tv Inside Story Al Jazeera January 28, 2016 1:30am-2:01am EST
i go to all the debates, listening to the suggestions as if, wow, that's the first time i heard that idea. i suspect everyone in the pentagon and in any administration where there is a going on and has thought over these, but it is a complicated business of governing. thanks very much for this. that is our show for today. i'm alley i velshi. >> oh, the republican candidates for president are against current abortion laws in one way or another. but simply being against the procedure is hardly enough to get your ticket punched. on this edition of the program, we'll bring you the story of
carly fiorina, who collected a paycheck from a company who produced vaccines from fetal cells, cells that come from terminated pregnancies, anding thus a hotly contested law with ethics. with the 2016 campaign just days away, we ask, who is pro-life? it's the "inside story". welcome to "inside story," i'm ray suarez. for decades, ending abortion has been an important rallying cry in the republican party. annoying tool, a fundraising issue, a litmus test for candidates. republican governors have made it harder to get in their states. and sent it up to appeals courts to directly challenge
the language of roe v. wade for one. one with her credentials, carly fiorina, the only woman in the republican field, but leaves little daylight between yourself and her male colleagues on the debate stage. the secondly taped conversations between planned parenthood officials dominated several news cycles, can attacks and counter attacks, and threats over the acquiesces of feet al tissue, in research, and what was permissible and impermissible in this little known it section of law in license and politics. this week, a grand jury in texas chose not to inbe indict the planned parenthood staff for their activities, instead approving charges against the be activists who secretly taped the conversations about fetal tissues.
today's republican party, in a broad coalition in the country, how pro-life is pro-life enough? aljazeera's michael shure has the story that shows what a complex minefield abortion politics can be with even anti-abortion candidates. exclusive. >> reporter:er corporate documents reviewed by "inside story" show that republican presidential canceled date, carly fiorina, sat on the board of the drug company, merck at the time when merck was producing, marketing and researching being vaccines, utilizing a line of stem cells from aborted fetuses. the issue has emerged in the republican primary race as part of the larger debate around abortion. all of gop candidates oppose abortion, but some opens aborted tissue, including from stem cells and vaccines, though
they were not aborted for the cells. ted cruz last year participated in the ice bucket challenge to raise money for the alc association. in sem cell research, he said heidi and i are personally proud to it support the john paul research, with groundbreaking research to cure this terrible disease without using embryonic stem cells. fiorina --. >> asker regards planned parenthood, anyone who has watched this videotape, i dare hilliary clinton, barack obama to watch these tapes. watch a fully formed fetus on
the table. it's heart beating, it's legs kicking, while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain. this is about the character of our nation. >> at the present time, fiorina's support for stem cell research was a matter of public record, having come up during her 2010 run in california. now it appears that she not only supported the practice, but made money off of it. fiorina took home $83,000 for serving on the board. the filings indicate that fiorina made an additional $1,200 for each board meeting that she teamedded. merck has used fetal stem cells for its vaccine since the 1960s. and today, they're used primarily in its mmr vaccines, they're the only ones available
in the united states. the global pharmaceutical giant reported just over $6.8 billion in earnings in the year 2000, fiorina's last year on the board. but it was not indicated how much of the sales were due to vaccines. at least one christian group made merck aware at the time that fiorina served on the board. the pro-life group, children for god and life, said that they discontinue the vaccines. in november of 2000, a merck representative responds, saying:
the executive director of children for god and life said that fiorina may not have been aware of merck's use of stem stm cells in vaccines at the time. but it could be bad for a presidential candidate. >> if she's pro-life and a political canceled date, she wouldn't want to be on the doing that. >> . >> ben carson lost his support when it was revealed that as a nuri surgeon he had participated in research work. >> to not use tissue that is not in a tissue bank, regardless of where it comes from, would be foolish. why would anybody to do anybody do that?
