Campaign 2012 sure must seem like a distant memory for pro-lifers now. Four years ago, the conventional wisdom coming from the GOP elite seemed to be that Republicans ought to avoid talking about “divisive” social issues like abortion in order to seem reasonable to voters. This approach backfired, of course, as it allowed Democrats to define the terms of the debate, casting themselves as “moderate” candidates as opposed to the “extreme” positions of Republicans.
Fortunately, GOP candidates in 2016 appear to be learning this lesson. On the issue of abortion, especially, it is Democrats who are increasingly at odds with the majority view of Americans, and more and more Republicans are pointing this out. Candidates such as Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, and others have gone out of their way to challenge Democrats on their radicalism when it comes to life, and the recent controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood has provided an even better opportunity to do so.
This week, Gov. Chris Christie joined the fray, releasing a video highlighting his own record on defunding Planned Parenthood in New Jersey and calling out Hillary Clinton for her continued defense of the abortion giant:
Hi, this is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. I saw a video today from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that is truly disturbing. In trying to address the current controversy on whether there should be federal funding for Planned Parenthood clinics, Secretary Clinton says that Republicans are against funding for women’s healthcare.
Well, nothing could be further from the truth. Let me use my state, New Jersey, as an example. We generously fund federally qualified health clinics throughout New Jersey, which provides excellent care for women and men in our state who need it. Everything from cancer screening and mammograms for women to prostate cancer screenings for men to diabetes treatment and to everything in between that can lead folks to greater healthcare available to them and can lead to greater health results for each and every person who walks through the door.
No, you see, the real issue here that Secretary Clinton won’t address is the conduct of Planned Parenthood. Do you think that Planned Parenthood should be able to use federal funding to kill children in the womb in a specific way so that they can maximize the value of body parts that they then sell on the open market for profit? I’ll tell you that I think most commonsense Americans believe that that conduct is reprehensible, should not occur at all, and certainly should not be funded with taxpayer dollars.
My position on this is clear. We defunded Planned Parenthood in New Jersey nearly six years ago, and I’ve vetoed it seven times since then. I don’t believe taxpayer money should be going to Planned Parenthood.
Now, Secretary Clinton, why don’t you answer this question: Do you support the conduct of Planned Parenthood in the killing of children in the womb in a way that maximizes their body parts for sale on the open market? Secretary Clinton, answer that question. I just did.
Christie is smart to push his advantage here. Although Clinton has recently come out in defense of Planned Parenthood, this was after an interview in which she called the revelations from the sting videos “disturbing” and said that Planned Parenthood would have to “answer questions.” Hillary is clearly in a difficult position, as are any Democrats who continue to oppose the defund effort.
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Wouldn’t it be ironic if, in 2016, it were the Democrats trying to dodge questions about social issues? Given the current political landscape, however, this may become a necessity for Democrats in the upcoming election. Either that or they may need to amend their extreme positions, but I won’t be holding my breath on the latter.
Paul Dupont is a legislative assistant for American Principles in Action.