Intelligent and Sensitive Abortion Discussion On The Daily Show

@anniepa (27238)
United States
June 19, 2009 10:23pm CST
I've taken some flak in the past for using The Daily Show as a source (YES, I DO know it's fake news!) but on last night's show I saw one of the most respectful, intelligent and sensitive debates on the subject of abortion I have ever seen between host Jon Stewart and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. You can watch the video of the extended interview, more than what aired on TV, below: http://www.thedailyshow.com/index.jhtml This is one time I'm especially frustrated by my speakers not working on my computer because I'm unable to hear the parts that weren't on the show. I've also searched for a transcript with no success so far. The gist of the interview was, as Stewart said, it is possible for people on opposite sides of this sensitive issue to find common ground; he brought up how if "abstinence only" doesn't work it's better for young peole to know how to protect themselves. Huckabee said something to the effect that "We don't have to shout at each other and we sure don't have to shoot each other." I think the message is that, with the exception of the extremists on either end of this issue, like with every issue, we're really not that far apart. Nobody "likes" abortion. Who can disagree that our goal should be to reduce the number of abortions by making it so fewer people feel the need for one? There was a discussion here a few weeks ago where the OP said there is no middle ground but is that really true? Can't most of us at least talk about trying to work together toward a common goal? Annie
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8 responses
@soren1 (66)
20 Jun 09
I happened to see it even though I live in Britain, and I thought it was quite an awkward exchange - a kind of transparently 'forced' sense of respect for each other's position that neither really felt. The problem with the abortion issue is that neither side really engages with the premise on which the other side bases its case, and until that happens there can never be a meaningful dialogue. For instance, Stewart never really engaged with the point about at what stage life commences.
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@anniepa (27238)
• United States
20 Jun 09
I could identify with Stewart when he said how this is one issue where he sometimes "just doesn't know". I mean, I'm staunchly pro-choice and I pray we never go back to the days of back-alley abortions that killed or permanently maimed so many girls and women back when I was a young girl but the nature of this issue makes it kind of hard to make a point. When someone such as Mike Huckabee, as former minister, has his mind made up that life begins at conception, there is no way anyone is going to change it. I think the time would be better spent finding things that can be agreed upon or at least where compromise is possible. I know it's a very small step but to just convince some of the most staunch anti-abortion people that anyone who has ever sought an abortion isn't an evil murderer is a start. To get them to admit that abstinence only education isn't usually enough is another step. This is such a complex issue it's not going to be resolved in a half hour discussion, that's for sure. Annie
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
20 Jun 09
Piasabird, just what is your point? How many would it HAVE to be to be too many in your estimation? Annie
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
21 Jun 09
Thank you, Spall. The same goes for Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. Annie
@katran (590)
• United States
20 Jun 09
I think that you are absolutely right that no one "likes" abortion, but I am not sure it is possible to find a "middle ground". My personal belief is that abortion is the same as murder, so I cannot think of a single "compromise" that would let me feel comfortable to look the other way while people are murdering children. I think that anyone who compromised on such strong beliefs would not be a very good person. That being said, I do not thin it is fair to say "no abortion, ever." I have said this before and I will say it again: there is a thing in medicine called triage. Triage means that in a situation where more than one person's life is at stake, it is a doctor's duty to save the one with the greatest chance of survival, and in the case of a pregnant mother and unborn child, it is almost always the pregnant mother. When people use their stories of having to abort children because they would have killed the mother or the child's twin, it really breaks my heart because I cannot imagine how hard that would be. However, I do not think that is abortion! It is just a really hard choice that must be made. In those situations, you have to think of it from a perspective of realizing that, even though a life is being lost, a life is also being saved. That is a hard thing to deal with, but sometimes it must be done. So, in light of that, I think abortion should never be legal, but I do not think that triage procedures are abortion. Basically, killing an unborn child for any reason other than to save the life of the mother is murder. Even if it's a case of rape. Even if the child is going to be disabled. It is wrong to kill disabled children or poor children AFTER they are born, and it is still wrong if we kill them before they are born. On this, I cannot ever compromise in good conscience. That being said, abstinence only education is just about the stupidest thing EVER, and those who preach it should be ashamed of themselves for only adding to the problem of unplanned pregnancy, teenage pregnancy, and abortion. Abstinence only education does not prevent these things. Only common sense and good parenting can do that.
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
20 Jun 09
You are right that "It is wrong to kill disabled children or poor children AFTER they are born, and it is still wrong if we kill them before they are born." I've said that late term abortions should be legal only to protect the life or health of the mother or in cases of severe deformities to the child. When I say the latter I don't mean just any type of disability. I'm talking about babies being born without all or part of their brain and other horrific conditions. Babies that would die shortly after birth or if they were to survive for a time their quality of life would be non-existent. Not uncomfortable, not handicapped but total suffering and helplessness. The one thing you wrote that I must respectfully disagree with is your assertion that someone who doesn't believe abortion is murder is "not a very good person". I feel that being judgmental like that doesn't solve a thing. However, I want you to know that I respect you opinion and your right to have it and express it. Thanks for a thoughtful response. Annie
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@katran (590)
• United States
20 Jun 09
I didn't mean to say that someone who doesn't think abortion is murder is a bad person. I meant someone who compromised on something they strongly believe in - such as the idea that abortion is murder - would not be a very good person. Sorry you misunderstood me. I don't think being pro-choice makes one a bad person. I may strongly disagree with them on that view, but to call them a bad person based off of just that would be way too judgmental.
