Indiana Democrat Pete Buttigieg would defend unrestricted abortions up until birth if elected president, he told a Fox News town hall Sunday.
Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and a presidential candidate, described the killing of unborn babies as “an American freedom,” the AP reports.
He said the government should not restrict abortions in any way, and instead leave the decision to abort an unborn baby completely up to women, according to One News Now.
“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,” Buttigieg said when asked about the new Alabama law that bans all abortions. “And I trust women to draw the line.”
Buttigieg said he believes abortions should be legal through the third trimester, after unborn babies are viable. He argued that late-term abortions are just a small percent of all abortions – which is technically true but misleading.
Even a small percent of 1 million abortions a year still represents thousands of babies’ lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control, thousands of abortions at or after 21 weeks are performed every year. In 2015, the total was 5,597; however, that number includes data from only 39 states. How many viable unborn babies were aborted in the other 11 states is not known.
Buttigieg also recycled the old, debunked claim that most later abortions occur because of severe fetal abnormalities.
According to the AP:
Asked whether his position extends to the third trimester of pregnancy, Buttigieg said those late-term abortions make up a small percentage of abortions performed and asked the audience to put themselves in that woman’s shoes. Any woman making that decision has likely been expecting to carry the baby to term, he said, and received “the most devasting medical news in their lifetime,” forcing 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,” he said. “But that decision’s not going to be made any better medically or morally, because the government is dictating how that decision should be made.”
But women themselves have admitted to having third-trimester abortions for purely elective reasons. One woman recently told New York Magazine that she had an abortion at 28 weeks for purely elective reasons.
Some abortion advocacy leaders also say that most late-term abortions have nothing to do with the health of the unborn baby or mother.
For example, Diana Greene Foster, a well known abortion activist and researcher at the University of California San Francisco, wrote in 2013: “… data suggest that most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment. Indeed, we know very little about women who seek later abortions.”
Ron Fitzsimmons, the former executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, made a startling admission about late-term abortions as well in 1997. He told the New York Times that he had lied to U.S. Congress when he said late-term abortions are rare. Fitzsimmons said late-term abortions are more common than abortion activists admit, and many involve healthy mothers carrying healthy unborn babies.
Politicians like Buttigieg who hold these positions are radically out of touch with most voters. A new Hill-HarrisX survey found that 55 percent of voters do not think laws banning abortions after six weeks – when an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable – are too restrictive.
In February, a Rasmussen poll found that just 21 percent of voters support New York’s new late-term abortion law, which allows abortions for basically any reason up to birth. A full 66 percent oppose the law, including 44 percent who identify as “pro-choice” on abortion.
The findings are not unique. Gallup polls consistently have found that a majority of Americans think all or most abortions should be illegal. In 2018, 53 percent of respondents said abortions should be legal in only a few (35 percent) or no circumstances (18 percent).