Potential 2020 presidential candidate and former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz weighed in on the issue of abortion at a Fox News town hall in Kansas Thursday evening.
Schultz, who is considering a 2020 run as an independent, said that the question of his stance on abortion “in many ways” has “been answered by the Supreme Court.” However, with that in mind he added that he's not in favor of all abortions.
“I have been a person that is pro-choice,” he said. “I recognize that every woman — this is such a personal issue — and it’s between her and her god as to what that decision should be. And in my view, there should be no abortion that is in the last trimester.”
“President Clinton said something a long time ago that I think does apply, and he said abortion should be safe, legal, and rare,” Schultz added. “That’s where I am, thank you very much.”
Abortion in the third trimester or past 27 weeks – which is widely considered to be well past the point of fetal viability – is not popular with Americans. According to the most recently available Gallup polling from June, only 13 percent of Americans support abortions in the third trimester.
However, in recent months some Democrats have backed late-term abortion up until birth.
A controversy over the party’s stance on late-term abortion began in New York and Virginia recently when a measure that would permit abortions at “any time” to protect “a patient’s life or health” was signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam then made some remarks that appeared to be defending leaving an infant born after an abortion to die after he was asked about the debate over Virginia House of Delegates member Kathy Tran’s (D-Fairfax) bill that would allow an abortion, she initially said, even after the woman goes into labor.
Democratic 2020 presidential hopeful and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke was asked about his stance on third trimester abortion on the campaign trail and said “that should be a decision that the woman makes, I trust her."
The Democratic party has shifted to defending abortion later and later in a woman’s pregnancy, changing their platform to include a call for taxpayer-funded abortion in 2016. Hillary Clinton notably defended late-term abortions on the campaign trail in 2016. She also faced criticism from both sides of the aisle for saying that the “unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights.”