Tim Ryan Dismisses Third-Trimester Abortions as a 'Non-Issue'

2020 candidate allowed to dodge question by MSNBC

April 18, 2019

Rep. Tim Ryan (D., Ohio) said third-trimester abortions are a "non-issue" during an interview Thursday on MSNBC's Morning Joe.

Co-host Joe Scarborough, who has repeatedly criticized Donald Trump throughout his presidency, played devil's advocate as a Trump voter and asked Ryan several policy questions, including on abortion.

"We're Catholics. I'm seeing all this stuff in the news about babies that can be aborted at nine months. That's just—that's wrong. What do we do about that? Are you going to support that too?" Scarborough asked.

"The reality of it is you gotta protect the woman's right to choose. This is a non-issue that people are trying to," Ryan said before Scarborough cut him off.

Scarborough asked Ryan, who recently announced he was running for president, when he was going to start protecting the baby, prompting Ryan to pivot away from abortion to ask, "When are we going to start talking about jobs in the United States?"

Scarborough followed up again to clarify whether he believes a baby should be aborted at nine months, but Ryan shifted the conversation back to jobs.

"I'm telling you right now the guy at the factory gate is not asking that question. The guy at the factory gate, and you know it, is concerned about his job or her job," Ryan said.

Scarborough didn't press him further, asking whether Ryan was bothered by Trump's criticisms of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.).

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) was asked about third-trimester abortions on Monday during a Fox News town hall, but he also dodged the question, saying he believes the issue to terminate a pregnancy up until the moment of birth is "being made into a political issue."

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

"Look, I think that that happens very, very rarely and I think this is being made into a political issue. OK?" 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."