Klobuchar criticized for support of ‘allowing for limitations’ on third-trimester abortions

“I support allowing for limitations in the third trimester that do not interfere with the life or health of the woman,” Klobuchar said.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar has come under fire for saying she supports “allowing for limitations” on abortion during the third trimester of pregnancy.

“Minnesota is extremely fortunate to have a US Senator that works tirelessly for women’s reproductive rights … in Tina Smith,” Minneapolis DFL Vice Chair Mike Norton tweeted.

Smith is Minnesota’s junior U.S. senator. She was appointed by former Gov. Mark Dayton to succeed the disgraced Al Franken in 2018. Previously, she served as vice president of Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota from 2003 until 2006.

Norton shared a link to a June 25 interview from Klobuchar with CNN’s Dana Bash on State of the Union. During the segment, Klobuchar was asked for her stance on abortion.

“Democrats often say … that you support codifying Roe v. Wade. Roe didn’t place limits on third-trimester abortions — it just allowed states to do so. Would you support a federal law that bans abortions after viability?”

Klobuchar’s response was, apparently, not pro-abortion enough for some.

“What I support, and I’ll be very clear about this, is Roe v. Wade, which does allow for limitations, but it also protects the life of the woman and the health of the woman. I think that is the best way to go.

“I support allowing for limitations in the third trimester that do not interfere with the life or health of the woman,” she added.

The third trimester of a woman’s pregnancy begins around 27 weeks. Viability is understood to happen around 24 weeks.

On the surface, Klobuchar’s remarks suggest she may not be as radical on abortion as others in her party. Indeed, when she herself ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, she said she wanted to court those who are more moderate on the issue.

“I’m strongly pro-choice. I have always been pro-choice, but I believe we’re a big tent party,” she told Meghan McCain on The View at the time. “There are pro-life Democrats and they are part of our party, and we need to build a bigger tent.”

But times have changed in post-Roe America. The Democratic Party has moved further to the left on abortion, and liberal politicians have gone along with it. Klobuchar’s other remarks to Bash focused on criticizing the Republican stance on the issue.

“The women of the country … have come forward in big ways, voting in big ways to reject these Republican policies,” she said.

“Unfortunately, instead of backing down on this, the Republican Party has been doubling down, putting bans in place. The answer is to codify Roe v. Wade into law in the Congress.”

“Realistically,” she continued, “the only way we can do this is by the ballot box, and that is for the people of America to vote what they believe — we’ve got 80% of people opposing a national abortion ban — to vote for candidates that are willing to support Roe v. Wade in 2024.”

National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru noticed the duplicity of Klobuchar’s comments.

In an article published Monday, he pointed out to his readers that Klobuchar’s reference to protecting the “life or health” of the mother is essentially a red herring.

“The courts pre-Dobbs had interpreted the required ‘health’ exception to include mental and emotional health,” he said. This makes “such restrictions … effectively unenforceable.”

Ponnuru suggests that Klobuchar’s remarks say she is open to protecting unborn children — but at the end of the day, if a pregnancy harms the “mental health” of a woman in any way, she should be allowed to obtain an abortion at any stage in the pregnancy.


Stephen Kokx

Stephen Kokx, M.A., is a journalist for LifeSiteNews. He previously worked for the Archdiocese of Chicago under the late Francis Cardinal George. A former community college instructor, Stephen has written and spoken extensively about Catholic social teaching and politics. His essays have appeared in such outlets as Catholic Family News and CatholicVote.org.