South Bend Mayor and Democratic Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg recently appeared at a town hall meeting on Fox News where he called late-term abortions “hypothetical.” Chris Wallace moderated as audience members asked the 37-year-old mayor about his views on a range of topics.
About eight minutes into the discussion, Wallace brought up the recent litany of abortion bans passed across the country to transition to an audience member who had a question about the issue. The audience member, who was introduced as holding a Ph.D. in engineering, asked Buttigieg, “What policies would you put in place to protect a woman’s, regardless of her zip code, right to have an abortion?”
Buttigieg gave a clear and concise response to the question. He said, “I believe that the right of a woman to make her own decisions about her reproductive health and about her body is a natural right. I believe it is an American freedom. And I believe that should be enjoyed by women in every state.” As the audience applauded, he said ensuring this “right” begins with putting people on the Supreme Court who recognize it as such.
Wallace followed up with a question about late-term abortions. He queried, “Do you believe at any point in pregnancy, whether it’s at six weeks or eight weeks or twenty-four weeks or whatever, that there should be any limit on a woman’s right to have an abortion?” Buttigieg initially responded by deflecting the seriousness of the question and asserting that the choice belongs to the pregnant woman alone. He said, “I think the dialogue has gotten so caught up on where you draw the line that we’ve gotten away from the fundamental question of who gets to draw the line, and I trust the women to draw the line when it’s their own health.”
Wallace pushed for clarification, asking, “So just to be clear, you’re saying that you would be okay with a woman, well into the third trimester, deciding to abort her pregnancy.” Buttigieg again tried to deflect the question. He responded, “Look these hypotheticals are usually set up in order to provoke a strong emotional…” before Wallace interrupted and said, “It’s not hypothetical, there are 6,000 women a year who get abortions in the third trimester.”
Buttigieg downplayed the significance of 6,000 late-term abortions. He answered, “That’s right, representing less than 1 percent of cases. So let’s put ourselves in the shoes of a woman in that situation. If it’s that late in your pregnancy, then it’s almost by definition, you’ve been expecting to carry it to term. We’re talking about women who have perhaps chosen a name. Women who have purchased a crib, families that then get the most devastating medical news of their lifetime, something about the health or the life of the mother that forces them to make an impossible, unthinkable choice. And the bottom line is, as horrible as that choice is, that woman, that family may seek spiritual guidance, they may seek medical guidance, but that decision is not going to be made any better, medically or morally, because the government is dictating how that decision should be made.”
The pro-life organizationLifeSite challenged Buttigieg’s dismissal of 6,000 late-term abortions. They point out that according to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, abortions that take place after 21 weeks account for 1.3% of all abortions. This number may seem insignificant until compared with the fact that 1.2% of all deaths in the United States are caused by alcohol-related causes and 1.3% of all deaths in the United States were related to firearms.
LifeSiteasks an important question about 1.3% on this point, “Would any pro-abortion candidate – including Mayor Pete – consider these percentages insignificant in those cases?”
According to Real ClearPolitics, recent polls show between 6% and 9% of Democratic voters favoring Mayor Buttigieg, which places him trailing former Vice President Joe Biden and Senators Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren.
Scott Slayton writes at “One Degree to Another.”
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Win McNamee/Staff