>> rival, rick santorum. >> one of the things that you saw in the planned parenthood tapes, saying if you have an abortion, good things will come from it, and we'll be able to use this tissue for a lot of reasons, and it is used in a lot of cases, i wouldn't say coerce, but certainly make women feel more comfortable about having aning abortion. >> fiorina continues to make abortion aing is issue for her campaign. on friday, she attended a right for life rally in washington. >> the next president of the united states will have a lot to say about whether a baby, only a month from being born, is only as good as the organs you can sell from it. i have battled breast cancer, i have buried a child. i have read the bible, and i know the value of life. >> reporter: two days before that, she held a rally and asked preschoolers to sit near
womb. carly fiorina left merck 15 years ago, but still holds stock in the company worth thousands of dollars. aljazeera, washington. >> we asked the fiorina campaign about the merck vaccines and the stem cell loan, and they chose not to respond. so who is pro-life? according to a professor of theology and author of beyond the abortion wars, a way forward for a new generation. elizabeth bruni, called herself a pro-life liberal. and she's a staff writer at the new be republic. and at the radiance foundation, author of "not equal, civil rights gone wrong." so let me start with you, does this reporting about
fiorina's presence on the merck board, when they were researching and testing and developing vaccines using fetal stem cell lines, under mine her credentials in this area. >> undermining credentials, i found it disappointing, and first of all, thank you for covering this issue the way that you're covering it. all over it, you asked one question on abortion, so indetecter reporting is really important. yes, i did find it disappointing. it makes her current approach seem like opportunism. and it's less about letting us know about failed fetal tissue for research, and more about exposing abortion for what it is. what's going on here, the killing of a recognizable human being. and it's less about what people like carly fiorina's sale of fetal tissue.
>> brian works to actively convince people against ending pregnancy. is this disqualification? >> i don't know, because we do not know the particulars of it. without miss fiorina being here, or a spokesperson being here to attest to any of the details, it's hard to know what she knew, and it would be disescorting if he she had known those details, and continuing her relationship with merck. hilliary clinton wanting abortion to be safe, legal and rare, and nowing abortion for any reason, without restrictions, including tax funding for abortion. people do pander all the time. and is this a case of that happening? we don't know. we didn't know how much she knew at the time. because you can serve on a board of an organization, and not know any of the details of the under pins of the organization. and i agree with professor
concerns. >> fair enough, and it's hard enough without a statement from the fiorina campaign to not know exactly what she knew and when, but she supported using feetly derived stem cells for research in her senate run for california. >> time changes things too. it could be a matter of weeks or months ago, where you learn more about the situation, and perhaps you learn more about embryonic research and adult stem sells and have a change of heart and mind with that. but we don't know. i don't know what her evolution of thought process is for this. but it happens all the time. and maybe she gets more educated. maybe that's the situation with mrs. fiorina. >> can she plausibly say, i just didn't know and be okay?
>> i think that it's possible for her to say, i wasn't totally aware of the providence of these particular cells, and i think that ben carson's responses might be convincing to most pro-life voters. which is, once the tissue is already in the bank and being farmed out to research companies, at that point, how am i supposed to run back the providence of those cells, and make sure that there was not a coerced abortion situation like santorum was talking about? i think that she could exonerate herself by saying that i wasn't aware of the providence of those particular time. >> it's interesting that you say that the defense. and i want to learn more about this. what is hardline enough to get it bonified as a candidate in today's gop. are the shades of difference between the candidates? are the people who want to end
legalling abortions to the extent possible to support or oppose candidates, based on the endgame of their opposition? birth control, rape and incest exceptions, stem cell research. who is pro-life? stay with us. it's "inside story". >> this is al jazeera america live from new york. >> at 7:00 - "news roundup". tony harris gives you a fast-paced recap of the day's events. >> this is the first line of defense. >> we have an exclusive story tonight. >> then at 8:00 - john seigenthaler brings you the top stories from across america. >> the question is, will these dams hold? >> and at 9:00 - >> i'm ali velshi, on target tonight... >> ali velshi on target. digging deeper into the issues that matter. >> i'm trying to get a sense for what iranians are feeling.
on the board of pharmaceutical giant, merck, at a time when merck was researching and developing drugs based on stem cell lines taken from aborted fetuses. what constitutes when it comes from one product alone, but from an array of products and patents. just before the break, you were talking about bil ben carson's position, which is you can't run back the providence of cells, but this has been vitally important. and one way that you keep yourself clean and keep things straight is by rejecting something that even puts you sort of up against the possibility of using illicitly derived cells. >> right, and that's why you
see some catholics and some evangelicals saying that they have conscience objections to vaccines, because they're developed by using feet cells. but on the other hand, most people don't have that about vaccines, even if it does float through their mind that that's the province to medications. and ben carson was saying that abortion acknowledges something that's wrong, but it does happen. and they're used for things that we identify as good. now, the line there to draw s. it doesn't mean that the abortion was good, or abortions are okay to establish the greater good. but in this case, there was nothing else that could have been done with those materials, except what we did do with them. so it becomes very complicated. and very difficult to read the moral implications backwards from one to another. >> professor, how do you see the moral calculus on something like that?
