Newsom refuses to say if he supports any limits on abortion while calling GOP attacks on the issue ‘total BS’

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom refused to say whether he supported any legal limits on abortion while dismissing GOP claims that Democrats back late-term abortions as a “political canard” Monday. 

Newsom was asked by CNN anchor Dana Bash to react to former President Trump’s recent comments accusing Democrats of supporting abortions right up til the moment of birth and even after. 

“What does that mean, ‘after birth abortion?'” Newsom scoffed. “It’s made up.”

“Can you just be clear about what limits on abortion should be?” Bash asked. 

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Gavin Newsom on CNN

California Gov. Gavin Newsom refused to express support for legal abortion limits during an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash. (Screenshot/CNN)

“It’s a political thing,” Newsom responded. “People are not seeking abortion-” 

“But what is the policy? What should it be?” Bash pressed. 

“The policy- it’s not up to Donald Trump or me,” Newsom replied. “It’s up to you, to women that have to bear that responsibility uniquely and distinctively. And the reality is, it’s a canard. It’s a political frame. It’s total BS. And it’s exactly where they need to go because they know they’ve gone too far.” 

The CNN anchor invoked California’s own laws, which previously limited abortions at “viability,” which is roughly 24 weeks. But as Newsom pointed out, a constitutional amendment was passed last year that says “the state shall not deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions, which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and their fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives.”

Newsom stressed the constitutional amendment “has some nuance in it” that’s being “adjudicated in public opinion.”

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Newsom smirks

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks  at a news conference in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, March 16, 2023. On Thursday, March 30, 2023, Newsom announced a new political action committee he says will boost Democrats in Republican-led states.  (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

“So there should be nothing on the books?” Bash asked. 

“This is a canard. This is a false flag. This is where they need to go in order to get out of the mess they created because they don’t believe in fundamental choice and freedom for women. They don’t. Period. Full stop,” Newsom said. “And this whole issue is a political issue… At the end of the day, those examples are so extreme, so rare when you have when you have literally viability issues that are deeply personal and painful… you’re forced to make this terrible decision at the end of a term and to exploit that for political purposes offends.” 

“I just want to be clear because people are going to be listening very carefully to what you’re saying,” Bash followed. “You do not believe it is the role of government nationally or state government to have any limits on the books legally.”

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Gavin Newsom

Newsom’s name is repeatedly floated among Democrats as a potential replacement for President Biden at the top of the ticket in 2024 though the California governor has repeatedly expressed support for the incumbent.  (AP Photo/José Luis Villegas, File)

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While Newsom claimed he has “long believed in viability,” he again stressed the constitutional amendment his state passed has “created some questions as it relates to this.” 

“My point is no one wants to see the late, late-term abortion. No one’s out there promoting that. That’s not what the Democratic Party’s position is. That’s not what my personal position is,” Newsom said. “In those rare and extremely rare and personal circumstances, one thing I absolutely believe- Donald Trump shouldn’t be making that decision. I’m sure as hell shouldn’t be making that decision. That’s a decision for the mother, the would-be mother and for her doctor and for whoever member of her family or priest believes that’s the right thing to do. And beyond that, with all due respect, I call BS on this whole debate. It is purely a political canard.”

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