Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) acknowledged the value of the lives of unborn children Tuesday in a tweet criticizing Immigration and Customs Enforcement for detaining pregnant women.
What did Harris say? "Detaining pregnant women is dangerous. As many as 28 women have miscarried while in ICE custody over the past two years. I've called on this Administration to end this practice now," Harris wrote.
Why was she talking about this? Senate Democrats have petitioned President Donald Trump to reevaluate the policy that allows for pregnant illegal immigrants to be detained. They want the president to return to a policy of "presumptive release" for pregnant women, "unless she is a threat to herself or others, or is a threat to public safety or national security."
In February, a Honduran woman delivered a stillborn child after going into premature labor at an ICE detention center. According to NBC News, ICE has reported 18 miscarriages in fiscal 2018 and 10 in fiscal 2017.
What's the problem with Harris' statement? The government should certainly do everything in its power to provide good medical care to pregnant women who have been detained and to work toward reducing miscarriages, to the extent which it is in the power of ICE or Border Patrol to do so.
However, Harris' statement creates a dissonance with her stance on abortion, which she and other Democrats refer to as "health care."
If the lives of unborn children carried by women in immigration detention are worth protecting (which they are), then how can the lives of unborn children who are aborted be semantically dehumanized as "fetuses" or "clumps of cells" that can be eliminated by anyone for any reason?
Harris has expressed support for abortions even after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
"Senate GOP's proposed 20-week abortion ban is another example of politicians playing politics with health care. #NoAbortionBan," Harris wrote in 2017.