And as my position has been for some time that if such situations may even be recognized by my church as a rare exception, then government should have no business interfering with a women, her doctor, and her religious beliefs.
This from Vox:
This was the only one of the three general election debates to really cover abortion. The issue’s neglect had been a sore spot for activists on both sides of the issue, and so the mere fact that Wallace asked about it counted as a victory of sorts.
But Trump, as a Johnny-come-lately to the pro-life cause who set back decades of movement messaging by insisting thatwomen should be punished for having abortions, naturally bungled his answer. He refused to say clearly that he wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, despite that clearly being his position on the matter. So Wallace turned to Clinton and hammered her for opposing the federal ban on late-term dilation and extraction abortions as a senator.
Clinton’s response was genuinely remarkable, and unlike anything I’ve seen in mainstream American politics before:
The kinds of cases that fall at the end of pregnancy are often the most heartbreaking, painful decisions for families to make. I have met with women who toward the end of their pregnancy get the worst news one could 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. 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.
Trump replied with trademark grace and understatement, saying that in Clinton’s America, “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” (which … no, ninth month abortions are not a thing). Clinton continued:
You should meet with some of the women that I've met with. Women I've known over the course of my life. This is one of the worst possible choices that any woman and her family has to make. I do not believe the government should be making it. I've been to countries where governments forced women to have abortions like they did in China or force women to bear children like they used to do in Romania. 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.
The most striking thing about this answer is that it not only asserts, unequivocally, the importance of a legal right to choose, but it also actively empathizes with women who have third-term abortions. Clinton asks viewers to put themselves in the shoes of a woman who, 31 weeks in, istold that her baby will not be able to breathe outside of the womb, and that she must either have an abortion or go through childbirth only to watch her child suffocate and die. Clinton asks them to consider that a woman in that situation who has an abortion might be not only exercising a legal right but making the right decision.
That is a far cry from the “safe, legal, rare” line of the 1990s, a line that Clinton has pointedly abandoned this year. It’s an even further cry from the Mario Cuomo/Tim Kaine position that abortion is a terrible tragedy that should nonetheless be legal. It’s the rhetorical manifestation of a shift in both the pro-choice movement and the Democratic Party, one that emphasizes visibility and acceptance of abortion, and one that challenges longstanding policies like thefederal ban on abortion funding (which Clinton has promised to repeal). The days of abortion as a dirty little secret even among those who want to keep it legal are starting to fade.
Opposing the Hyde Amendment and dropping “rare” from the safe, legal, rare formulation were obvious moves for Clinton when she was running in the primary. But the fact that she continues to forcefully press the issue, and argues for sympathy for women getting the least popular kind of abortion there is, in the general election is more surprising. It was a major moment for reproductive rights and, at least in part, a sign of what it will mean for abortion rights to have a woman for whom these matters aren’t an abstract philosophical debate in the White House
Post a Comment
Comments are welcome. Feel free to disagree as many do. You can even be passionate (in moderation). Comments that contain offensive language, too many caps, conspiracy theories, gratuitous Mormon bashing, personal attacks on others who comment, or commercial solicitations- I send to spam. This is a troll-free zone. Charity always!