By Dave Andrusko
Even those determined to find a “difference” on the abortion issue between Hillary Clinton and Democratic Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders need to work overtime to find an imaginary millimeter of separation. In fact, their positions are so indistinguishable, you couldn’t slide a piece of rice paper between them.
But that didn’t stop Perma Levy, writing for Mother Jones from fretting. She concludes
But in a primary campaign that has seen the candidates and their backers parse the slightest differences in their platforms, the late-term abortion debate represents a meaningful divide between Clinton and Sanders on a high-profile issue.
Last week, when finally asked about abortion (in the seventh debate), Sanders responded to Bret Baier’s inquiry, “Can you name a single circumstance at any point in a pregnancy in which you would be okay with abortion being illegal?” this way:
“It’s not a question of me being okay. Let me be very clear about it. I know not everybody here will agree with me. I happen to believe that it is wrong for the government to be telling a woman what to do with her own body.
Baier gave Sanders a chance to retool his answer, offering that “some Democrats” might call a halt after 5 months (“with the exception of the life of the mother or the health of the baby”). Sanders responded, “I am very strongly pro-choice. That is a decision to be made by the woman, her physician and her family. That’s my view.”
Levy “parsed” Clinton’s have-it-both-ways answer and concluded, “Clinton seems to support limited bans on late-term abortions after a fetus is viable (about 24 weeks into a pregnancy).” See if you agree.
Asked by Baier if there “should not be any restrictions on any abortions at any stage in a pregnancy,” Clinton rolled out the abortion is a “highly personal decision with their family in accordance with their faith, with their doctor” answer before segueing to the Texas law currently before the Supreme Court.
Baier tried again, asking Clinton. “Just to be clear, there’s no — without any exceptions?”
Being “clear” was not Clinton’s objective, that night or any night. She retreated to the safety of “I have been on record in favor of a late pregnancy regulation that would have exceptions for the life and health of the mother.”
Of course, Clinton has been rolling out that “position” for the longest time even though as a United States senator, she voted against a ban on partial-birth abortions.
And by including the all-purpose “health” exceptions escape clause, as Clinton did, operationally she accepted absolutely no exceptions while mouthing words that falsely imply she would limit abortion at some point.
As we wrote last week, what did her full answer to Baier tell us?
Clinton’s against requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and requiring abortion clinics to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers (the Supreme Court case).
She’s against a ban on abortions performed on babies capable of experiencing excruciating pain while they are being killed (the “after 20 weeks” reference).
Clinton is against a ban on any abortion performed at any point in pregnancy unless you can make the “ban” totally inoperable in practice by including the health exception.
When queried by Levy, the Abortion Industry–represented by NARAL and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund— and its media apologists–represented by Amanda Marcotte– had not the slightest qualm about anything Clinton said.
They know her, they know she is one of them, they know she would fight to restore full federal funding of abortion. They also know Clinton fervently believes in exporting abortion throughout the world.
But they are all politely savvy enough to know that their position is wildly unpopular with the public and thus they will never, ever expect Clinton to straightforwardly say she agrees with them–at least not in public.