CNN political commentator Ana Navarro brought up the expense of caring for mentally disabled family members Friday on CNN’s “Newsroom” while discussing the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
ALISYN CAMEROTA: Alice, obviously, Ana there raised a lot of questions. But beyond the political debate, beyond the emotional debate, beyond even the religious debate, my question has always been about the practical issues. Who will support these hundreds of thousands of unwanted babies when they’re forced to be born? Who will — in these Republican-led more red states, will they expand the social safety net? Who will pay the medical bills, the housing bills of these children? How will that work?
ALICE STEWART: Look, there are a lot of facts factors that need to be ironed out as this moves forward and is put back at the state level, where it belongs.But I can tell you, having worked and advocated in the pro-life community for many years, there are crisis pregnancy centers set up across this country that are there to provide assistance, financial assistance for expectant mothers before, during and after…
CAMEROTA: All right, but I mean after they’re born.
STEWART: Before, during, and after they have their child…
STEWART: … whether they decide to put it up for adoption or they want to keep it themselves. There are services in place in the pro-life community that will help in this situation.
CAMEROTA: But, Alice, I mean, — hold on, Alice. Let me just talk to you about that. There are something like 410,000 children in the foster care system right now in the U.S. So, clearly, they’re not all being adopted. And some of these babies will have, obviously, physical disabilities. I mean, what is the plan? Obviously, they’re not just all being taken care of currently.
STEWART: Well, clearly, those are important issues. And abnormalities of children, whether in the womb or after the child is born, is something that needs to be discussed and considered and obviously taken care of, again, at the state level.
And I think it’s really important that, while we’re obviously concerned about this issue, it’s very divisive, very controversial, look, no one has spoken up for the last 50 years for the unborn child, the sanctity of life. And now people have had the opportunity to speak up for the unborn child. And that’s important.
Look, I know Ana is a woman of faith. She has a huge heart. She’s very passionate. But also I know that the Catholic faith believes in life and supports the sanctity of life. And I find — it’s just — I don’t understand how you can say on one hand you support life, yet you’re fine with a woman’s decision to choose abortion.
CAMEROTA: Let Ana respond. OK.
STEWART: And, look, there are provisions to protect the mother before, during and after the child.
NAVARRO: And I am not anybody tell you what you need to do with your life or with your uterus, and because 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 1- year-old. And I know what that means financially, emotionally, physically for a family. And I know not all families can do it. And 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 have got another, another step-grandson who is very autistic, who has autism, and it is incredible — and their mothers and people who are in that society, who are in that community will tell you that they have 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. And so why can I be Catholic and still think this is a wrong decision? Because I’m American. I’m Catholic inside the church. I’m Catholic when it comes to me. But there’s a lot of Americans who are not Catholic and are not Christian and are not Baptist. And you have no damn right to tell them what they should do with their body. Nobody does.