Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson is no stranger to making asinine and offensive remarks.
But he may have outdone himself on Sunday when he compared women who have abortions to slave owners on NBC's "Meet the Press." He said,
No. Think about this. 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 abolitionists had said 'I don't believe in slavery, I think it's wrong, but you guys do whatever you want to do.' Where would we be?
Indeed, a candidate for president of the United States just likened women who have abortions to the perpetrators of the most abhorrent and inhumane institution in American history.
Slavery persisted in America for over two centuries, from the colonial era (beginning in the early 17th century) to the end of the American Civil War (1861-1865). Millions of people endured unspeakable horrors under this horrendous practice, and it continues to have a reverberating impact in American society today.
Carson's analogy was not only unfounded and misleading, it was exceptionally insulting. He just trivialized one of the worst crimes against humanity in history while vilifying innocent women who have the legal right to obtain abortions.
What's more, Dr. Carson also stated he opposes abortion in essentially all instances, even in cases of rape or incest, NBC News reports.
Accordingly, the famed neurosurgeon said he would "love" to see Roe v. Wade overturned so abortion becomes illegal nationwide.
Dr. Carson contended he opposes abortion because he wants to protect life. If that's truly the case, perhaps he should recognize the consequences of making abortion illegal and limiting reproductive services.
Over half of all pregnancies are unintended, and around 40 percent of unintended pregnancies result in abortions.
Correspondingly, making abortion illegal doesn't decrease abortion rates, but it does increase the likelihood of unsafe abortions. The World Health Organization reports 47,000 women die from unsafe abortions worldwide every year.
So if Dr. Carson really wants to protect life, he might want to support abortion rights.
It also wouldn't hurt for Carson to exhibit even a modicum of empathy for women who become pregnant as a consequence of rape, particularly given one in five women reports experiencing rape in her lifetime (and he will never know what it's like to be pregnant to begin with, for obvious reasons).
While abortion is legal in the US, it remains a hotly contested issue. Although many might find Dr. Carson's views on the issue baffling and offensive, he's definitely not alone in having them.
In fact, recent polls show Dr. Carson leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in Iowa, The New York Times reports.
In spite of his incendiary and illogical rhetoric, Dr. Carson has an evident appeal among certain segments of Republican voters.
Citations: Carson Women Who Have Abortions Are Like Slaveowners (Think Progress), Ben Carson I Would Love to See Abortion Law Overturned (NBC News), New Poll Shows Ben Carsons Lead Expanding Over Donald Trump in Iowa (The New York Times), Ben Carson Is Wrong on Guns and the Holocaust (The New York Times)