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Politics & Policy

Tulsi Gabbard Says She Supports Regulating Abortion in the Third Trimester

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard at the Presidential Gun Sense Forum in Des Moines, Iowa, August 10, 2019. (Gage Skidmore)

In an interview with Dave Rubin yesterday, Hawaii congresswoman and Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard conceded that abortion should not be permitted during the last three months of pregnancy unless the mother was at severe risk.

Gabbard told Rubin she views abortion in a “libertarian” way, saying she doesn’t think government should be dictating women’s choices. “I think that there should be some restrictions though,” she added. Rubin asked if she had a “cutoff point,” to which she replied: “I think the third trimester. Unless a woman’s life or severe health consequences is at risk, then there shouldn’t be an abortion in the third trimester.”

When Gabbard first became involved in politics in the Hawaii state legislature, she called herself pro-life, but later said having been deployed to Iraq changed her view of the issue. Since becoming a member of Congress, Gabbard has maintained a 100-percent rating from Planned Parenthood. She supports federal funding of abortion, but she did not co-sponsor a Democratic bill in the House that would repeal the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the direct use of taxpayer funds to cover abortion procedures. She also did not sponsor the Democratic “Women’s Health Protection Act,” a piece of federal legislation that would override state restrictions on abortion.

Though Gabbard’s acknowledgement that third-trimester abortions ought to be regulated is a small concession, it’s much more than any of her fellow Democratic presidential candidates has been willing to offer on the issue — despite the unpopularity of elective late-term abortion among Americans, including those who consider themselves “pro-choice.”

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