By: Alexandra Desanctis – nationalreview.com –
Presidential hopefuls answered questions from the New York Timesoutlining their support for nearly unlimited abortion rights.
The New York Times has released the results from a set of questions posed to each Democratic presidential candidate about his or her views on abortion. Thus far in the primary race, very few of the candidates have been pushed to account for their position on a variety of abortion policies, especially during the debates. The Times should be commended for this effort to get candidates on the record on specific policy questions.
Five candidates did not complete the survey: Montana governor Steve Bullock (who has since exited the race), former Housing and Urban Development secretary Julian Castro, former Maryland congressman John Delaney, Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, and California senator Kamala Harris (who ended her campaign yesterday).
The survey is the first time that most candidates were asked whether they support restrictions on abortion procedures after fetal viability, usually somewhere around 21 weeks’ gestation, the earliest a premature infant has survived. Only Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar suggested that regulations could be acceptable, saying they “must be consistent with Roe v. Wade,” which would allow states to limit abortion in the third trimester with an exception for women’s health. (It’s worth noting that Roe companion case Doe v. Bolton defined “health” expansively to include financial, emotional, and familial health, making it difficult for states to limit abortion practically speaking.)
Most candidates offered some form of a “no,” including Colorado senator Michael Bennet, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, billionaire Tom Steyer, and New Jersey senator Cory Booker. Several candidates offered longer explanations, repeating the common claim that post-viability abortions are rare and only take place in the case of medical emergencies.
“The fact is that less than 1 percent of abortions take place after 24 weeks of pregnancy,” South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg said. “They often involve heartbreaking circumstances in which a person’s health or life is at risk, or when the fetus has a congenital condition that is incompatible with life.”
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