CNN Host Balks at Abortion Law: Why Would Indiana Force Families to Bear a Child 'With a Severe Disability?'

May 29, 2019

CNN host Alisyn Camerota aggressively questioned the Indiana attorney general on why his state would force a family "to have a child with a severe disability" in response to a new Supreme Court decision on an Indiana abortion law.

The Supreme Court allowed a lower court block to remain of an Indiana law—signed by now-Vice President Mike Pence in 2016 when he was governor—that banned abortions solely sought because of sex, race, or disability of the fetus. It did uphold a state law requiring abortion providers to bury or cremate fetal remains, the New York Times reported.

In a clip flagged by Mediaite, Camerota focused on parents potentially having to bear children with severe disabilities, calling herself confused and repeatedly asking Republican Curtis Hill why Indiana would force families into such a position.

"What I want to focus in on is the first part we just described, where Indiana had tried to block women from getting abortions if it were based on a disability," Camerota said. "I'm just curious about that one. 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 posed," Hill said. "It's the question of the rights and consideration of the unborn child in terms of discriminatory actions of eliminating that opportunity at life. 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."

"That confuses me, because as you know there are lots of terminations of pregnancies based on the fact that there are severe abnormalities of a fetus. Why would you take away that choice from a family?" Camerota asked.

Hill said it wasn't about taking away a choice but rather making a decision because the child didn't have a "particular characteristic."

"We have certainly 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," Hill said. "It's a matter of whether or not it's appropriate to use that as sole basis."

Camerota protested she wasn't getting an answer to her question, again framing her question as to why lawmakers in Indiana would make families "have a child with severe disabilities," such as the rare chromosomal defects Trisomy 13 or Trisomy 18.

"That child will have so many problems and will most likely not live past their first birthday. Why would lawmakers force parents to bring that child to fruition?" Camerota asked.

"The law does not address issues with respect to severe abnormalities that would make a child unviable. That's not the point of this particular statute," Hill said.

The pair continued on a similar back-and-forth throughout the six-minute interview. At one point in the conversation, the CNN anchor began to refer to unborn "children" before correcting herself and saying "fetus."