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S.E. Cupp Confronts Ana Navarro Over Autism and Abortion


CNN host S.E. Cupp addressed in a Twitter thread her objections to comments by The View co-host and CNN political commentator Ana Navarro about autistic and special needs children during an abortion discussion.

Cupp posted her thoughts on Saturday after she took some time deciding whether to comment and discuss such a personal subject, she wrote in her thread. It was a response to Navarro’s comments to CNN political commentator Alice Stewart on Friday.

In a CNN Newsroom segment, Navarro and Stewart sparred on the subject of abortion following the Supreme Court’s earthquake decision that overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade after 49 years.

During that debate, Navarro addressed the subject of persons with disabilities, a point brought up first by anchor Alisyn Camerota.

“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,” said Navarro, who emphasized that she is a practicing Catholic.

“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,” Navarro added. “And I’ve got another, I’ve got a step-grandson who is very autistic, who has autism.”

Navarro said that “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.”

The remarks were met with criticism from some on social media, mainly from those with a pro-life perspective.

On Saturday, Navarro’s colleague Cupp offered her own response, with equally personal detail.

“It’s taken me a minute to decide whether I wanted to share this. But ultimately, I felt like I had to,” she wrote to start her tweet thread, tagging Navarro. “You made an argument that one of the reasons you were pro-choice was because you knew children with special needs, in your family. So do I.”

Cupp referenced Navarro’s comment about her granddaughter with Down Syndrome and her grandson who is “very autistic,” and highlighted Navarro’s statement about mothers with autistic or special needs children contemplating suicide.

“I have an autistic child,” she wrote. “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.”

“These children face enough stigmas and challenges,” she continued. “Please don’t use our incredible, special, wonderful, super-hero kids to make political arguments, especially about the benefits of abortion.”

The host of S.E. Cupp Unfiltered added that she has been clear about her stance, that she didn’t want Roe overturned and wasn’t advocating for that.

“But don’t even for a second make it about our special needs kids. NOT EVEN ONE SECOND,” she stated clearly.

“Make the argument that you don’t want to have a kid,” Cupp wrote. “Don’t make the argument that you don’t want to have a KIND of kid that we HAVE AND LOVE.”

In a tweet on Saturday afternoon, Navarro addressed the fact that she has faced some criticism for her comments, claiming that some people have “twisted” her words. However, she has not responded to Cupp’s thread specifically, other than to retweet a comment from someone replying.

Nevertheless, Cupp’s appeal not to single out special needs children, or any specific attributes of a child as a reason for advocating for abortion rights highlights an important aspect of the pro-life and pro-choice debate among Americans.

Cupp is saying that being pro-choice should be about the mother and her wishes, her decision about what’s best for herself and her family, and that it should not be a debate about what “KIND of kid” that people want to have. It’s a very significant moral and ethical question that has come up in both scientific and religious debates on the topic.

But it also a very personal subject, and speaks to the love and care that parents across the country and around the world have and give to the wonderful, beautiful, precious children — “super-hero kids” as Cupp put it — every single day.

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