During the first half-hour of the final presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, moderator Chris Wallace dove into the topic of Supreme Court justices and asked each candidate’s stance on Roe v. Wade. After initially giving a calm answer about the role of judges on the highest court, Clinton gave an impassioned defense of Roe v. Wade, which established a woman’s right to choose an abortion.
Clinton defended abortion — without actually mentioning the term — by arguing that government has no role in restricting the procedure. When Trump argued in vague terms about partial-birth or late-term pregnancies, Clinton again defended a woman’s right to choose.
“I have met with women who have, toward the end of their pregnancy, get the worst news that they can get, that their health is in jeopardy if they continue to carry to term, or that something terrible has happened or just been discovered about the pregnancy,” she said. “I do not think the United States government should be stepping in and making those most personal of decisions. So, you can regulate, if you are doing so with the life and the health of the mother taken into account.”
When asked for his take on ending later-term pregnancies, Trump said it was terrible that “in the ninth month you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother, just prior to the birth of the baby.” Clinton called Trump’s words “scare rhetoric.” She then spoke of governments around the world that have either forced women to end or carry to term their pregnancies. “And I can tell you the government has no business in the decisions that women make with their families in accordance with their faith, with medical advice, and I will stand up for that right.”
Watch the exchange below: