Hillary Clinton and late-term abortions

By Dave Andrusko

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack is a terrific reporter, who, as it happens, is speaking at this year’s National Right to Life Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana. I meant to post on a story he wrote April 10 but when I didn’t immediately, it slipped my mind. That was an error on my part.

I was reminded of his excellent post–“Hillary Clinton Won’t Spell Out Position on Late-Term Abortion”–when a pro-abortion writer yesterday lectured the newly announced presidential candidate that “Hillary must go bold on abortion: Why cautious language won’t cut it in 2016.”

First, McCormack, who began by recalling the back and forth between presidential candidate Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Paul said see “if she’s okay with killing a seven-pound baby that is just not yet born yet.”

To which Wasserman Schultz replied: “Here’s an answer. I support letting women and their doctors make this decision without government getting involved. Period. End of story.”

Paul responded: “Sounds like her answer is yes, that she’s okay with killing a seven-pound baby.”

Which led to McCormack recalling Clinton’s own considerable abortion advocacy including

In 2005, Hillary Clinton said that “government should have no role” in limiting the right to abortion–a remark very similar to the one made by Wasserman Schultz this week. “This decision, which is one of the most fundamental, difficult, and soul-searching decisions a woman and a family can make, is also one in which the government should have no role,” Clinton said at the time.

But she’d also made an oblique reference to possibly, somehow, maybe limiting “late term” abortions, an answer filled with caveats. So McCormack emailed her spokesman asking

So would Secretary Clinton support any federal law restricting late-term abortion? If so, how many weeks old must an unborn child be for the law to protect her? Must any restriction on late-term abortion include a “mental and emotional” health exception? And does Clinton still support taxpayer-funded elective abortions for Medicaid recipients?

Guess what? No response.

Which brings us to Katie McDonough and her post on Salon. In a word, no more drag bunts to second, no more slap singles to left field, it’s time for the former senator from New York and Secretary of State to swing for the fences.

McDonough is counseling Clinton so she tries to have it both ways–cajole and comfort. Politely clobber Clinton for having said different things at different times in her public life about abortion but also assure her that being “bold” makes sense in the current political environment.

How exactly does McDonough come to that conclusion when she is also lamenting that “the number of restrictions continues to multiply across the country”? Easy. Those laws don’t reflect where the public really is.

And how does she come to that conclusion? Actually we talked about it yesterday: “Pro-abortionists use push-polling to try to manipulate public opinion.”

The idea is simple enough. People don’t realize how “pro-choice” they really are, and if you coax them with sufficient quantities of wholly misleading rhetoric, they will follow pro-abortionists like so many sheep. Not the highest opinion of the American public, but nothing new to the pro-abortion camp.

And, as McDonough puts it, referring to her recommendation that Clinton take a “bolder approach”

This doesn’t have to be a frightening prospect. Clinton’s primary position on abortion — that it’s personal, that it’s complicated, that the right to choose is necessary — largely squares with how many Americans say they feel about access to the procedure.

But, as we explained yesterday, while this may stiffen the spines of a few pro-abortion politicians who are not as radically pro-death as the McDonoughs of this world are, it is not where a majority of the American people are, ever have been, or ever will be.

For example, McDonough would counsel Clinton to just say what she believes: abortion for any reason at any stage–“late term” abortions included– is just another example of “reproductive health” which all women, everywhere ought to be able to exercise.

That this is the position held by only a tiny minority either escapes McDonough or (more likely) is irrelevant.

To circle back to Mr. McCormack (Katie McDonough’s recommendations not withstanding), I’m guessing he won’t get an answer to his questions anytime soon.