During CNN’s coverage of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, network contributor Ana Navarro used her own relatives with special needs to explain why she believes in abortion.
Navarro faced a wave of backlash after pointing to her disabled brother and step-grandchildren, one of whom has Down Syndrome and the other she described as “very autistic,” as examples of why abortion is necessary.
“I have a family with a lot of special needs kids. I have a brother who’s 57 and has the mental and motor skills of a one-year-old. And I know what that means financially, emotionally, physically for a family,” she stated, adding, “I have a step-granddaughter who was born with Down Syndrome. And you know what? It is very difficult in Florida to get services. It is not as easy as it sounds on paper. And I’ve got another, I’ve got a step-grandson who is very autistic, who has autism.”
Navarro continued, “their mothers and people who are in that society, who are in that community will tell you that they considered suicide because that’s how difficult it is to get help. Because that’s how lonely they feel. Because they can’t get other jobs, because they have financial issues, because the care that they’re able to give their other children suffers.”
#WATCH | CNN commentator uses her disabled brother and step granddaughter who has Down Syndrome as examples of why we need abortion. #RoeVsWade #RoeVWade #RoeOverturned pic.twitter.com/QBIvEQXdy0
— El American (@ElAmerican_) June 24, 2022
Fox News host Tucker Carlson pointed out that it sounded like Navarro was advocating for eugenics.
“Navarro invoked special needs family members of her own, with autism and Down Syndrome, to justify abortion,” Carlson said. “In other words, it would be better if they didn’t exist. She actually said this.”
Carlson played the clip of Navarro’s commentary before calling it “morally grotesque” and bringing on Lila Rose, president of the anti-abortion organization Live Action.
Rose asserted that what Navarro was doing was advocating eugenics.
“She’s making the Nazi argument, flat out, ‘they’re a burden to society, it would be better if they didn’t exist,'” Carlson said, agreeing with Rose’s conclusion.
Ana Navarro insinuated that families with special needs and autistic children would be better off had they aborted their children.
This is one of the cruelest things I’ve ever heard.
This woman is wicked and deranged.
— Steven Crowder (@scrowder) June 27, 2022
Navarro’s fellow CNN contributor S.E. Cupp also took her to task for the comments in a Twitter thread.
“I have an autistic child. I have never met a parent of an autistic child or any parent of a special needs child who said they’d wished they’d aborted him or her,” Cupp wrote. “These children face enough stigmas and challenges. Please don’t use our incredible, special, wonderful, super-hero kids to make political arguments, especially about the benefits of abortion.”
These children face enough stigmas and challenges. Please don’t use our incredible, special, wonderful, super-hero kids to make political arguments, especially about the benefits of abortion. ❤️
— S.E. Cupp (@secupp) June 25, 2022
Make the argument that you don’t want to have a kid. Don’t make the argument that you don’t want to have a KIND of kid that we HAVE AND LOVE. ❤️
— S.E. Cupp (@secupp) June 25, 2022
Despite the strong blowback, Navarro defended her position while co-hosting The View on Monday.
“This is a difficult conversation, and I know some people feel that we shouldn’t be talking about social services. We shouldn’t be talking about special needs families, that we shouldn’t be talking about adoption and foster care and those special services that are needed in this same conversation, I disagree. Because I think it is hypocritical and wrong to ban a family from making their own choice about what’s best for them,” Navarro said.
SUPREME COURT OVERTURNS ROE V. WADE: #TheView co-hosts react to the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Roe V. Wade, the fundamental right to abortion that has been the law for almost 50 years. https://t.co/koAvYiPacC pic.twitter.com/rsLJVuOoAF
— The View (@TheView) June 27, 2022
She added, “Doesn’t mean that you don’t love your special needs family members, that you don’t adore them and they are part of the family, but that we know from firsthand experience just how difficult it is to beg and plead for years sometimes to get some help. So if they’re going to ban a family’s choice, there’s going to be more poor kids. [There’s] going to be more kids in adoption. There’s going to be more kids in foster care. There’s going to be more abused kids. There’s going to be a lot of other things, and those hypocritical states need to step up and provide the services.”