On Wednesday, Live Action founder Lila Rose appeared on Dave Rubin’s YouTube show for an hour-long discussion about abortion. Although the entire hour is well worth watching, there were three moments that stood out as particularly illuminating.
Why Does Pain Make A Human?
The first important exchange came when Rubin told Rose that before a fetus can feel pain, he would leave the decision regarding abortion with the mother. Rose then rhetorically asked Rubin why "pain" is where the line is drawn.
RUBIN: I often describe myself as begrudgingly pro-choice. I think I view this probably as horrifically a choice as you do. You don't think it's a choice, per say, but I view the idea here as probably as horrific as you do. I don't think that something at 18 weeks is not a life.
So, when I discussed this with Ben Shapiro ... my position at the time was that at 20 weeks, there is more than ample evidence that the fetus can start feeling pain, and I would view that up until that point ... I would leave the choice with the mother – that it's not a good choice; I'm not defending the choice; I'm not moralizing about the choice, but that's just the position, that I would want the power to be with the person that is here and now.
Now, Ben said something to me that you already alluded to, which is, "Well, if you're saying it's a life at 20 weeks, you're obviously acknowledging it's a life at 18 weeks," and to be logically consistent, I had to concede that point because yes, I am acknowledging that. I'm just allowing the life that's here and now to sort of supersede in the decision making.
ROSE: But why do we have this mindset? Let's imagine – I mean, there are women that kill their infants, their born-alive infants ... why aren't we consistent on this? Is it because the infant, or the 20-week-old can feel pain? Is pain the kind of ticket to legal protection? My ability to feel pain? Because what if I was paralyzed [and] I couldn't feel pain?
No Moderate Position
The second important exchange came immediately after the first. Rubin noted that he is having a difficult time staking out a "moderate" position on abortion, to which Rose replied that when it comes to this issue, there really isn’t a moderate position.
RUBIN: Again, I don't think it's a perfectly airtight, logical argument. My deference, though, is to the mother. Now, I would say this ... [the Democrats] have now gone seemingly so far extreme on abortion, where it's now [that] we're talking late-trimester, and then there was that really awful video of the governor of Virginia talking about decisions that could be made after birth. They have gone so extreme that I'm finding holding what I think is a somewhat moderate position here, I'm finding to be just very difficult.
ROSE: I hear you, and I think it's because they're actually being consistent. That's the thing on abortion. I don't think that you can have – when it comes to looking at when life begins, when life should be protected – I don't think you can have a moderate position. It's either, it is a life and it should be protected ... or he or she is not a life, and we as adults, the strong people in the room (the mom or the doctor), we get to decide when that life deserves protection or when that life can be killed.
So, I think that actually, in a way, as repulsive as the Democrats' crazy [abortion positions are] ... as crazy as it sounds to most people, they're actually being consistent because they're saying, "Well, it's a helpless dependent infant/fetus/embryo. I decide as the adult when I can confer the value on this. I get to make the final medical decision," as they see it, a "medical decision," so leave me alone.
Planned Parenthood Funding
The final important exchange came when Rubin asked Rose about the money that Planned Parenthood receives from the taxpayer. Rose then laid out an excellent analogy regarding the way the government justifies allocating more than half a billion dollars to Planned Parenthood annually.
RUBIN: What do we need to know about funding?
ROSE: So, here are the basic numbers, and again, I'll explain what the opposing side may say to maybe show where the disconnect is.
There's over half of a billion dollars going to Planned Parenthood from U.S. taxpayer sources. So that's federal money, and it's going down through the states, being distributed through Title X historically – that's what President Trump just cut actually, his administration – and through Medicaid largely. There's all these other teeny little streams of money as well.
So, Planned Parenthood says, "Well, they're not funding our abortion because we're using this to reimburse for ultrasound, or reimburse for condoms, or reimburse for a pregnancy test, or whatever. The problem with that is those reimbursements are helping fund the infrastructure at Planned Parenthood where they're committing abortions, and some of those other services, like ultrasound or pregnancy tests, are done around the abortion "service."
...And it's just, the money is fungible. It's kind of like saying, "We're not going to fund steak, people eating steak, because it's wrong. Eating cows is wrong, or it's hurting the environment ... but we're still going to fund steakhouses half of a billion dollars a year." It's like, "Well, it's only paying for the catchup and the french fries." It's just like, come on, guys. It is funding a corporation that has increased abortion numbers over the last ten years. And a lot of their other services have actually declined.
Here’s the full interview (pertinent portions begin at the 24:15, 26:03, and 50:41 marks):