Trust the Woman!

We aren’t endorsing any of the Democrats running for President because the job of picking the party nominee lies on the shoulders of voters in primaries and caucus-goers; however, when one of the candidates so clearly articulates one of the party’s values as Pete Buttigieg did on a Fox News town hall last May, it’s worth taking note.

While discussing the recent laws passed in Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio — which severely restrict access to abortions — Fox News anchor Chris Wallace sought to press Buttigieg on just when the cutoff point should be for when a woman can access an abortion. “Do you believe, at any point in pregnancy, that there should be any limit on a woman’s right to an abortion?” Wallace wanted to know, according to

Buttigieg responded:

“The dialogue has gotten so caught up in where you draw the line. I trust women to draw the line.”

Wallace pressed on: “You would be okay with a woman well into the third trimester to obtain an abortion?” 

Buttigieg responded:

“These hypotheticals are set up to provoke a strong emotional reaction.”

Wallace countered: “These aren’t hypotheticals — there are 6,000 women a year who get an abortion in the third trimester.”

Buttigieg responded:

“That’s right, representing less than 1 percent of cases a year.”

“Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of a woman in that situation. If it’s that late in your pregnancy … it’s [almost to the point] that you’ve been expecting to carry it to term. Families … then get the most devastating medical news of their lifetime. … That decision is not going to be made any better, medically or morally, because the government is dictating how that decision should be made.”

(Emphasis added.)

The Vox article goes on the criticize Buttigieg’s position as somewhat lacking in substance — by that they mean in detail on how to enforce women’s right to choose. Some of the other Primary Candidates have more detailed positions on enforcement, notably Harris, who would require “pre-clearance” by the U.S. Justice Department for any state laws regulating women’s healthcare.

But the point is that Buttigieg has clearly articulated the moral ground for lodging the choice with women and refuted the Republican talking point on late-term abortions. This language is something all Democrats can agree upon.

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