Appearing on “The View” on Thursday, Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg was asked to give a precise answer about where he draws the line for legalized abortion. Buttigieg responded that he does not believe that politicians should be drawing the line, and that even in the late term when a mother finds that something is wrong with her child, the decision whether or not to abort should be up to her.
During the broadcast, Meghan McCain pointed to remarks that Buttigieg made in September on “The Breakfast Club,” in which he said that people interpret the Bible’s teachings on when life begins differently, and that no matter what one’s view, he doesn’t believe that politicians should be making laws on abortion allowance as the decision should be left up to women.
“[Republicans] hold everybody in line with this one piece of doctrine about abortion, which is obviously a tough issue for a lot of people to think through morally. Then again, there’s 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 said at one point during the radio show.
“No matter what you think about the kind of cosmic question of how life begins, most Americans can get on board with the idea of, ‘Alright, I might draw the line here; you draw the line there,’” he continued. “But the most important thing is the person who should be drawing the line: … the woman making the decision. Since when should men be dictating what women ought to be able to do?”
McCain asked Buttigieg to clarify his remarks this week since she and others who identify as pro-life found his comments to be radical.
“I’m just pointing to the fact that different people will interpret their own moral lights, and for that matter, interpret Scripture differently,” he said. “But we live in a country where it is extremely important that no one person be subject to some other person’s interpretation of their own religion.”
McCain then interjected, seeking to obtain a clear answer on where Buttigieg stands. She noted that controversy erupted last year when Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam made remarks that some interpreted as supporting infanticide in some cases.
“I think people, even Democrats — and there are a lot of pro-life Democrats in the country — want to know exactly where your line is, because you will be the president if you win,” McCain noted.
“Right, but my point is that it shouldn’t be up to a government official to draw the line. It should be up to the woman who is confronted with the choice,” Buttigieg asserted, generating cheers and applause.
“So, if a woman wanted to … invoke infanticide after a baby is born you’d be comfortable with that,” McCain asked.
Buttigieg said that he doesn’t think that is occurring.
“Think about the situation. If this is a late-term situation, then by definition, it’s one where a woman was expecting to carry the pregnancy to term,” he outlined. “Then she gets perhaps the most devastating news of her life. We’re talking about families that have picked out a name, maybe assembling a crib, and they learn something excruciating and are faced with this terrible choice.”
“I don’t know what to tell them morally about what they should do,” Buttigieg continued. “I just know that I trust her, and her decision medically or morally isn’t going to be any better because the government is commanding her in a certain way.”
The audience again erupted in applause and cheers. However, McCain told Buttigieg that his response was again “radical” and that it will not bode well with Republicans.
As previously reported, Rhyan Glezman, an evangelical pastor who is also Buttigieg’s “brother-in-law,” has repeatedly spoken out against the Democratic candidate’s views on the Bible and morality.
“Pete, I would really like to know one verse that supports the killing of God’s greatest creation. It’s outlandish to say that the Bible (God’s word) supports the killing of babies at any stage of life,” he Tweeted on Sept. 22.
In November, Buttigieg told Rolling Stone that he doesn’t believe he’s “cherry-picking” the Bible by supporting homosexuality and abortion, but that he just finds some aspects of Scripture to be “inconsistent internally” and “you’ve got to decide what sense to make of it.”
“Well, I think for a lot of us — certainly for me — any encounter with Scripture includes some process of sorting out what connects you with God versus what simply tells you about the morals of the times when it was written, right?” he said.
The South Bend, Indiana mayor pointed to the penal law under the Old Testament, claiming that it required a man to personally kill his sister if she was unfaithful to her husband. Buttigieg said the punishment “found its way” into the Bible because it was considered a just criminal statute at the time.
“For example, the proposition that you should execute your sister by stoning if she commits adultery. I don’t believe that that was right once upon a time, and then the New Testament came and it was gone. I believe it was always wrong, but it was considered right once, and that found its way into Scripture,” he opined.
“And to me that’s not so much cherry-picking as just being serious, because of course there’s so many things in Scripture that are inconsistent internally, and you’ve got to decide what sense to make of it,” Buttigieg continued.
“Jesus speaks so often in hyperbole and parable, in mysterious code, that in my experience, there’s simply no way that a literal understanding of Scripture can fit into the Bible that I find in my hands.”
1 Peter 1:20-21 reads, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation, for the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17 similarly says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”