Actress and pro-abortion advocate Busy Philipps testified before Congress about abortion during a Tuesday hearing, including a notable exchange during which Philipps refused to answer definitively whether an abortion survivor has the right to life.
The question came from Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert and was based on the testimony of Melissa Ohden, the founder of the Abortion Survivors Network who is "the survivor of a failed saline infusion abortion in 1977."
"Would you agree that somebody who has survived an abortion, like Melissa Ohden, has a right, once she's born, to life, to control over her body where someone else doesn't take her life?" Gohmert asked.
Philipps deflected the question with a joke: "Although I played a doctor on television, sir, I am actually not a physician."
Gohmert was not distracted by the deflection.
"No, but you've given very compelling testimony and I appreciate that you've obviously given these issues a lot of thought, that's why I'm asking you," Gohmert said.
"I think that it's something that is very important," Philipps replied. "I don't believe that a politician's place is to decide what's best for a woman—it's a choice between a woman and her doctor."
"What about a baby and the doctor?" Gohmert countered. "That's my question."
Philipps then said she could not speak to Ohden's experience because she wasn't there, and eventually clarified that she was there to speak about abortion, not birth.
Philipps, in not answering the direct question, relied on standard pro-abortion talking points about abortion only being between a woman and her doctor, while avoiding the crucial questions of personhood that truly define the abortion debate. The question of whether and when abortion should be permitted fundamentally boils down to when and if one believes the baby's right to life supersedes a woman's wishes to not have the baby.
One might hope or expect that a question about an abortion survivor's right to receive medical treatment to survive would be unnecessary, but numerous attempts in recent months by Congress and some states to pass born-alive abortion survivor protections have been rebuffed by pro-abortion advocates.