While appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday, Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton declared her staunch support of Planned Parenthood and told John Dickerson that she would oppose federal limits on abortion “at any state of pregnancy” in the name of a “woman’s right to choose.” She also said she no longer found the recent Planned Parenthood videos disturbing as she did just two months ago.
“Do you support a federal limit on abortion at any stage of pregnancy?” Dickerson asked. Clinton said she does not support any federal limitations on abortion.
“This is one of those really painful questions that people raise and obviously it’s really emotional,” she said. “I think that the kind of late term abortions that take place are because of medical necessity.”
“Therefore,” she added, “I would hate to see the government interfering with that decision.” A number of polls dating back to 2012 show most do not agree with Clinton, however. In 2013, a Huffington Post/YouGov poll said a clear majority — 59 percent — want a federal ban on abortion after the 20th week of pregnancy. A Marist poll released early this year said only nine percent agree with Clinton that abortion should be available at any stage of pregnancy.
Clinton was also incorrect about the reason women seek late-term abortions. In an article at the pro-life Charlotte-Lozier Institute, Dr. Elizabeth Johnson said that “wider data from both the medical literature and late-term abortion providers indicates that most late-term procedures are not performed” for “maternal health complications or lethal fetal anomalies discovered late in pregnancy.”
Most late-term abortions, she explained, are “performed because of a delay in pregnancy diagnosis and for reasons similar to those given by first-trimester abortion patients: financial stressors, relationship problems, education concerns or parenting challenges.” That statement is backed up with an excerpt of a study by the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute entitled “Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health.” According to the authors of the study, wider “data suggests that most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.”
Clinton also went after Republicans now seeking to defund Planned Parenthood, calling their attacks disturbing. She told Dickerson that she had seen “excerpts” of the videos and “certainly read” about them. Nevertheless, she declared they were “misleadingly edited” and “intentionally taken out of context.”
“The fact is that if we want to have debate in this country about whether we should continue using — doing fetal research, then it’s not only Planned Parenthood that should be involved in that debate,” she said. “All of the experts, all of the scientists, all of the research institutions, everybody who is looking for cures to Parkinson’s, for example, should be asked, should we continue this. But so far as I am aware, what they did, despite the way it was portrayed, is within the laws that were set up for this.”