- The Washington Times - Monday, May 20, 2019

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said Sunday he trusts women to “draw the line” when it comes to abortion and that “hypotheticals” on late-term abortion are usually set up in order to “provoke” an emotional reaction.

“I believe that the right of a woman to make her own decisions about her reproductive health and her own body is a national right,” Mr. Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said at a Fox News town hall. “I believe it is an American freedom, and I believe that should be enjoyed by women everywhere.”

Mr. Buttigieg was asked whether he believed there should be any limit on a woman’s right to have an abortion at any stage in the pregnancy.

“I think the dialogue has got 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,” he said. “And I trust women to draw the line.”

Asked whether he would be OK with a woman well into her third trimester having an abortion, Mr. Buttigieg said such “hypotheticals” are usually set up to provoke some kind of strong emotional reaction.

Mr. Buttigieg said the number of abortions that do occur in the third trimester represents a very small percentage of them, and that women who choose to get an abortion that late have likely been expecting to carry the child to term.

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“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,” he said.

“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’s not going to be made any better, medically or morally, because the government is dictating how that decision should be made,” Mr. Buttigieg said.

Democratic presidential candidates have criticized recently passed laws in states such as Alabama and Georgia that place new, broad restrictions on abortion.

Some have vowed to only appoint U.S. Supreme Court justices who will uphold the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that generally legalized abortion in the country, and some have called for Congress to pass federal laws guaranteeing a right to abortion.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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