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@anniepa (27238)
• United States
21 Jun 09
Thank you so much for clearing that up! Annie
@jerzgirl (8013)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
20 Jun 09
I like Jon Stewart's show. And, it IS real news = it's just not a real news show. He takes perfectly legitimate news and presents it while looking through a cockeyed lens. We get to see things with a slight twist that often accentuates either the key point to the news story or brings another point to our attention that we hadn't noticed the first time. He does have the odd character on once in a while who does fake news spots, but Jon himself uses REAL news and REAL people and, way more often than not, he respects every person who sits across from him, regardless of their political perspective. I have a lot of respect for him because of how he treats his guests. I agree on the abortion issue. There is no TRUE middle ground except that both sides try to understand why each other feels like they do. I personally detest using abortion as a method of birth control. There is no way you can look at an ultrasound and say that little body there with hands, feet, ears, hair and mouth is NOT human. Yet, because of medical issues of my own, I understand that there could be, and are, legitimate medical reasons why an abortion might be necessary. But, in no way am I comfortable with it being a "choice" of birth control. Had other methods been used, there would be no "need".
• United States
20 Jun 09
There is no method that is 100 percent except of course not having s$x. My second son is a birth control baby, I was faithful to the pill for 2 years never missed a dose it was like having my cup of coffee in the morning. I found out I was pregnant at 3 months I was shocked the whole time taking the pills. I asked my doctor how on earth could this happen. He explained to me that my body must have adjusted to the dosage and that was the reason. So to women out there that are on birth control please make sure to talk to your doc about the dosage after being on it for a bit. I had my son which is now 23 years old. Just wanted to let you know if this could have happened to me it could have happened to many others as well. How many women could actually be responsible and have the birth control fault them? I do not know but I am sure I was not the only one. Just a different view than yourus is all.
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@jerzgirl (8013)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
20 Jun 09
Oh, believe me. I am well aware that things happen. My daughter is a pill baby. And, I'm glad they didn't work, even though I hadn't wanted to get pregnant at all after three losses in a row. But, I also know that the majority of the time, properly used contraceptives or other preventive measures DO work.
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@anniepa (27238)
• United States
20 Jun 09
You ARE right about Jon Stewart, jerzgirl! I guess it's because it IS on Comedy Central and SOME segments are "fake" some of those on the right here on myLot won't accept anything from that source because some of it isn't real. I've seen some of the best interviews with candidates and lawmakers on this show. The best thing is he often puts things in a humorous way so some young viewers who wouldn't be interested otherwise find themselves getting informed in spite of themselves. I'm also not comfortable with the idea of abortion being used as an alternative to birth control but I've noticed how many anti-choice people like to imply this is very common and I really don't buy that. I've known people who have had abortions and it's not a walk in the park. It's actually very painful and anesthesia is rarely used for early abortions and since most insurances don't cover it's VERY expensive even without anesthesia, if available, and if it is available it's REALLY expensive. I really don't think many women or girls are thinking, "I won't worry about birth control, I'll just hop in the car and go have an abortion if I get pregnant!" Annie
@spalladino (17925)
• United States
21 Jun 09
I don't believe the bs opinion that's already been posted that "millions" of women simply refuse to use birth control so there are some instances where finding a middle ground is not going to be possible. I strongly believe that education and access to services will reduce the number of unintended pregnancies but we have areas of this country that would rather promote abstinence only education then face the realities of life and take steps to protect their young people. Along with unplanned pregnancies I'm also concerned about the spread of STDs. I don't *like* abortion...I'm not a *fan* of abortion but if any middle ground leads to even one young woman using a metal coat hanger for anything other than hanging her clothes in the closet, I can't support it.
1 person likes this
@katran (590)
• United States
21 Jun 09
Don't you think that even though abortion is legal now there are still girls who are using coat hangers? I think either way there will be young women who can't afford it or are too ashamed or something. Knowing that is the case, I would rather save as many unborn lives as possible and devote my energy to making sure women have access to birth control rather than making sure they have access to a means to kill their unborn.
@jb78000 (15173)
20 Jun 09
i get all my news from the onion... anyway agreee with most of you here, abortion has to be legal but it should be a last resort
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@anniepa (27238)
• United States
20 Jun 09
Safe, legal and RARE should be the motto. Annie
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
21 Jun 09
I think she's a hero to all women! Annie
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
20 Jun 09
I do not watch the Daily Show, and of course, I am pro not killing the unborn. As for respect, I suppose you take it to mean that someone will agree that there is a time when the unborn should be killed and what they really mean is an ectopic pregnancy, but what can be interpreted by a pro-abortion person to mean when the woman will give birth to a severely handicapped child or the child if allowed to live will make it extremely difficult for her. I think the abstinence is the best idea, but there are cases such as rape and even though it is rare, the girl could become pregnant. Then I think that adoption is the best solution because if the baby was aborted, the rapist will figure he can rape other girls and get away with it, or the baby will resemble the rapist phyically and the woman would maybe grow to hate the baby, the exception being that either she did not see him or she was of strong character. As for s*x education, it cannot be done without a good moral education as to responsibility not only of the girl, but of the boy who got her in the family way in the first place. So if both sides talk about adoption, or going after the 'boy' who decided to show his manhood by impregnating every female he could, or if they are taught that it is best to wait until marriage, that common ground I will agree on.
@bestboy19 (5482)
• United States
22 Jun 09
Where abortion is concerned, what is the common goal?
@ZephyrSun (7385)
• United States
22 Jun 09
Well I must say kudos to Huckabee for saying that he doesn't believe that people that are pro-choice are pro-abortion. I also must agree with Stewart when he compared the whole rape instead of murder. He made a very good point about women giving up the right to control their body, which we all know that conservatives want less government as long as it doesn't infringe on their personal beliefs and if it does than there should be bigger government. I honestly do not believe that there will ever be a common ground because pro-life and pro-choice people believe fully in their cause.