Tulsi Gabbard Tries For Middle Ground on Abortion, Avoids Direct Answer

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2020/02/05/tulsi-gabbard-tries-for-middle-ground-on-abortion-avoids-direct-answer/

Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard dodged a question about abortion during a campaign event in Nashua, New Hampshire, and instead tried to create some wiggle room.

Gabbard, a U.S. representative from Hawaii, hosted a town hall gathering at the Nashua public library Tuesday, February 4, sponsored by the Nashua Telegraph. Approximately 50 people gathered in the basement of the library for the event, and reacted positively to Gabbard’s ideas.

During her presentation, Gabbard spoke about how she wants to end the Afghanistan War, favors a “single-payer plus” health care system modeled after Australia’s. and feels as though tech giants like Facebook, Google, YouTube, and others are censoring political voices on both sides with which they don’t agree.

Afterward she spoke she took questions from the audience.

A New Boston Post reporter asked Gabbard about her position on abortion.

Gabbard’s campaign web site says she is in favor of abortion being “safe, legal and rare.” In an October 2019 presidential debate, she reiterated this statement, according to Vox. And in a September 2019 appearance on The Rubin Report, she said, “Unless a woman’s life or severe health consequences is at risk, then there shouldn’t be an abortion in the third trimester.”

Her position is more restrictive than that of several other candidates for the Democratic Party’s nomination, but it’s less restrictive than what most other countries allow. The United States is one of just seven countries in the world, including North Korea and China, to allow elective abortions after 20 weeks, according to the Washington PostFact Check.

“Why rare?” Gabbard was asked concerning abortion.

She was also asked what steps she would take as president to reduce the number of abortions that occur in the country. (There were about 862,320 abortions in the United States in 2017, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion and collects data on it.)

Gabbard did not answer the question directly.

“This really speaks to a woman’s health care decisions,” Gabbard told the audience. “I think that as a country, we’ve got to realize how this decision about her family is often one of the most difficult decisions that women make. Understanding that, I think we need to approach within our health care system the ability to provide the health care that women need to be able to make it so that they’re not forced to be in a situation where this is the only choice before them.”

Gabbard also said that the opposing sides on abortion should not view each other’s intentions as bad.

“This is one of the most polarizing issues in our country,” she said. “For many people, it is the only issue by which they make their decisions on who to vote for or against. I think it’s unfortunate because it’s one of these situations where people who fall on both sides on this issue often see the other side as evil. And it goes both ways.”

“I think we would do better as a country if we understood that even as we bring different perspectives and different values and beliefs to this decision, we treat each other with respect and think about how we as a country can move forward with respect for diversity in those views,” she added.

Gabbard is polling at 5 percent in the New Hampshire primary, according to FiveThirtyEight. The New Hampshire primary is Tuesday, February 11.