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Carson says he'd back overturning of Roe v. Wade

| Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015, 7:21 p.m.
FILE - In this Oct. 24, 2015, file photo, Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson greets audience members after speaking at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. Seven in 10 Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters say Donald Trump could win the November 2016 election. That compares to 6 in 10 who say the same for retired neurosurgeon Carson, who, like Trump, has tapped into the powerful wave of anti-establishment anger defining the early phases of the 2016 contest. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 24, 2015, file photo, Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson greets audience members after speaking at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. Seven in 10 Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters say Donald Trump could win the November 2016 election. That compares to 6 in 10 who say the same for retired neurosurgeon Carson, who, like Trump, has tapped into the powerful wave of anti-establishment anger defining the early phases of the 2016 contest. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

WASHINGTON — Rape and incest are no reasons to terminate a pregnancy, front-running Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said Sunday.

Buoyed by polls showing him running ahead of Donald Trump in Iowa, the retired neurosurgeon said exceptions should be considered only in rare cases involving the mother's health, “if people can come up with a reasonable explanation of why they would like to kill a baby.”

Speaking on NBC's “Meet the Press,” Carson said he “would love” to see the Supreme Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion overturned.

As for instances of rape or incest — exceptions that are often made by other abortion opponents — Carson said: “All you have to do is go and look up the many stories of people who have led very useful lives who were the result of rape or incest.”

Mothers should not have the right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, Carson said, just as slave owners did not have the right to do whatever they wanted to their slaves. Had abolitionists allowed that, he said, “Where would we be?”

Meanwhile, Carson denied he would end the Medicare health care program for the elderly, saying he would provide the option of using a government-backed savings account to buy health insurance.

Interviewed on “Fox News Sunday,” Carson said, “The program that I have outlined using health savings accounts ... largely eliminates the need for people to be dependent on government programs” like Medicare.

While he said on “Meet the Press” that “I'm not talking about getting rid of those programs,” he told Fox the savings accounts would be an “alternative” to the popular Medicare program.

A Quinnipiac University opinion poll released last week had Carson overtaking businessman Trump among Republican voters in Iowa.

Nationwide, more Republicans still back Trump for president in 2016 than any other candidate.

It was not clear from Carson's remarks exactly how his savings plan would work and whether Medicare funding would be cut. He said that some of the federal expenditures going into Medicare and the Medicaid program for the poor could be diverted to private accounts.

The Fox interview touched on figures ranging from $2,000 to $5,000, which is nowhere near U.S. per capita spending for health care, estimated by the government at more than $9,000 a year. For Medicare patients, that figure tops $11,000.

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