstep with the rest of the angry Right Wingers in terms of using States’ Rights as the first wedge they will employ for the Roberts Supreme Court to gut most of Roe v Wade. Keep that in mind every time you hear one of these guys just happen to mention that “Hey, the citizens of this state have chosen to have this law, and they have that right”. And by the way, it is NOT just about whether someone in a small town in Alabama suddenly imposes a 99 year prison sentence for any doctor who performs a medical procedure – it’s about whether the state of Alabama can unilaterally overrule the will of the rest of the country on a matter that was decided almost 50 years ago. Of course, with the current SC, it is almost certain that they will overturn Roe, since the Far Right members have inadvertently blurted out that they don’t believe in stare decisis or “settled law”, regardless of what they have said to gullible Senators like Susan Collins.
I could spend the next five pages going through every single vicious lie spewed by Carlson and by Haahr. The short version is they weren’t even lying through their teeth – they were doing it with full open mouth enthusiasm. But I’ll note that Haahr’s comment about the impending Ohio viciousness not being about a court challenge to Roe could have been spit-take funny – if it wasn’t for the fact that he intends to victimize as many Ohio women as he can.
Getting to Brit Hume, let’s first note that he is not a legal scholar, nor a constitutional scholar, nor even a lawyer. He is a former Fox News pundit, who had a decidedly Right Wing bent to his coverage when he posed as a journalist for ABC – something that most infamously saw him try to “gotcha” President Clinton at the Rose Garden announcement ceremony for Justice Ginsburg. (Hume tried to play a card about Lani Guinier and Stephen Breyer at that ceremony and was then appropriately slapped down by an openly offended Clinton, and Hume was doubly humiliated when the rest of the press corps rose to give Clinton a standing ovation for not letting Hume get away with that game.) But Hume does have a long record of saying vicious anti-choice things on Fox News, something he was noted for in your link from 2014 as just a single example of many, many times.