The Corner

Politics & Policy

Bernie Sanders Backs Unrestricted Abortion Until Birth

At a Fox News townhall on Monday evening, host Martha McCallum asked Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders: “Do you believe a woman should be able to terminate a pregnancy up until the moment of birth?”

“I think that that happens very, very rarely,” Sanders replied. (As Ramesh Ponnuru has pointed out, there are more late-term abortions committed annually in the United States than there are homicides committed with guns.)

“At the end of the day,” Sanders continued, “the decision over abortion belongs to a woman and her physician, not the federal government, not the state government.”

Sanders gave no indication that he thinks there are any circumstances when it should be illegal for a doctor to kill an unborn child late in pregnancy.

The Vermont senator, like all other sitting Democratic senators running for president, backs federal legislation that would invalidate most state laws that set legal limits on abortion, including Pennsylvania’s 24-week abortion limit under which abortionist Kermit Gosnell was convicted for killing 21 viable infants in utero.

As late as 1997, likely 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said he supported banning all abortion after an unborn child was old enough to survive outside the womb. “It did not, as I would have liked, ban all post-viability abortions,” Biden said of the ban on partial-birth abortion. “I was and still am concerned that in banning on partial-birth abortions, we do not go far enough.”

The New York Times reported two weeks ago that Biden’s spokesman “declined to detail Mr. Biden’s current views on specific policies [restricting abortion] he once supported.”

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