Guy Cecil, the chairman of the progressive super PAC Priorities USA, had viewers cheering after he shut down a pro-life Republican strategist who made the erroneous claim that Democrats are fine with abortion "up to delivery," an activity the rest of us would simply call "birth."
Cecil's exchange with Republican commentator Alice Stewart took place during a joint appearance on CNN host Don Lemon's nightly program. Lemon had raised the possibility that newly emboldened Republicans would enact a federal abortion ban in the event they take control of Congress after this year's midterm elections.
The discussion took place shortly after the Supreme Court published a ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision that once protected a person's right to choose reproductive health care without excessive government restriction.
You can watch what happened in the video below.
After Lemon noted that former Vice President Mike Pence had floated the idea of a federal abortion ban, Stewart suggested that "clearly both sides have what they want to do," adding:
"The pro-life side wants to protect life, and the pro-abortion wants to provide abortion. What we cannot have is what the Democrats currently want to do, the Women's Health Protection Act."
"That is horrible for the unborn children." ...
"Could you imagine having a teenage daughter who needed to have an abortion, and the parents didn't have consent?"
Stewart's question prompted Cecil to respond that he would have an issue with teenage girls needing the consent of their parents if they happened to be "a victim of a rape or incest, in which case your party will allow, not just allow, force that 13-year-old girl to carry her rapist's child, her pregnancy, to term."
Cecil went further, criticizing Republicans who have called for a nationwide abortion ban because they believe that having an abortion is akin to murdering a child outright:
"If they really believe what is happening is a murder, it is inconsistent for you to say a national ban is not the next step. And Republicans care about life until the child is born."
His statement bothered Stewart, who accused Democrats of being "fine with abortion up to delivery." But Cecil was not having it, and it was then that he shut the conversation down, saying:
"How many cases of a woman having an abortion at delivery do you know of that have been reported? How many?"
"Instead of giving women the rights, you want to give Mike Pence and Clarence Thomas the rights over a majority of American women that want to choose their own reproductive health choices."
The exchange soon went viral and many praised Cecil for his delivery.
The news the Supreme Court overturned Roe was not a surprise coming more than a month after a leaked draft opinion indicated the Court's ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization would move to strike it down, which it did in a 5-4 decision.
Writing the majority opinion, Associate Justice Samuel Alito said that the United States Constitution "makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely — the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment."
This argument was harshly opposed by Associate Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, who comprise the Court's liberal wing.
They charged that the decision to overturn Roe and its sister ruling Planned Parenthood v. Casey is indicative of long-held political animus, writing that the majority made the call "because it has always despised them, and now it has the votes to discard them."
In their dissent, they added that the majority "would allow States to ban abortion from conception onward because it does not think forced childbirth at all implicates a woman’s rights to equality and freedom," adding that today's Court "does not think there is anything of constitutional significance attached to a woman’s control of her body and the path of her life" and is keen to empower states to force women "to bring a pregnancy to term, even at the steepest personal and familial costs.”