Sanders: Abortion Up Until Birth Is ‘Rare,’ Just a ‘Political Issue’

By Patrick Goodenough | April 16, 2019 | 4:25am EDT
Sen. Bernie Sanders. (Mark Makela/Getty Images)

( – Sen. Bernie Sanders said Monday night abortion up until birth “happens very, very rarely” and was being “made into a political issue,” reiterating his view that abortion was a decision for a woman and her doctor, not the government.

At the Fox News town hall, host Martha MacCallum quoted the 2020 presidential contender as having said at a rally in Pittsburgh on Sunday that “no one should tell a woman what to do with her own body.”

“With regard to abortion,” MacCallum asked over enthusiastic applause for Sanders from the audience, “do you believe that a woman should be able to terminate a pregnancy up until the moment of birth?”

“Look, I think that that happens very, very rarely, and I think this is being made into a political issue,” Sanders replied.

“I think it’s rare, it’s being made into a political issue,” he repeated, “but at the end of the day I believe that the decision over abortions belongs to a woman and her physician, not the federal government, not the state government, and not the local government.”

In February Sanders – and all Senate Democrats campaigning for their party’s 2020 presidential nomination – voted against advancing the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, a measure requiring a baby born alive during a botched abortion to receive the same level of care as any other newborn infant.

Ahead of that vote, the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Nebr.) challenged Sanders and the other presidential hopefuls, quoting back to them their recent statements on protecting the vulnerable, and asking whether they meant those words, or if they were “just claptrap for the campaign trail and for soundbites.”

When launching his campaign in February, Sanders said, “I’m running for president because a great nation is judged not by how many billionaires and nuclear weapons it has, but by how it treats the most vulnerable – the elderly, the children, our veterans, the sick and the poor.”

In his State of the Union address earlier that month, President Trump called on Congress “to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb,” drawing cheers from many in the chamber, although notably not from a group of Democratic congresswomen dressed in white.

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