Hillary Clinton is not happy that Marco Rubio called her out at this weekend’s Republican primary debate by asking:
Here’s what I find outrageous. There have been five Democratic debates. The media has not asked them a single question on abortion, and on abortion the democrats are extremists. Why doesn’t the media ask Hillary Clinton why she believes that all abortion should be legal, even on the due date of that unborn child? Why don’t they ask Hillary Clinton why she believes that partial birth abortion, which is a gruesome procedure that has been outlawed in this country, she thinks that’s a fundamental right? They are the extremists when it comes to the issue of abortion and I can’t wait to expose them in a general election.
Clinton responded that Rubio’s challenge was “pretty pathetic”…
I’ve been on record for years about where I stand on making abortions safe and legal, the exceptions that are appropriate that should be looked into. And the very difficult choices that very few women have to confront that lead to excruciating kinds of decisions […] Reasonable kinds of restrictions can be imposed as long as the life and health of the mother are taken into account and that’s what the law is today.
She’s not for completely unlimited abortion, you see; “reasonable” limits are just fine.
That would seem to confirm she’s the victim of Rubio’s exaggerating… unless you know what she means by “reasonable.” Roe v. Wade says that abortions in the last trimester can be banned, but only with an exception for the mother’s health. Doe v. Bolton defines that health exception as follows:
[T]he medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors – physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age – relevant to the wellbeing of the patient. All these factors may relate to health. This allows the attending physician the room he needs to make his best medical judgment.
The Supreme Court mandates a health exception, but no objective criteria for what would or wouldn’t qualify. In other words, “health” in the context of abortion law can mean anything an abortion-friendly doctor wants it to… right up to the baby’s due date, just as Rubio said.
Accordingly, Clinton’s 100% pro-abortion voting record in the Senate doesn’t contain any votes for any of the reasonable abortion restrictions she’s supposedly open to, including the 2003 partial-birth abortion ban, despite the law’s detailed explanation for why the procedure wasn’t necessary for health reasons or its real health exception, defined by “necess[ity] to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition.”
No, Clinton instead fretted that under the ban, it would be impossible for government to “mak[e] these decisions without infringing on fundamental rights, without imposing onerous burdens on women and their families” (emphasis added). When the Supreme Court upheld the ban in 2007, she condemned the ruling and the ban as intrusions on a “complex and highly personal” decision that failed to respect “the rights and lives of women.”
In 2005, Clinton said not that the government’s role in abortion should be limited to “reasonable kinds of restrictions,” but that “government should have no role” in it at all. Last summer, she said it was “dangerous,” “extreme and unacceptable” to draw the line at killing five-month-old preborn babies.
Hillary Clinton has never had to back up her go-to throwaway line for pretending she’s mainstream, and every time she’s had to choose between abortion and reasonable restrictions, she chose abortion. There is every reason to believe that Marco Rubio is correct about how she’d decide when faced with allowing abortion literally on the due date, and no persuasive evidence to the contrary.
That she’s been able to coast so long on a just take my word for it is further proof of Rubio’s other critique: that the media’s enabling of pro-abortion extremists is outrageous.