In an interview with Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, the secretary of transportation defended an individual's right to abortion.
Almost three years ago, in an interview with Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, former United States presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg fielded common conservative talking points on abortion rights. Instead of taking the bait, he had the perfect response to those who oppose abortion. He reiterated an individual's right to make the decision to carry a pregnancy to term or not. Buttigieg urged Wallace and other conservatives to not "get caught up in hypotheticals," Vox News reported. At a time when abortion rights have once again come under fire across the country, his arguments are important to understand why those who can actually receive abortions are, first and foremost, the top authorities on the subject.
During the interview, Wallace pressed Buttigieg for an answer on when he believed the "cutoff point" should be for someone seeking to have an abortion. He asked, "Do you believe, at any point in pregnancy, that there should be any limit on a woman’s right to an abortion?" This has been a framing popularly used by anti-abortion activists to suggest that there is a preponderance of individuals opting to have abortions very late in their pregnancies—which the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, effectively proved was simply not true.
"The dialogue has gotten so caught up in where you draw the line," he responded. "I trust women to draw the line." Unsatisfied with his response, the news anchor swiftly followed up: "You would be OK with a woman well into the third trimester to obtain an abortion?" Buttigieg noted that such hypotheticals are typically set up to "provoke a strong emotional reaction," prompting Wallace to share that there are 6,000 women a year who get an abortion in the third trimester. However, as the Democrat correctly replied, such cases comprise less than 1% of all abortion procedures completed in a year.
"So let us put ourselves in the shoes of a woman in that situation," Buttigieg went on to explain. "If it is that late in your pregnancy, then almost by definition, you have been expecting to carry it to term. We are talking about women who have perhaps chosen a name. Women who have purchased a crib. Families that then get the most devastating medical news of their lifetimes, something about the health or the life of the mother or the viability of the pregnancy that forces them to make an impossible, unthinkable choice."
He continued, affirming, "And the bottom line is, as horrible as that choice is, that women, that family, may seek spiritual guidance, they may seek medical guidance, but that decision is not going to be made any better, medically or morally, because the government is dictating how that decision should be made." While the comments were made almost three years ago, they are an important reminder for Americans today as the country once again battles with protecting abortion rights. Just this week, the Senate failed to advance a bill developed by members of the Democratic Party that would enshrine abortion rights in federal law. All 50 Republican senators—and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin—opposed the bill.