Joy Behar and Elizabeth Hasselbeck
Photo: Screen captures

The co-hosts of "The View" began their Wednesday with a conversation about abortion and religion after Kansas voters rejected a ballot measure that could have eliminated the state's constitutional rights for women.

The group welcomed back conservative Christian Elisabeth Hasselbeck, a former co-host of the show, who returned to promote her 2021 children's book.

Before the break, Joy Behar talked about having an ectopic pregnancy that nearly killed her. Behar said that she didn't consider that an abortion, and neither did Hasselbeck, who is anti-abortion. But some of the laws that have been crafted over the course of the past month don't have provisions that would allow an abortion if the mother is in danger.

"This issue is so hard when you get into conversations because there's philosophically a difference of belief when you get into when life starts," said Sara Haines. "And I think that the problem I have with this is — normally I wouldn't say I'm right and you're wrong in a lot of conversations. But in this instance when it comes to legislating Roe v. Wade, I think there's a more American version, and that is a woman's right to choose."

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Haines said America was founded on freedom of religion and the idea that any religion could coexist in the United States and not have the state impose its view on the religious freedom of others.

"Because we disagree on that, by allowing me to make my choice, I am not choosing to murder a baby. I am choosing to do the right thing for my life," said Haines. "And to coexist, you have to allow for that legislation to exist because we disagree, and it becomes an overstep, I find, of religion, one religion onto other people."

The audience applauded her statement. She went on to cite the lawsuits from a Rabbi, minister and Buddhist whose faith traditions consider life to begin at first breath and prioritize the lives of the woman carrying the fetus. They argue that states deciding when life begins and imposes that view on non-Christians, and thus is a violation of their religious freedom.

"I just disagree with the way it is housed in a pro-life argument, and I'm at peace with this because one thing that I did read in the bible that was enforced over and over and over is 'thou shalt not judge,'" Haines continued. "You will have a judgment day, and if someone is murdering babies, they will have that judgment day."

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Hasselbeck cut in to say that she agreed and that all people regardless of their decisions will have to justify that in their Christian judgment day.

"What if people don't believe in your God?" asked Sunny Hostin. "What if people don't believe God and you are then taking that decision away from them? I will tell you, I agree with what you are saying and ladies at the table know that and our viewers know that because I'm Catholic. I believe life begins at conception. I believe when you have an abortion you are murdering an unborn child. I believe all those things. What do you say to the fact, Elisabeth that I can't force my religion and my beliefs on other people? That is not the American way."

Hasselbeck said that people too often get caught up in the law and that just because something is a right doesn't mean that it's morally right.

"We need to be able to have these conversations about what is really ethical and according to God," she said. "I don't force religion, and I also think sometimes in Christianity we need to offer more mercy. We need to not shame women."

"But when you're prohibiting something you are, in fact, judging them," Behar cut in. Hasselbeck struggled to find a retort. Behar then noted that there are over 117,000 children waiting to be adopted and desperate for homes. She noted that it isn't a snap solution to ensure a child gets to be put in a happy and loving home.

Watch video below.

Kansas Votes to Protect Abortion Rights | The View www.youtube.com