Buttigieg: Questions on Third-Trimester Abortions Are Hypotheticals

May 20, 2019

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg during a Fox News town hall Sunday night refused to state a position on whether or not he supports third-trimester abortions.

"You're saying you would be okay with a woman, well into the third trimester, deciding to abort a pregnancy?" Fox News anchor Chris Wallace asked Buttigieg during a conversation about recent legislation in passed in state legislatures limiting or restricting abortion.

Buttigieg dismissed the question deriding it as a "hypothetical" and instead insisted questions about third-trimester abortions are "set up in order to provoke a strong [reaction]."

Wallace contended the question was not a hypothetical as around 6,000 women a year get abortions in the third trimester.

"Representing 1 percent of cases," Buttigieg retorted to Wallace's interjections about third-trimester abortions.

Lis Smith, a communications advisor to Buttigieg's campaign, approvingly shared the response, calling it a "great moment."

"If it's that late in your pregnancy that means almost by definition you've been expecting to carry it to term," Buttigieg later added. "Something about the health or the life of the mother that forces to make an impossible, unthinkable choice."

The Guttmacher Insitute, a pro-choice advocacy organization, released a study that found "most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment."

Abortion has dominated the national headlines in 2019 as state legislatures and governors have taken up legislation either limiting or expanding abortion rights. In New York, Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation expanding abortion rights for women into the third trimester. Meanwhile, Republican-controlled state legislatures in Alabama, Georiga, and Missouri, among other states, have enacted legislation restricting abortion privileges for pregnant mothers.

A June 2018 Gallup poll found that only 13 percent of Americans believe abortion should be legal in the last three months of pregnancy.