By Nancy Flanders
Last week, Hillary Clinton compared the United States to the Taliban as well as to Russian war criminals when it comes to the treatment of women.
Clinton and her daughter Chelsea hosted the Summit on Women’s Rights at the Clinton Presidential Center in Arkansas, which featured Planned Parenthood president and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson. On December 1, during the summit, Clinton spoke by video with PBS host Christiane Amanpour.
“We have come a long way on so many fronts but we are also in a period of time where there is a lot of pushback and much of the progress that has been taken for granted by too many people is under attack: literally under attack in places like Iran or Afghanistan or Ukraine — where rape is a tactic of war — or under attack by political and cultural forces in a country like our own when it comes to women’s health care and bodily autonomy,” Clinton told Amanpour.
Clinton was referencing the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in June, which has allowed states to pass laws protecting children from abortion throughout pregnancy. She is comparing such laws — and those who support them — to the Taliban, who shot Malala Yousefzai in the head for promoting the education of girls, and to Russian war criminals who are raping, torturing, and murdering people in the custody of the Russian military.
Clinton is not the first abortion advocate to make such a comparison. In 2021, MSNBC contributor Dean Obeidallah, as well as MSNBC host Joy Reid, exploited the suffering of Afghan people at the hands of the Taliban to attack pro-lifers and pro-life laws in the United States.
As Live Action News contributor Laura Nicole pointed out, the Taliban restricts a woman’s right to vote, to work, to dress in anything but the face-covering niqab, the right to move about freely, and their right to life. “The comparison of millions of pro-life Americans — who want women to be free to work, to be educated, and to choose life for their babies — with the Taliban is dishonest and shockingly offensive,” said Nicole.
Clinton also made the claim that Americans made it clear in the recent election that they support abortion, though her own home state of Arkansas passed The Arkansas Human Life Protection Act in 2019, which would protect all children from abortion in the event that Roe was overturned. When the Supreme Court did just that in its Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge made the pro-life law official. The law forced the state’s last abortion facility to close in September.
“Arkansas itself, I believe, rapidly moved to make a women’s right to choose illegal in your state, or your former home state, and you’re hosting this conference. Talk to me about the confluence of both these events. This pushback on American women’s rights at the same time as you’re trying to figure a way forward,” Amanpour asked Clinton.
“We have work to do to try to defend our rights, to stand up for them,” said Clinton. “And what we’ve seen, particularly since the Dobbs decision across our country, is that when voters — both men and women, but led by women — have a chance to vote on these draconian abortion restrictions, they do not accept them.”
Clinton is likely referring to two state pro-life initiatives that failed this year. The first was the Value Them Both ballot initiative in Kansas. It would have allowed the state legislature to enact protections for preborn children, overriding the Kansas Supreme Court’s ruling that abortion is a protected constitutional right. It was rejected by voters in August.
In Kentucky, Amendment 2 — Yes for Life! — would have altered the state constitution to read, “To protect human life, nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.” It would have ensured that abortion is not a right in the state constitution, therefore allowing the state to regulate abortion, but the measure failed to pass in November.
At face value, it may appear that voters rejected these initiatives out of support for abortion and a clear understanding of what they were voting against. But that wasn’t the case.
In an interview with The Cut, an abortion activist who worked on pro-abortion campaigns in both Kentucky and Kansas revealed the tactics she used to ensure those pro-life initiatives failed. Rachel Sweet served as both the head of the pro-abortion coalition in Kansas opposing the pro-life ballot initiative and as the campaign manager for the Protect Kentucky Access pro-abortion initiative.
Sweet said that her strategy in Kentucky was to focus on gaining sympathy and empathy from voters by emphasizing “the idea that passing extreme restrictions impacts medical care for pregnancy complications and miscarriages.” In doing this, she was spreading falsehoods and emotionally manipulating voters. No pro-life laws restrict treatments for pregnancy complications or miscarriage, despite what the media claims.
In Kansas, Sweet worked to convince the voters who hold no strong opinions on abortion that the pro-life ballot initiative was extreme. Her ‘to-each-their-own’ approach was to tell voters, “We don’t need to change anything about the constitution in Kansas. This is about the government getting involved in your personal business.”
In addition, less than 24 hours before Kansans went to the polls, they were hit with misleading and confusing text messages about what a “yes” or “no” vote meant on the initiative. Registered Democrats received texts implying that a “yes” vote would have been in support of abortion. The text read, “Voting Yes on the Amendment will give women a choice. Vote YES to protect women’s health.” This is an inaccurate representation of the amendment, which would have allowed lawmakers to enact at least some commonsense protections for the preborn and would have solidified that the state is not required to fund abortions.
Republicans in the state also received a confusing text which said, “Voting NO protects 19 laws that heavily restrict and regulate abortion. Will you be voting yes or no?” A no vote would have meant that the constitution was not amended, thereby leaving in place a Kansas Supreme Court ruling that protects abortion as a right.
It remains unclear who sent the any of the text messages.
In addition, as explained by Michael J. New, the Kansas amendment was drafted before the fall of Roe v. Wade in June, “… [P]ro-life organizers in favor of the measure likely failed to anticipate the onslaught of outside money and publicity” that would go towards stopping the pro-life initiative. He also noted that the “wording of the amendment was somewhat confusing, and post-Dobbs media coverage of life issues has been more biased and partisan than ever.”
Editor’s note. This appeared at Live Action News and is reposted with permission.