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Republicans Trying to Repeal Roe v. Wade, Force Back Alley Abortions, Pro-Choice Fox News Guest Says

A fiery Fox News exchange Wednesday over late-term abortion legislation reignited debate on whether conservatives -- specifically male lawmakers -- are attempting to repeal Roe v. Wade and "take control" of women's reproductive health.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson brought on pro-choice activist and Democratic political consultant Monica Klein to address Virginia legislation that would allow rare cases of late-term abortions in which a woman's health is determined to be in grave danger. The bill to loosen restrictions on abortion follows a recently passed New York bill to protect women's health at the state level regardless of whether conservatives are able to repeal Roe v. Wade on the federal level. Klein said Republicans simply seek to insert themselves into private reproductive health discussions between a woman and her physician. 

Comments from Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam Wednesday describing late-term abortions -- particularly his use of the word "infant" -- drew widespread criticism from conservatives who labeled the "born-alive procedures" as horrific. But Northam, who is a pediatrician, responded through his communications team that Republicans are "trying to play politics with women's health" and clarified his comments on the risks of severe fetal abnormalities.

Carlson asked Klein Wednesday evening, "I wonder what you think of what Dr. Northam, the governor of Virginia just said, that when a child, he described the child as an infant, is born, there's a point where the mother and the physician can decide whether to kill the infant or not. What do you think of that?"

Klein immediately tore into what she said is Carlson and other conservatives' underlying motive for attacking such legislation: to repeal Roe v. Wade and retake control of women's bodies. 

"Look Tucker, I understand that you want to go back to a time where Roe v. Wade was illegal, where women were having back-alley abortions and they were using coat hangers to have abortions, which is actually what's barbaric." 

Carlson denied he is arguing for the repeal of Roe v. Wade, and urged Klein to focus on the Virginia legislation specifically. 

“I think that right now, reproductive health care is under attack by the Republican Party," Klein responded. "Seventy-two percent of Americans support right to choose. We have [President Donald] Trump and sexual predator [Supreme Court Justice Brett] Kavanaugh trying to repeal Roe v. Wade and trying to take away our control over our own bodies. This isn’t about babies. This is about health care, this is about you attempting to control women’s bodies.”

Carlson accused Klein of being a "robot" and using prepared pro-choice lines to redirect the conversation toward Roe v. Wade. But during Kavanaugh's Supreme Court hearings in September, Carlson argued the only reason stories accusing Kavanaugh of predatory behavior surfaced was because he refused to "pledge allegiance to Roe v. Wade," and angered Democrats.

Carlson questioned whether Klein thinks there is widespread support for aborting a fetus in the third trimester of pregnancy, but Klein shot back that Republican attempts to claim Democrats hate children or child-bearing is absurd and pointed to Trump administration directives on child migrants.

“You can keep trying to put words in my mouth and keep trying to say that the Democratic Party is hurting children,” Klein said. "But your party is the one tearing families apart at the border and allowing children to die in federal custody. Whose party is harming children?”

Last week, Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Reproductive Health Act, allowing abortions after 24 weeks if a woman's life is at risk and is agreed upon between a mother and her physician. "Today I signed the #ReproductiveHealthAct — codifying Roe v. Wade into state law and protecting women's reproductive rights no matter what the federal government does," Cuomo tweeted.

tucker carlson monica klein abortion A fiery Fox News exchange over late-term abortion legislation reignited debate on whether conservatives - specifically male lawmakers - are attempting to repeal Roe v. Wade and "take control" of women's reproductive health. Screenshot: Fox News Tucker Carlson | YouTube

Local Virginia news station WCTV reported the bill proposed by Virginia House of Delegates member Kathy Tran is "unlikely to pass any time soon," given that Republicans narrowly control the House. On Monday, a subcommittee voted to table the bill in a 5-3 vote despite the nationwide focus on the bill later prompted by Gov. Northam.

The Fox News argument Wednesday concluded with Carlson telling Klein "I think less of you," to which Klein responded, "I already think less of you, so don't worry."

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