Pete Buttigieg had a chance Thursday to come out against late-term abortion, but he didn’t take it.

Instead, the Democratic presidential primary contender said on ABC’s “The View” that “it shouldn’t be up to the government official to draw the line, it should be up to the woman who is confronted with that choice,” prompting a swift retort from co-host Meghan McCain.

“I respect what you’re saying because you didn’t back down from it. This is going to hurt you in the middle of the country with the Republicans you’re trying to win over,” said Ms. McCain. “People like me, this is a hard line, and quite frankly, that answer is just as radical as I thought it was. Sorry.”

Pro-life advocates joined in the criticism of the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana. “[T]his shouldn’t be a difficult question for you to answer,” tweeted Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List.

She added that Ms. McCain “is right. You’re extremely radical on late-term abortion & infanticide. This will hurt your campaign.”

Fact-checking @PeteButtigieg on late-term abortion: In interview w/ @MeghanMcCain, Buttigieg claimed late-term abortions only happen when “woman gets the most devastating news” about a problem with the pregnancy or health of her unborn child. But what does the research say? 1/7
— Susan B. Anthony List (@SBAList) February 6, 2020

Live Action’s Lila Rose tweeted that Mr. Buttigieg’s reply meant that “as long as a mother wants to abort a baby, at any age, she should be able to,” while the March for Life’s Jeanne Mancini called his responses “out of touch with mainstream America.”

Mr. Buttigieg said in a Sept. 6 interview on “The Breakfast Club” podcast that there were “a lot of parts of the Bible that talk about how life begins with breath. And so even that is something that we can interpret differently.”

Buttigieg suggests we determine life when the baby draws its first breath. A 2020 presidential candidate is suggesting babies can be killed up UNTIL a baby draws its first breath.
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) September 6, 2019

His reply prompted Ms. McCain to ask whether he thought abortion was permissible until birth, when a baby draws its first breath, to which Mr. Buttigieg replied, “I’m just pointing to the fact that different people will interpret their own moral lights, and for that matter interpret Scripture, differently.”

“But we live in a country where it is extremely important that no one person should have to be subject to some other person’s interpretation of their own religion,” Mr. Buttigieg added.

Pressed about infanticide after a botched abortion, he asked, “Does anybody seriously think that’s what these cases are about?” and added that a “late-term situation” was by definition one in which parents-to-be “learned something excruciating and are faced with this terrible choice.”

“I just know that I trust that her and her decision medically or morally isn’t going to be any better because the government is commanding her to do it in a certain way,” Mr. Buttigieg said.

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