The argument culminated in co-host Geraldo Rivera calling Gutfeld “arrogant” and “you insulting punk” before the other panelists smoothed things over and moved on to another speaker.
The rant that spawned the argument began during a discussion about abortion rights in the wake of the leak of an explosive Supreme Court draft majority opinion that would overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which established abortion rights across the nation.
Gutfeld argued that “pro-lifers win because they can state their case.”
“If you ask somebody why they’re pro-life, they will say, because abortion takes a life and we believe life is sacred. You can disagree with that,” he said. “But the problem with the pro-choicers is that they don’t have the balls to state their case plainly.”
“Just say, like, I prefer freedom over fetuses,” added Gutfeld, who last week told viewers, “Welcome to the freedom party lefties” after Elon Musk said he was buying Twitter.
He then went on to argue that people who support abortion rights are “more concerned about what they will lose than what they will gain,” adding that mothers can realize after giving birth that their lives would be “nothing” without their children.
“A pro-choice mom can look at her adorable 2-year-old and think, ‘My life would be nothing without her’ in 2022. [But] in 2017, when she was young and single, didn’t have a kid, she could only imagine the loss of her freedom. Right? So that’s the issue.”
He called on abortion rights advocates to “just be honest” and admit that “yeah, it kills an unborn kid, but I prefer my freedom.”
He wrapped up his tirade by claiming “it used to be even the pro-choicers would admit that abortion was an ugly thing, but they felt it had to be a necessary evil.”
“But now when you go anywhere on social media, it’s something to celebrate, to cherish, to shout.”
“That’s baloney,” Rivera interrupted, before the name-calling began.
Earlier in the segment, Rivera had argued in favor of abortion access.
“What am I going to tell my daughters now? That they don’t have control over their body? That they can’t make those choices for themselves?” he asked. “That some old man scratching his belly in some other state is going to [make that choice for you]?”
Fox News viewers thrashed Rivera on Twitter after the altercation, with some calling for him to be removed from the show for his dissenting views. The veteran Fox News pundit was a longtime friend of Donald Trump but grew critical of the former president over his 2020 election lies and the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection he incited.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.