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Tipsheet

CNN Anchor Refers to Unborn Babies as 'Children,' Then Quickly Corrects Herself in Incredibly Ableist Interview

Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File

As the abortion debate heats up across America, CNN host Alisyn Camerota recognized in an interview with Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill that fetuses are indeed children, before quickly catching herself.

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The two were discussing the Supreme Court’s recent ruling upholding one part of Indiana’s 2016 law requiring abortion clinics to bury or cremate fetal remains. The justices declined to consider, however, the state’s effort to block abortions based on race, disability, or sex.

“I’m just curious,” she said, gearing up to ask an incredibly offensive question: “Why would you want a family to have to have a child with a severe disability?”

“Well, the issue that the general assembly faced was not with regard to the question you pose, it’s the question of the rights and consideration of the unborn child in terms of discriminatory actions of eliminating that opportunity at life,” replied the attorney general. “Making a decision based solely on race or disability certainly is a discriminatory practice. And no decision in terms of whether or not to have a child should be based on that solely.”

“But that confuses me,” she responded. “Because as you know there are lots of terminations of pregnancies based on the fact that there are severe abnormalities of a fetus. And so why would you take away the choice from a family?”

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“Well it’s not a matter of taking away that choice. It’s a matter of making that decision solely on the basis of not wanting a child because the child doesn’t have a particular characteristic,” he said. “We have examples every day of children who appear to have disabilities or concerns or problems, prenatal, that are born, and live very productive lives and families who support those children.”

“Yeah,” she said.

“So it’s a matter of whether or not it’s appropriate to use that as a sole basis,” he replied.

Camerota, acting dumfounded about the value of disabled children, told him he wasn’t answering her question. 

“Why would lawmakers in Indiana make them have to have a child with severe disabilities? How does that work? Why is that a good thing for the state of Indiana?”

Still not satisfied with Hill’s response, which was similar to his above point about seeking abortions based on a characteristic, she asked again: “Why would lawmakers force parents to bring that child to fruition?”  

“The law doesn’t address issues with respect to severe abnormalities that would make a child un-viable,” Hill said to a still-unsatisfied Camerota. 

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While she already had acknowledged at several points that the end result of a pregnancy is, indeed, a child, she catches herself referring to it as such in the womb. 

“Yeah but lots of families make that decision based on — Hold on a second. Lots of families do have to make that decision based on the single characteristic of finding out their children, that their fetus, has a severe abnormality,” she said. 

Whoops.  

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