For years, the Clintons claimed that they wanted abortion to be “safe, legal, and rare,” a relatively moderate position they stuck to so long as they considered it politically convenient. In 2008, Hillary Clinton agreed wholeheartedly when asked if America should try to reduce the number of abortions to zero. For “at least fifteen years,” she said, that had been her goal in “talking about abortion being safe, legal and rare — and by rare I mean rare.”
Yet as soon as she perceived an opening to do so, “rare” mysteriously dropped from her mantra. Now she only advocates for “safe and legal” abortion. When you are pushing to fund abortion both domestically and across the globe, one assumes, it is hard to say you actually long for a world without it.
Over the past few days, it has become clear that neither she nor the Democratic Party are really all that concerned with women’s safety either. In their eyes, abortion is sacred ground: if an abortion clinic cannot meet basic safety standards, the standards must be unconstitutional. Not only will they fight to keep abortion common, they will sacrifice safety to do so.
Clinton no longer portrays abortion as the tragic decision she described it as through 2008. No longer does she claim to respect both sides of the argument. Instead, she has pushed for widespread, taxpayer-funded abortion without any restriction.
This position was embraced in the final draft of the Democratic platform completed by the party’s Platform Committee last Saturday. They proudly admit the platform “goes further than previous Democratic platforms on women’s reproductive rights.” In it, they repeat Clinton’s call for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which bars the federal government from using tax dollars to pay for abortion. Unsurprisingly, the platform also “champions Planned Parenthood” and promises to “push back on all Republican efforts to defund it” — a fitting payment for Planned Parenthood championing the Democratic Party and promising to spend millions of dollars funding their nominee.
Most brazenly, however, the platform “vows to oppose, and seek to overturn, all federal and state laws that impede a woman’s access to abortion.” Any law which might close an abortion clinic, regardless of the reason, is opposed by the Democratic Party. Anything less than unrestricted access to abortion, at any point, for any reason, is anathema. If taxpayers need to foot the bill, so be it. For Hillary Clinton, and now, the Democratic Party, abortion is not a matter of private conscience which should be tolerated by law under certain conditions. It is a public good and sacred right, which the American people must support at any cost.
Danny Cannon works for the American Principles Project.