Commentary

Hillary Clinton on Partial Birth Ban

Terence P. Jeffrey
By Terence P. Jeffrey | August 31, 2016 | 8:21 AM EDT

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (AP Photo)

Hillary Clinton went down to the Senate floor on March 12, 2003, to advocate for the culture of death while claiming to oppose the culture of debt.

The legislation up for debate that day aimed to prohibit a specific means of taking innocent life.

As described in its first paragraph, it would make illegal that act when "a physician deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living, unborn child's body until either the entire baby's head is outside the body of the mother, or any part of the baby's trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother and only the head remains inside the womb, for the purpose of performing an overt act (usually the puncturing of the back of the child's skull and removing the baby's brains) that the person knows will kill the partially delivered infant."

Banning this act was neither a partisan nor sex-specific endeavor. Then-Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle supported it. So did future Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid. So did Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu and Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole.

Hillary Clinton did not.

Her speech — recorded by CSPAN and transcribed in the Congressional Record — defended the legality of partial-birth abortion and condemned the Republican leadership for bringing up a bill to ban it.

Clinton argued that what she described as a move "to criminalize a medical procedure" would start America down a road that would end up making this country like Cold War-era Romania and Communist China.

"In pre-democratic Romania, they had a leader named Ceausescu, a Soviet-style Communist dictator, who decided it was the duty of every Romanian woman to bear five children so they could build the Romanian State," Clinton said. "So they eliminated birth control, they eliminated sex education, and they outlawed abortions."

"Once a month you would be rounded up at your workplace," she said.

"You would be taken to a government-controlled health clinic," she said. "You would be told to disrobe while you were standing in line. You would get up on the table. You would be examined by a government doctor with a government secret police officer watching. And if you were pregnant, you would be monitored to make sure you didn't do anything to that pregnancy."

Then there were the Communists in China.

"If you wanted to have a child in China, you needed to get permission or face punishment," Clinton said. "After you had your one allotted child, in some parts of China, you could be sterilized against your will or forced to have an abortion."

The move to ban partial-birth abortion, Clinton argued, would move America toward a Romanian or Chinese-style police state.

"I don't think we could dismiss these examples," Clinton said in that 2003 speech. "I have seen where government gets this kind of power, it can be quickly misused. The old standard maxim by Lord Acton: Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.

"I raise these issues not because they are part of the past or because they happened somewhere far away, but because I can guarantee you, standing here as a senator, if we go down this path, you are going to have the same kind of overzealous, interfering prosecutors and police officers doing the very same kinds of things in this country," Clinton said.

Yes, as a senator, Clinton guaranteed this.

At the beginning of that 2003 speech, Clinton listed a number of things she thought the Senate ought to be debating instead of whether to ban partial-birth abortion.

The growing federal debt was one of them.

"Why aren't we debating how we can get our federal budget back on the road to balance and begin to diminish these overwhelming deficits and this increasing debt load we will leave on the backs of our children?" she said.

On the day Clinton gave this speech, the federal debt was $6.46 trillion. Today, it is $19.48 trillion — having climbed $8.86 trillion in the Obama years alone.

In 2014, when the Supreme Court ruled 5-4, that the government could not force the family-owned Hobby Lobby company to act against the religious beliefs of its owners in providing insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs and devices as required by an Obamacare regulation, Hillary Clinton condemned the idea that a family-owned business should have "religious freedom."

"It's the first time that our court has said that a closely-held corporation has the rights of a person when it comes to religious freedom," Clinton said at the Aspen Ideas Festival, "which means that the corporation — and closely-held are often family-based, not exclusively, but usually—that the corporations, employers, can impose their religious beliefs on their employees. And, of course, denying women the right to contraception as part of their health care plan is exactly that. I find it deeply disturbing that we are going in that direction."

In Clinton's view, a partially born baby has no right to life and a Christian family has no right not cover employees for abortion-inducing drugs.

And she must be outraged by that $19.48 trillion debt.

Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of CNSnews.com.

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