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Roe v. Wade overturned: CNN pundit cites relatives with Down syndrome, autism to defend abortions

CNN contributor Ana Navarro offered an emotional defense of abortion rights following the Supreme Court’s landmark decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. 

During CNN’s coverage of the historic ruling, Navarro appeared in a panel discussion where anchor Alisyn Camerota challenged GOP strategist Alice Stewart, who pointed to pregnancy centers and adoption agencies in the “pro-life community” across the country that can help mothers with unexpected pregnancies, by citing “some 410,000 children” in the foster care system who haven’t been adopted and some babies will “obviously” have physical disabilities. 

“What is the plan?” Camerota asked. “Obviously, they’re not all being taken care of currently.”

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“Well, clearly those are important issues,” Steward responded. “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.”

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“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,” Stewart told Camerota. 

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Stewart then turned to Navarro, who she described as being a “very passionate” woman of faith” with a “huge heart,” while at the same time stressing that the Catholic faith “believes in life and supports the sanctity of life.”

“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,” Stewart said. 

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Navarro pushed back, arguing she nor anyone should “tell you what you need to do with your life of with your uterus.”

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“I have a family with a lot of special needs kids,” Navarro said. “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. 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’ve got another- another step-grandson who is very autistic, who has autism,” Navarro told Stewart. 

She continued, “There are mothers and there are people who are in that society or in that community will tell you that they’ve 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.”

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“And so why can I be Catholic and still think this is a wrong decision? Because I’m American,” Navarro shot back at Stewart. “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 bodies. Nobody does,” Navarro added. 

CNN commentator Ana Navarro defended abortion rights following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) 

Many pundits, anchors and hosts across television have denounced the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, something that was previously signaled by the unprecedented leak of a draft opinion showing the five conservative justices in the majority. 

The ruling gives the states the authority to legislate their own abortion laws, but the overturning of Roe v. Wade has also sparked “trigger laws” in several states that automatically restrict abortion access. 

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The pro-life movement has rejoiced at the high court’s decision and conservatives have long argued that abortions were never a constitutional right despite the precedent Roe v. Wade set. Liberals, however, warn that the reversal of abortion protection will have a domino effect on other rights such as contraception, same-sex marriage and even interracial marriage, something Justice Samuel Alito insisted would not happen in the majority opinion he wrote since abortions in particular involve a third party. 

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