As the New Hampshire primary is today, the presidential candidates have been out campaigning in the state, making last ditch efforts to win people’s votes. New Jersey Governor and GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie was at a Manchester town hall-type event Monday and was asked a question about his position on abortion. In his response, Christie said that abortion is an act of self-defense in certain cases.
The questioner began his question by reading a quote from Chris Christie:
“Governor Christie, let me read you a quote: ‘I am proud to be a pro-life Republican. I believe that every life is an individual gift from God, and that no life is disposable.’ How does that square with your position in favor of exceptions to the ban on abortion for rape and incest?”
In his answer, Christie invoked conservative icon and former President Ronald Reagan, which is what every Republican candidate must do in order to win support from GOP voters. The more in common each candidate says he is with Ronald Reagan, the more support that candidate will get.
Here’s Christie’s response to how his previous statements on how “no life is disposable” squares with his belief in rape and incest exceptions:
“In the same way that it squared for Ronald Reagan. I believe that we have always found exceptions for self-defense. And I believe that if a woman is raped, or a woman is the victim of incest, that to be forced to have that child is not appropriate, and that it can be an act of self-defense for her to end that. I know there are some people who disagree with that. But, you know what, if someone came into my house with a gun, even though I believe every life is precious, and tried to commit an act of crime on me, I could act in self-defense to end that life, and not be at all inconsistent with my pro-life position. And so, I understand there are some who are for no exceptions. That’s a perfectly appropriate position to take, if that’s what you feel in your heart. But it is not what I believe in my heart.”
He’s comparing a victim of rape or incest to a victim of a home break-in. Christie said that even though he believes that every life is precious, he can still end the life of a home intruder or attempted murderer, and that doing so would be self-defense. But how is that home intruder or attempted murderer analogous to a baby conceived from rape or an incestuous relationship? The baby is the innocent bystander. The rapist should be punished, not the unborn baby who had nothing to do with the act.
Perhaps that wasn’t Christie’s intention. Maybe what he was trying to point out was that there are always exceptions. Even though “every life is precious,” that doesn’t mean one can’t kill an attempted murderer in self-defense. That’s true. Christie was drawing a parallel between that case – which shows that there are exceptions for killing another person, namely self-defense – and abortion, which he argues should have exceptions in the same way.
But it’s still not consistent. In each case, someone is attacking another person with the intent of murdering that innocent person. In the case of an abortion, it’s irrelevant how the baby was conceived. Why would that baby be worth protecting only as long as the mother wasn’t raped or in an incestuous relationship? Is a baby conceived in either of those scenarios not a human life? To be consistent, Christie would have to accept that there are no exceptions to abortion, regardless of where the baby came from.
There is never going to be a case where an unborn baby is attacking his mother with the intent of murdering her. If there were, there might be a case for self-defense.
Saying there are exceptions to the abortion rule is like saying there are cases where it’s permissible for a criminal to break in someone else’s home and murder the homeowner. I think Chris Christie would agree that there are no exceptions in those cases. It is always wrong and against the law to murder. Especially those who have not even been born yet.