And quite civil. Both are unusual these days.

Jon Stewart invited Mike Huckabee on the Daily Show the other night to have a candid and cordial conversation about abortion.

“I think sometimes this is an issue where people get,
maybe – generating a lot more heat than light,” said Huckabee. “And for
me, the issue is so much more than about abortion, it’s about the
fundamental issue of whether or not every human life has intrinsic
worth and value.”

Stewart pressed Huckabee: “Do you think that on the side of choice, that they don’t believe that every human life has value?”

“I don’t think there’s anybody that wakes up and says, ‘I really
think abortion is a wonderful, wonderful thing,” Huckabee replied. “I
don’t truly believe that even people who would consider themselves
‘pro-choice’ like abortion – I think that they haven’t thought through
the implications and the logical conclusion.”

Noting that 93% of abortions in America are elective rather than
health-based, Huckabee pointed out the consequences of training future
generations “that it is OK to take a human life because that life
represents to us an interference, or an interruption to our lives
either economically or socially.”

“What happens when our children one day look at us and we’re old?”
he asked.  “I do not want to give my kids the opportunity to say, ‘Dad,
you are an interference.  Coming to see you in the nursing home is
really messing up my social life. You are very expensive, Dad.’”

That’s the ‘logical’ extension of the abortion culture’s mentality. This was a good exchange, provocative, and polite.

Huckabee also pursued the question of equal rights in a
parallel to slavery, asking: “Does a person have a right to own another
person? … Can the mother totally own the child?”

“I just think our culture ought to do everything it can to support
and encourage her to make a life decision and to be honest with her and
to explain to her: this is a heartbeat, this is a child,” he said. 

The host expressed openness to Huckabee’s arguments, though
defending the pro-choice position throughout, and said he hoped “people
begin to see that both sides can come at it with good faith and good
intentions.”

“Out of all issues – I can be incredibly certain about so many
issues and get my dander up, and self-righteousness,” said Stewart. 
“This is one I can’t, and this is the one that I probably, in the
culture, struggle with the most. I think it’s a very difficult issue.”

Now we’re talking.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....