Phony Overtures

By Dave Andrusko

Editor’s note. With former Senator and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton widely expected to run for President in 2016, this column from the February 2005 edition of National Right to Life News would seem to be a perfect fit for our year-long “Roe at 40” series where we are reprinting some of the best stories from NRL News going all the way back to 1973. If you are not a subscriber to the “pro-life newspaper of record,” please call us at 202-626-8828.

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

How one responds to Sen. Hillary Clinton’s supposed “overtures” to pro-lifers is a real Rorschach-test moment. The junior senator from New York tells us she is seeking “common ground.”

The most militant pro-abortionists fret that she’s softening. (Fat chance of that!) More politically astute pro-abortion types know it’s all speed and no altitude, and silently applaud her meaningless overtures to pro-lifers.

Pro-lifers simply say, “Where have we heard this before?” About a million times since last November when Democrats paid the price for their by-the-numbers pro-abortion position.

You have to wonder how many commentators actually read Sen. Clinton’s January 24 speech given before a large crowd of New York state family planning providers. It’s a doozy.

Clinton establishes the parameters right out of the box. You have on the one side pre-democratic Romania, led by “a Soviet style Communist dictator” who “outlawed abortions,” she said.

On the “other side of the world and the opposite side of this debate,” there’s Communist China. “After you had your one allotted child,” Clinton said, “in some parts of China, you could be sterilized against your will or forced to have an abortion.”

In either case, in Eastern Europe or in the far East, it’s an abridgement of freedom – – coerced to have children, coerced not to have children. What’s that got to do with abortion and President Bush?

“I heard President Bush talking about freedom,” Clinton intoned, “and yet his Administration has acted to deny freedom to women around the world through a global gag policy, which has left many without access to basic reproductive health services.” Get it?

If the President insists that family planning money not go to private organizations that perform abortions or work to legalize abortion in foreign countries, he’s on a par with viciously totalitarian regimes. Not much effort here to find “common ground,” I’d say.

Sen. Clinton was asked at a press conference “if her views were in line with the national Democratic Party’s thinking.”

“I think so,” Mrs. Clinton said, according to the New York Times, adding, “I supported parental notification with a judicial by-pass.” Arkansas’ law requires that both parents be notified, although the minor can go to court and secure permission from a judge to obtain an abortion on her own – – a “judicial bypass.”

Talk about a breach of etiquette!

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The usual suspects went into a tizzy and called Clinton’s office. Here’s what ensued, according to the Times.

“Two aides to Mrs. Clinton said yesterday that while she once supported Arkansas’s parental notification law, she now preferred New York’s approach. New York is one of more than a dozen states that do not have a parental notification requirement; instead, health care providers have to give information about medical options and risks to patients, including those seeking abortions.”

Ditto for Sen. John Kerry. He goes on “Meet the Press” and host Tim Russert presses him on abortion. We learn from Kerry that there must be “room to be able to talk about these things in a rational way.”

After all, “The discussion is not about being pro-abortion,” Kerry insists. “The discussion is about how you truly value life.” And, oh by the way, “Valuing life is also valuing choice.”

Russert asks him about parental notification and Kerry runs circles around the question. Finally he kinda, sort of says, hey, maybe that’s not such a bad idea, although such a law “has to be done sensitively in a way that sort of brings the parties together necessarily.”

Russert asks the logical follow up question: “Would you introduce that legislation that would have that at the federal level?” Kerry’s response?

“I hadn’t thought about introducing it, but I certainly would support it or entertain a discussion about it.” And then in the spirit of “bringing the parties together,” he immediately begins to trash the Bush Administration unmercifully.

As the old adage goes, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Pro-abortion Democrats are already on about their 400th time round of feints, misinformation, and dissimulation. They believe we’ll fall for it because they know we want to believe that the self-described “party of the little guy” would be on the side of life. Any chance of that?

Not hardly.