Hillary Clinton: ‘The Unborn Person Doesn’t Have Constitutional Rights’

By CNSNews.com Staff | April 3, 2016 | 10:07 PM EDT

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(CNSNews.com) - Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on NBC’s “Meet the Press" today that “the unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights.”

Clinton made the statement in response to a question from “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd. Clinton also said that an unborn child’s constitutional rights are “not something that exists.”

Todd asked: “When, or if, does an unborn child have constitutional rights?”

“Well, under our laws, currently, that is not something that exists,” said Clinton. “The unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights. Now that doesn`t mean that we don’t do everything we possibly can in the vast majority of instances to, you know, help a mother who is carrying a child and wants to make sure that child will be healthy, to have appropriate medical support.

“It doesn’t mean that you don’t do everything possible to try to fulfill your obligations, but it does not include sacrificing the woman’s right to make decisions,” Clinton continued. “And I think that’s an important distinction that under Roe v. Wade we’ve had enshrined under our Constitution.”

Here is the transcript of Clinton’s full exchange with Todd on the abortion issue:

Chuck Todd: Also this week you were pretty tough on Donald Trump on one of his positions on abortion. He had five different positions that we’ve counted up this week on abortion. I want to ask you, what is yours? Give me your straightforward position on the issue of abortion.

Hillary Clinton: My position is in line with Roe v. Wade--that women have a constitutional right to make these most intimate and personal and difficult decisions based on their conscience, their faith, their family, their doctor, and that it is something that really goes to the core of privacy, and I want to maintain that constitutional protection. Under Roe v. Wade, as you know, there is room for reasonable kinds of restrictions after a certain point in time. I think the life, the health, of the mother are clear, and those should be included even as one moves on in pregnancy.

Todd: When or if does an--

Clinton: I have been, I`ve had the same position for many years.

Todd: When, or if, does an unborn child have constitutional rights?

Clinton: Well, under our laws, currently, that is not something that exists. The unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights. Now that doesn`t mean that we don’t do everything we possibly can in the vast majority of instances to, you know, help a mother who is carrying a child and wants to make sure that child will be healthy, to have appropriate medical support. It doesn’t mean that you don’t do everything possible to try to fulfill your obligations, but it does not include sacrificing the woman’s right to make decisions. And I think that’s an important distinction that under Roe v. Wade we’ve had enshrined under our Constitution.

Todd: You had said you’re for some, you think there are room for some restrictions? So, is it fair to say that women don’t always have a full right to choose?

Clinton: Well, under Roe v. Wade that is the law. And, as I said, I support the reasoning and the outcome in Roe v. Wade. So, in the third trimester of pregnancy there is room for looking at the life and the health of the mother. Now most people--not all Republicans, not all conservatives even agree with the life of the mother, but most do. Where the distinction comes in is the health of the mother, and when you have candidates running for president who say that there should be no exceptions--not for rape, not for incest, not for health—then, I think, you’ve gotten pretty extreme. And my view has always been this is a choice, it is not a mandate. You know, I have traveled all over the world. I have seen what happens when governments make these decisions whether it was forced sterilization, forced abortion in China, or forced childbearing in Communist Romania.

So, I don't think that we should be allowing the government to make decisions that really properly belong to the individual.