Arizona Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs said that politicians should not be involved in a woman's decision to obtain an abortion, articulating a de facto no-restrictions position that her Republican opponent Kari Lake has called "extremist."
Hobbs, who is currently Arizona's secretary of state, gave an interview to CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday, during which host Major Garrett her asked her whether she supports a 15-week ban on abortion.
The Democratic candidate said she opposes the 15-week ban and accused Lake of misrepresenting her position on abortion.
"I don't support the 15-week ban. But let me just say that Kari Lake is entirely misconstruing my position on this issue. You and I both know that late-term abortion is extremely rare, and if it's being talked about, it's because something has gone incredibly wrong in a pregnancy," Hobbs said.
She then denied that late-term elective abortions happen. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 992 surgical abortions and 159 medical abortions after 13 weeks of pregnancy in Arizona in 2019. Fewer than 1% of abortions are performed after 21 weeks' gestation, the CDC says.
"A doctor is not going to perform an abortion late in a pregnancy just because somebody decided they want one. That is ridiculous, and she's saying this to distract from her incredibly extreme position," Hobbs claimed.
She also asserted that if Lake wins, Arizona will have "government-mandated forced births."
But when Garrett pressed her on whether there should be any week restrictions on abortion, she would not answer the question.
"Abortion is a very personal decision that belongs between a woman and her doctor. The government and politicians don't belong in that decision. We need to let doctors perform the care that they are trained and take an oath to perform," Hobbs said.
"So, if an Arizona voter were to conclude from your previous answer that you do not favor any specific week limit on abortion, would they be correct?" Garrett asked.
Hobbs replied, "I support leaving the decision between a woman and her doctor and leaving politicians entirely out of it."
Lake appeared on "Face the Nation" before Hobbs and said regarding abortion that as governor she would enforce the law, although what the law says is currently being debated in court.
Arizona originally banned abortion in 1864, but that long-standing law was blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. In March, Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed a new 15-week abortion ban into law. After the court overturned Roe in June, the dueling abortion laws came into conflict, and abortion providers sued to block the 1864 near-total ban from taking effect.
Kari Lake, Arizona's Republican gubernatorial candidate, says "we have a crisis on our border"youtu.be
Lake said that Ducey's 15-week abortion law takes precedence and said she would follow that law if elected governor. She has previously called the older law "a great law" and said she would support a fetal heartbeat law that would ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.
“I am a woman, I’m a mother. I'm all for women's health care — I come from a large family, seven sisters I have — of course I want women's health care. This has moved beyond health care,” Lake told Garrett. “We're not giving women choices. I’m for giving women true choices. And when they walk into an abortion center, they're only given one choice. They're not told that you have the choice to keep your baby and we can help, and here's how. Or, we can help you find a loving family who will adopt your baby.
"I want to give women true choices. I will uphold the law, whatever that law is. And I want to see to it that we save more lives."