After her sickening contention this weekend that “the unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights,” Hillary Clinton was apparently looking for an opportunity to sound a little more reasonable on abortion. She found it during her interview on “The View” Tuesday (abortion talk starts at 9:40):
The former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State reiterated her general pro-abortion position in response to a question about those comments, leading to this exchange (11:40):
CLINTON: I have no problem with people making the case, “look, here’s the best choice,” or “here’s a better choice.” But when the government gets involved, or when you say it’s illegal and women and doctors are criminals, that’s way too far.
CANDACE CAMERON-BURE: So do you believe you can be pro-life and a feminist?
CLINTON: Yes I do. Absolutely.
CAMERON-BURE: They’re not mutually exclusive?
CLINTON: No, no, absolutely. Look, I’ve been, and I’m sure that Whoopi [Goldberg] and Joy [Behar] have been, we’ve been in these conversations now for, what, 40-plus years, right? And I respect the opinions and beliefs of every woman. The reason why being pro-choice is the right way to go is because it is a choice and hopefully a choice that is rooted in the thoughtfulness and the care that the women bring to this decision. So of course you can be a feminist and be pro-life.
My, how generous.
Lest anyone think she’s showing genuine respect for differing perspectives here, take a closer look at what Clinton said. Reading her second statement in the context of the preceding one, it seems her idea of a “good” pro-lifer is nothing more than the old “personally pro-life” standby—i.e., she’ll let you call yourself a feminist as long as your pro-life sensibilities are limited to gentle suggestions and not actual legal protection for preborn babies.
For those of us who are “pro-life” in the sense of, y’know, actual pro-lifers, she has far less respect. Last August, Clinton likened pro-life candidates to “terrorist groups” and “people who don’t want to live in the modern world.” Just last week, she said “maybe they aren’t quite as open about it as Donald Trump was earlier today, but they [Republicans] all have the same position” of wanting to punish women for abortions. Heck, her default rhetoric is that the pro-life cause is “a whole national effort to try to set back women’s rights.”
So unless your definition of feminism somehow includes “opposing women’s rights,” you have little choice but to conclude at least one of Hillary’s above comments is somewhat less than sincere.
And considering how little Clinton actually meant here, it’s especially hilarious to see that it was enough to set some pro-aborts off. The Week identified a few examples of folks taking umbrage on social media (one actually equates feminists protecting babies to Amnesty International condoning torture), while Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher (no stranger to over-the-top pro-abortion pronouncements) frets that “Hillary apparently forgot what ‘Pro-Life’ means,” and “even accepting their ‘pro-life’ nomenclature is a tacit assertion that pro-choice people are somehow not pro-life.”
I hate to break it to you, Tommy, but they’re not. Any belief that any human life can be extinguished solely on the basis of another’s desire is intrinsically anti-life.
However, the most important point, which is sadly lost in the back-and-forth between Clinton’s pro-abortion detractors and defendersalike, is that it’s also intrinsically anti-feminist. The leaders who originally gave the word “feminism” its meaning and importance have plenty to teach the modern pretenders to their throne on the subject—Victoria Woodhull calling it a “demoralized condition” for women to “deliberately murder” in order “to prevent becoming mothers,” Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell accusing abortionists of “gross perversion and destruction of motherhood,” and much more.
That’s because the equality they sought was real, compassionate, and humane, the freedom to live and compete and participate in society on an equal footing with men, to reach their fullest potential without arbitrary constraints holding them back. But the degraded sort of “equality” pro-aborts are peddling in their name is nothing more than the power to be just as selfish, callous, and exploitative as the worst of men.
So make no mistake: no matter how moderate or conciliatory her political rhetoric may get, that is the sort of feminism Hillary Clinton’s any time, any reason abortion platform stands for.