Matt Schlapp politely dismantles Chris Cuomo on abortion

By Dave Andrusko

Chris Cuomo

Chris Cuomo

Editor’s note. My family and I will be on vacation through August 25. I will occasionally add new items but for the most part we will repost “the best of the best” — the stories our readers have told us they especially liked over the last ten months.

No one who has watched CNN’s Chris Cuomo for more five minutes would have any doubts he believes he is the smartest person in the room. Always.

The man is in love with the sound of his own voice. Cuomo, son of the late New York governor Mario Cuomo and brother of the current governor, is, even by network standards, insufferable. His twitter page has a “Quiet Please” logo–you know, to let us know that here at twitter.com/ChrisCuomo reason and civility prevail.

From our single-issue perspective, this smug, self-assuredness is of interest only because when it comes to abortion he simply is unable to make even the simplest distinctions or honestly consider the science underlying the unique individuality of each of the youngest members of the human family.

Matt Schlapp

Matt Schlapp

We’ll get to the latest episode, which is bizarre even by Cuomo’s standards, an exchange this week with the American Conservative Union’s Matt Schlapp, in just a second. (Hint: science has nothing to tell us. Sigh.) First, a little background.

As we wrote back in December, Cuomo habitually adopts a tone that mixes gobs of condescension with an invincible self-righteousness. Even though he often seems one step removed from exploding, Cuomo insists on portraying himself as a calm man of reason on abortion, unlike everybody who is pro-life, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.). Last year they sparred over Cuomo’s favorite stalking horse, the “debate” over “when life begins.”

Of course there is no debate. “Human development begins at fertilization when a sperm fuses with an oocyte to form a single cell, a zygote,” explains The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology. As Paul Stark explained, in deciphering Cuomo’s almost impenetrable linguistic shorthand, “Life in general is continuous (sperm and egg are alive), but the life of an individual human being is not continuous. It has a beginning and an end.”

Which is why when debating, Cuomo and others of his ilk mix categories like an out-of-control baker wildly throwing ingredients together.

When he debated Sen. Rubio last year, you heard him talk about beating hearts and brain waves and end of life and yada, yada, yada as reasons why we don’t really know when life begins.

When people pointed out his confusion on Cuomo’s twitter page, Cuomo switched into evasive snark mode, the gist of which it was his respondents, not Cuomo, who don’t understand.

Back to Cuomo’s heated back and forth Tuesday with Mr. Schlapp. The backdrop is the debate over global warming (specifically the role of humans) which is not our issue. I mention it because Cuomo was at his snarkiest best is announcing from on high that skeptics have a “credibility issue” and because it was the immediate prelude to the debate.

Schlapp, whose whole point was that it is wrong to call someone who disagrees with you a liar, brought up the abortion issue, specifically that there is no disagreement about the science of fetal development. Here is the exchange (thanks to Newsbusters for transcribing it):

CUOMO: How is abortion and climate change the same thing, Matt?

SCHLAPP: It’s about science. And guess what, you’re wrong on the science, many of you who believe that people on the pro-life side aren’t looking at the science of it. Come on, the science is on my side of the unique human nature of every unborn child.

CUOMO: It’s not about science — it’s about ethics, religion, and morality, is what abortion’s about. It’s not about science.

SCHLAPP: There’s a political difference in — just because somebody is on the other side, please don’t call them a liar. That’s not helping the country.

CUOMO: But who’s calling — listen, hold on a second, Anna (Navarro), hold on a second because I get a lot of this. You like to throw a label on something you don’t like. I get it — politically persuasive. But it’s also BS a lot of the time, Matt. Nobody’s making abortion about science. I didn’t even bring up the issue.

SCHLAPP: It is about science.

CUOMO: You did. Abortion — the idea of when life begins, guess what.

SCHLAPP: Is science.

CUOMO: Nobody knows. You can believe it begins at conception. You can believe it begins 40 days after the way the Jews do. You can believe in viability. There is no known component to it. That’s not what the science is behind climate change, Matt. They’re not the same thing.

SCHLAPP: The science of when life begins is unquestionable. And the question on climate change, actually there’s a great diversity on the science. And we do have political disagreements. But I think it’s wrong in this country when we call people who have a contrary position a liar, and that’s what’s dominating the coverage.

Three quick points. First, Cuomo (at least for purposes of this discussion) didn’t bring up science because he was totally sure science was on his side on global warming. To even suggest there was a “scientific” component to the abortion issue (let alone that the science was on Schlapp’s side) would be to take the eye off the ball–which in this case was (as usual) bashing President Trump.

Second, Schlapp made THE crucial distinction which Cuomo insists cannot be made–that there can be and is a policy/political debate over abortion but that the science is clear. The life of each individual human being (not life in general) begins at fertilization. Which leads us to…

Three. The point Schlapp made is irrefutable. There is no debate in the scientific community over when human life begins. Where we clash is over what we do with that knowledge.

Increasingly, pro-abortionists simply shrug their shoulders and/or concede the point. So what if human life begins at fertilization, they say? That is unrealized life (i.e., “potential life”), or is life that lacks “personhood” (a legal, not scientific designation), or is not really life in the sense of being autonomous, self-directed, etc. (which disqualifies babies and toddlers).

An interesting exchange, illustrating for the umpteenth time that it pro-abortionists, like Chris Cuomo, who believe in “junk science.”

You can watch the discussion at youtube.com.