Sanders Dodges on Third-Trimester Abortions: 'This Is Being Made Into a Political issue'

April 15, 2019

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) dodged a question Monday on whether he believes a woman should be able to terminate a pregnancy up until the moment of birth, saying he believes this decision is "being made into a political issue."

Sanders attended a Fox News town hall in Bethlehem, Pa., where he was asked about several issues, including third-trimester abortions. Fox News host Martha MacCallum said that she watched Sanders's rally in Pittsburgh on Sunday and noted how he said he believed no one should tell a woman what to do with her own body.

"With regard to abortion, do you believe that a woman should be able to terminate a pregnancy up until the moment of birth?" MacCallum asked.

"Look, I think that that happens very, very rarely and I think this is being made into a political issue. Okay?" Sanders said, amid cheers and jeers. "So I think it's rare, it's being made into a political issue, but at the end of the day I believe that the decision over abortion belongs to a woman and her physician, not the federal government, not the state government, and not the local government."

Many cheered wildly at his answer. Abortion proponents have defended third-trimester abortions against increasing opposition in recent months. It became more necessary after Virginia Del. Kathy Tran (D.) and Gov. Ralph Northam (D.) put the issue front and center.

Tran proposed legislation in the state legislature to cut abortion regulations and even defended the practice of abortion on the day of birth, but then walked it back amid negative reaction in Virginia. Northam supported the bill and even seemed to condone infanticide in the case of botched abortions, which he now denies although he stands by his support of the bill, which did not pass.

Sanders, an independent senator who caucuses with Democrats, is running as a Democratic candidate for president.