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Pete Buttigieg Shut Down the "Late-Term Abortion" Debate Once and For All

Olivia Harvey
·4-min read

A statement from Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg regarding "late-term abortions" is picking up steam on social media. A portion of a transcript, tweeted on October 11th, is from a May 2019 Fox News town hall event hosted by Chris Wallace who asked then then-Democratic presidential contender if there should be "any limit on a woman's right to an abortion," no matter the stage of pregnancy.

"I think the dialogue has gotten 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 and I trust women to draw the line when it's their own health," Buttigieg responded.

He then went on to fire back at Wallace who pointed out there are 6,000 women a year who receive third-trimester abortions—these 6,000 women represent "less than 1 percent of cases," Buttigieg said.

"Let's put ourselves in the shoes of a woman in that situation," Buttigieg said. "If it's that late in your pregnancy, then almost by definition, you've been expecting to carry it to term...[Families then] get the most devastating medical news of their lifetime, something about the health or the life of the mother or viability of the pregnancy that forces them to make an impossible, unthinkable choice."

Related: Everything you need to know about the so-called 'abortion pill'

He continued, "And the bottom line is as horrible as that choice is...that decision is not going to be made any better, medically or morally, because the government is dictating how that decision should be made."

The tweet of the transcript has received over 220,000 likes and 45,000 retweets as of today, October 12th.

This back-and-forth between Buttigieg and Wallace is especially poignant today as President Trump's Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barrett, a staunch critic of abortion, is currently attending day one of her confirmation hearing. The fear among abortion defenders is that, if confirmed, Coney Barrett will issue the deciding vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.

In February 2019, President Trump falsely claimed that late-term abortions could be performed post-birth and act as an "execution" of an unwanted child. In actuality, "late-term abortion," is a term that was crafted by anti-abortion extremists that holds no medical merit. Dr. Barbara Levy, vice president of health policy at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, told CNN in February 2019, "In science and medicine, it's essential to use language precisely. In pregnancy, to be "late term" means to be past 41 weeks gestation, or past a patient's due date. Abortions do not occur in this time period, so the phrase is contradictory."

Levy also noted that abortions later in pregnancy are typically carried out due to either "lethal fetal anomalies or threats to the health of the mother," and to make the decision to abort is devastating to make, but can ultimately save a life.

With Buttigieg's remarks on abortion going viral, many with large platforms are taking a moment to share his sentiment and remind those on the fence that we, too, should "trust women" when it comes to abortion, no matter the stage of pregnancy.

Buttigieg has endorsed Democratic candidate and former vice president Joe Biden and Biden's running mate Kamala Harris. And with abortion rights at the forefront of this upcoming presidential election, Buttigieg and his supporters hope voters will make the right decision by voting left.

Abortion is never an easy thing to consider, and unlike what anti-abortion extremists may tell you, no on ever considers it in a flippant manner. Like Buttigieg said, we need to trust women to make the right decision because ultimately, it should be only their decision to make.