Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson spoke at the 2019 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Thursday in National Harbor, Maryland, about his career as a neurosurgeon, including operating on prematurely born infants and even babies still in the mother’s womb.

“I can guarantee you they can feel,” Carson said. “They can react.”

“You have to give them anesthesia if you’re going to cut them, believe me,” Carson said. “But they can also respond to comfort and to warmth.”

“And for somebody to say that’s a meaningless bunch of cells, honestly, is just totally ignorant,” Carson continued.

Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, interviewed Carson and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), who spoke about being the mother of a son with Down syndrome and the value and joy that comes from every human life regardless of his abilities.

Nance asked Carson when he believes life begins.

“That’s a very good question because, with all the technology that we have acquired as human beings, we still don’t have the ability to create life,” Carson said. “God has orchestrated an incredible situation where the egg and sperm come together, and within a matter of ten to 12 weeks, you can see the little fingers and the little toes, the little nose, and the face.”

“The heart has started to beat,” Carson said. “It’s absolutely amazing.”

Carson also shared graphic details of how an abortion happens, causing many in the audience to groan. He spoke about late-term abortion and its implications.

“You have a baby who could live outside of the womb,” Carson said. “But some people feel that it’s okay to murder that baby.”

“And the level of barbarism that requires — I, quite frankly, don’t know how people can do it,” Carson said.

He also said he believes the mother — even if shielded from the realities of abortion at the time the procedure is performed — is also a victim.

“They talk about they’re doing this for the health of the mother,” Carson said. “What about the mother’s mental health that she has to endure for the rest of her life?”

The panel discussion titled “The Heartbeat of Humanity” also focused on how legislators in New York and Virginia and other places around the country are passing legislation that would allow abortion up to and even after a baby is born.

All three urged CPAC attendees to vote against lawmakers at the state and federal level who support those laws, including members of the U.S. Senate who recently blocked the passage of the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act to protect babies who survive an abortion.

Nance said the names of those who voted again the bill can be on Concerned Women for America’s website.

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