PPFA Executive Grilled by Tucker Carlson

By Dave Andrusko

There are multiple reasons Tucker Carlson’s new show on Fox News is a huge success. At the top of the list, I suspect, is that Carlson politely demands of his guests, in effect, do you understand what you’re saying and do you actually believe what you are saying and, if so, why?

Related is that Carlson allows his sparring partners to repeat their talking points but then insists, as he did Monday night when he interviewed Dawn Laguens, the Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood, that the conversation go “a level deeper.” [1]

Carlson began by noting PPFA’s role as the biggest abortion provider–over 300,000 abortions a year–and asks

“I’m just wondering, as someone who works there, what do you think of that? What is being aborted? If you can hear the heartbeat, what is that thing being aborted? How do you feel about that?”

Laguens responded, as she did for most of the five-minute+ interview–by talking about anything but what she felt. So “abortion is a right in the United States. Women have their own views whether they want to be pregnant.”

Carlson tried again

“What specifically do you think? You work for the country’s biggest abortion provider, if you can hear the heartbeat of this fetus, what is it? Is it a piece of tissue or is it a separate human being?”

“I think that’s up to each individual to decide what they believe,” Laguens responded and then went onto talk about how many women will have an abortion in their lifetime.

But what do you think? So Carlson tried again

TC: “I want to know what you think. If you can hear the fetal heartbeat and it is extinguished, what do you think of that? Is that a big deal or not to you? If not, why not?”

DL: “Well, I take seriously all of the health care work that we provide at Planned Parenthood. I believe in safe, legal abortion. I believe it it’s up to each woman and individual and so I’m not going to make a judgment.”

TC: “Why can’t you give me a straight answer? This is at the core of what you do. You’re the biggest abortion provider in the United State, it’s not like you haven’t thought about that.”

Laguens segued off into misleading statistics about the supposed level of support for Roe v. Wade and other whatnot. So Carlson zeroed in again

“You are not telling me what you think,” he said. “Is it a separate being or is it a piece of flesh?”

Carlson’s most telling question came near the end.

“This is killing a life…So I want to know if this bothers you at all? Do you ever stop and think, wow, what is happening here? Is a life being taken? People say a life is being taken? Do you think that?”

More “robotic responses” (Carlson’s characterization), none of which grappled with Carlson’s line of questioning. Does this bother Laguens? If not, why not? The child has her/his own blood type, DNA, and, often, is a different sex. Is the child not “distinct” and have you not thought about all this?

One other thought. During the back and forth, Carlson asked for a “human response.” Not canned, not rehearsed, not bloodless.

But, clearly, if you are executive vice president of Planned Parenthood, that is a dark place where you dare not go.

[1] Thanks to Chandler Gill of the Free Beacon who transcribed much of the conversation; I filled in the rest by watching the video.