Mayor Pete Buttigieg criticized the new abortion restrictions passed in Alabama on Thursday, saying that America is not free without a right to abortion.
“I must say that I don’t think that you are free in this country if your reproductive health can be criminalized by government,” Buttigieg said.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed the law enacting new abortion restrictions on Wednesday.
“To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God,” she said.
Buttigieg criticized the bill for restricting abortion while delivering a speech at the City Club of Chicago, arguing that the government does not have a role in protecting the unborn.
“This is not an easy choice for anyone to face, and I would be loath to tell anybody facing that situation what the right thing to do is, but that’s exactly the point: I’m a government official. I don’t view myself as belonging in that conversation,” he said, referring to a pregnant woman’s choice to abort her child.
Buttigieg paled at the suggestion that abortion doctors could go to jail for performing an abortion in Alabama.
“To see in Alabama that if someone is raped and she seeks an abortion, the doctor who treats her will be penalized with a longer term than her rapist makes me question whether the discussion about freedom in this country has gone off the rails,” he concluded.