>> well, ben carson, his response was interesting. he was completely dismissive, and i think that he said that it would be ridiculous to not use the specimen. he said we don't know where it came from, and that's the most charitable way of understanding it. what boffed me about his response, and what turned me around and if i would support someone like him as a pro-lifer, but the way that he missed it. you see more in justifying his practices rather than trying to explore a real important ethical issue. believe me, i'm a moral theologian and have spent decades trying to go through these moral issues. >> ryan, how does your group work through something like this? is it an array of candidates, with sometimes only slight
differences in the approach to these questions. >> i think that the approach is not as nuanced as some would suggest. in order to elevate humanity, we don't have to destroy part of humanity. there are those in this field, particularly coalition doctors, in wisconsin, and they talked about how fetal tissue arrive, and researchis not necessary, it's unethical. and you could take that approach. the issue s. if we believe that there's dignity in human life, before it's ripped apart in abortion, and there's dignity in death. you mentioned the product of abortion. to me it seems to dehuman anise the dignity of the human being aborted. and we don't have to advance medical science that way. there are other options, adult
stem cell lines, and we have the option not to do that. and we elevate ourselves, unlike dr. carson's response. >> but quickly though, the only manufacturer of the measles and mumps vaccine is now merck, and it uses descending lines from these 1960s abortions. do you do without a measles, mumps and rubella vaccine? >> there are other options, and those in that particular field say that there are other options but it's easily accessible. just because it's easily accessible doesn't make it ethical, and that's where the problem lies right now. because those human beings, those fetal cells, which come from human beings, and we're not talking about just cells, but actual body parts being used by the center for medical progress in undercover videos. we have to ask ourselves as a society, do we elevate
ourselves by saying that a certain group of human beings are less than human? i don't think that we advance ourselves by dehumanizing particularly the most defenseless among us. >> the movement to legalize abortion in the united states, and the tactics in the negotiable and non-negotiable public stance. in 2016, is there much wiggle room left for a candidate hoping to be president. who is pro-life? it's the "inside story".
>> you're watching "inside story," i'm ray suarez. litmus tests, ideological purity tests, out flanking your opponents on the left or right on an issue, where the public is, and where the most active members of your party are. they're all considerations when talking about issues during a political campaign, certainly abortion. what gets your ticket punched as an acceptably anti-abortion be candidate in today's political party? my guests are still with me. and when elizabeth, you have a party where all of candidates say that they are anti-abortion in one way or another, do you have to do some work to distinguish yourself from the rest of the field? >> you do. you've seen pro-life advocates criticizing donald trump. and moore, he wrote in national review symposium that trump's
views are social darwinists. he says that he's against abortion because he knew someone who was almost aborted and grew up to be a superstar. you have to base your pro-lifery on something better than somebody grew up to be really famous. so the candidates language to draw lines to set them apart, and they're reliable pro-life candidates. they don't want to be seen as someone who is going to commitment. >> is this something that's going to wax and wane as we go to different places on the map, ryan? >> yes, trump has a record of being pro-life so, it's not so much a matter of messaging, but their experience and their record. but it happens. and obviously, with the republican party, being pro-life is built into their platformplatform, and it's a crl
thing so, these candidates understand that this is the party that wants to abolish abortion, and i for one was born as a result of rape. and i support that, and i support bringing more support to mothers and children, and have the candidates understand who they're speaking to, and understand that this is a human rights issue. so we do find them going from state to state, and perhaps the message intensifying in different places, but i think that the decor of them, the majority of them, it's something that's coming from the core of their being. >> is there much differentiation, professor, between one candidate and another on this issue? as we look at the scc primary so-called, as it goes to the states? >> the difference between the candidates and their stated positions are not all that large, but the history and the record are stunning. let's go back to trump for a moment. there are ads circulating all
over iowa as we speak, with trump stating in the 90s, or maybe later than that, that he sported partialle birth abortion, and that's infanticide, but let's call it what it is. when you look at the history of many of the presidential candidates, they like trump defend themselves, say ronald reagan be signed abortion into law, the governor of california. i'm like reagan. you know? how have we done the last 40 years with the presidents at the federal level? it has been a very checkered history. and many look at the records, what about chris christie donating to planned parenthood, and what about trump supporting partial birth abortions, and in the past, mitt romney, saying that he was for abortion before he was against t people who care about this issue are going
to say i want more than johnny come lately, but someone with an established, very clear record. >> we have very little time left, elizabeth. if carly fiorina's star were on the ascended, rather than the descended, would an issue like this do her real harm. >> it could, with the big base in the gop, it could be a knock to her candidacy. >> i want to thank my guests, author of beyond the abortion wars, ryan bombburger, and elizabeth bruenig of the new republic. and read her piece, why i'm a pro-life liberal.
the staggering numbers coming out of syria. the u.n. says half a million people are now living under siege. with the world news from al jazeera. also to come, staying at the helm, the vietnam's communist party reelects its leader for the second time. a wildlife siege in the u.s., the leader of which has told them it stand down.