At an anti-abortion rally Tuesday protesting Planned Parenthood, Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson compared abortion to slavery, suggesting that the country’s abolition of slavery signaled its capacity for ending abortion.
“We have just gradually slid in terms of our morals to a point where we don’t really care about the killing of human beings. That is the bad news, the good news is I think we are changing,” Carson said. “We are capable of changing. You know there was a time in this country where there were people who thought it was OK to own other people … We fortunately as a society matured.”
Carson made the comments at the Washington, D.C., “Women Betrayed” rally, one of dozens of events organized around the country in support of defunding Planned Parenthood, which has come under fire after an anti-abortion group released videos showing executives at the organization discussing the cost of fetal organs for donation to medical researchers. As an activist held an “Unborn Lives Matter” sign behind him, Carson recounted how hard he’d worked to save unborn children’s lives as a former neurosurgeon.
This isn’t the first time Carson has tied abortion to slavery: In 2012, the retired surgeon said pro-life activists were akin to abolitionists, and in 2014 said legal abortion was akin to human sacrifice. Other controversial comparisons have made him a conservative celebrity even as he earned national notoriety, like when he called Obamacare the “worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.”
Two other presidential candidates – Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Ted Cruz – also spoke at the rally.
“Every member of the Senate and every member of the House should stand together and say under no circumstances should federal taxpayer dollars should be sent today to an ongoing basis to an ongoing criminal enterprise like Planned Parenthood,” Cruz thundered to the crowd.
“I’m calling today for Hillary Clinton to return the money she’s been receiving from Planned Parenthood officials. The time is now to take a stand!” Paul said.
All three vowed to defund Planned Parenthood if elected president.