Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar said Sunday she supports allowing restrictions on abortion in the third trimester of pregnancy, sparking a thorny political debate over the time period of the abortion procedure.
“I support allowing third-trimester restrictions that don’t interfere with women’s lives or health,” Klobuchar told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union,” while also reaffirming his support for -codified in Roe v. Wade.
The third trimester of pregnancy starts at 27 weeks. Less than 1% of abortions are performed at 21 weeks or later, according to a 2020 report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Abortion has become an increasingly powerful political topic in the year since the US Supreme Court’s landmark decision a year ago to overturn Roe v. Wade and repeal the federal constitutional right to abortion nationwide. More than a dozen US states have banned or severely restricted access to the procedure since the decision.
“What I support — and I’ll be very clear about this — is Roe v. Wade, which allows for limitations, but it also protects a woman’s life and a woman’s health,” Klobuchar said Sunday.
“I think that’s the best way to go. But look what they’re doing, their leading Republican candidate, Dana, is calling for an abortion ban. Trump was just last night raving about how he put these Supreme Court justices in place that overturned Roe v. Wade.
Klobuchar has long expressed the need for some restrictions on late-term abortions, telling Bloomberg in 2019 “there are limits there in the third trimester that are very important – about – other than the woman’s health.”
In the 2022 midterms, abortion is a key motivator for many voters, as CNN exit polls show that 46% of people say abortion is the most important issue in their vote. Abortion will also be a cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign, as administration officials have emphasized what Democrats have done to protect access to abortion.
“MAGA Republicans have made it clear that they do not intend to stop the Dobbs decision. No, they will not, until they get a national abortion ban,” Biden said this week, promising to issue a veto. if a national ban is passed by Congress.
CLARIFICATION: This story has been updated to clarify Klobuchar’s position on abortion restrictions.
This headline and story have been updated.