- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 19, 2016

LAS VEGAS — Abortion emerged as a flash point in the final presidential debate Wednesday night, with Republican Donald Trump claiming his opponent, Hillary Clinton, would allow doctors to “rip the baby out of the womb” just days before birth.

Mr. Trump stressed that he would appoint conservative Justices to the Supreme Court, saying it would be a virtual certainty that the landmark Roe vs. Wade decision would be undone in a Trump administration. Mrs. Clinton, meanwhile, said she would strongly defend women’s rights, both by ensuring the high court upholds Roe vs. Wade and by maintaining government funding for organizations such as Planned Parenthood.

She said Mr. Trump’s proposed restrictions on abortion should be seen as unacceptable.

“Roe v. wade very clearly sets out that there can be regulations on abortions so long as the life and the health of the mother are taken into account,” Mrs. Clinton said. “The kinds of cases that fall at the end of pregnancy are often the most heartbreaking, painful decisions for families to make …I do not think the United States government should be stepping in and making those most personal of decisions. So, you can regulate if you are doing so with the life and the health of the mother taken into account.”

Mr. Trump responded quickly, saying Mrs. Clinton’s position is unthinkable.

“I think it’s terrible. If you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby,” he said. “Now you can say that’s OK, and Hillary can say that’s OK, but it’s not OK with me. Because based on what she’s saying … you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month, in the final day, and that’s not acceptable.”

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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