Hillary Clinton on Abortion
Democratic Jr Senator (NY); Secretary of State-Designee
Make abortion rare by supporting adoption & foster care
I think abortion should remain legal, but it needs to be safe and rare. And I have spent many years now, as a private citizen, as first lady, and now as senator, trying to make it rare, trying to create the conditions where women had other choices.
I have supported adoption, foster care. I helped to create the campaign against teenage pregnancy, which fulfilled our original goal 10 years ago of reducing teenage pregnancies by about a third. And I am committed to do even more.
Source: 2008 Democratic Compassion Forum at Messiah College
Apr 13, 2008
Potential for life begins at conception, but don’t intrude
Q: Do you believe personally that life begins at conception?
A: I believe that the potential for life begins at conception. I am a Methodist, as you know. My church has struggled with this issue. In fact, you can look at the Methodist Book of
Discipline and see the contradiction and the challenge of trying to sort that very profound question out.
But for me, it is also not only about a potential life; it is about the other lives involved. And, therefore,
I have concluded, after great concern and searching my own mind and heart over many years, that our task should be in this pluralistic, diverse life of ours in this nation that individuals must be entrusted to make this profound decision, because the
alternative would be such an intrusion of government authority that it would be very difficult to sustain in our kind of open society. And as some of you’ve heard me discuss before, I think abortion should remain legal, but it needs to be safe and rare.
Source: 2008 Democratic Compassion Forum at Messiah College
Apr 13, 2008
Opposed China’s forced abortion & Romania’s forced pregnancy
From my own personal experience, I have been in countries that have taken very different views about this profoundly challenging question [of abortion].
I went to China in 1995 and spoke out against the Chinese government’s one child policy, which led
to forced abortions and forced sterilization because I believed that we needed to bear witness against what was an intrusive, abusive, dehumanizing effort to dictate how women and men would proceed with respect to the children they wished to have.
And then shortly after that, I was in Romania and there I met women who had been subjected to the Communist regime of the 1970s and ‘80s where they were essentially forced to bear as many children as possible for the good of the state.
And where abortion was criminalized and women were literally forced to have physical exams and followed by the secret police and so many children were abandoned and left to the orphanages that, unfortunately, led to an AIDS epidemic.
Source: 2008 Democratic Compassion Forum at Messiah College
Apr 13, 2008
Long-held moderate stance focuses on reducing abortions
When Clinton said that pro-choice and pro-life people could find common ground by trying to reduce the number of abortions through increased access to birth control, it was called "an attempt to move to the center as she contemplates a presidential run i
2008." The Wall Street Journal described her alleged changes in position as a "makeover and move to the center that she's now attempting." NPR saw Clinton spinning in circles: "She is doing what her husband did.
Which was not so much move to the center or the right, but figure out a way to bridge the left-wing base of the Democratic Party. And move to the center at the same time."
Yet she was not changing her position on anything. For her entire time in public
life, Clinton has been pro-choice and has supported access to birth control. Pointing out that such access would reduce the number of abortions, something anti-abortion forces ought to favor, cannot fairly be described as a shift in any direction.
Source: Free Ride, by David Brock and Paul Waldman, p.134-135
Mar 25, 2008
Consistently uses Dem. Party line, "safe, legal, and rare"
After Senator Hillary Clinton gave a 2005 speech restating her long-held view that abortion should be "safe, legal, and rare," some pundits accused her of being "transparent" and taking a "poll-tested path," despite the
fact that the formulation had been a consistent part of Democratic rhetoric on the issue for over a decade. The speech was cited again and again whenever a journalist or commentator wanted to show that
Clinton was "moving to the center," evidence that she was massaging her actual views for political advantage.
Yet McCain's varying statements on abortion haven't seemed to diminish his reputation for straight talk.
Source: Free Ride, by David Brock and Paul Waldman, p.166
Mar 25, 2008
1974: pro-choice fervency not based on any personal abortion
In 1974, Hillary met William F. Harrison, a prominent abortion doctor in Arkansas, who became her gynecologist and friend. In a series of interview for this book, Harrison shed some light on the development of Hillary’s pro-choice.
Harrison is quick to
point out that Hillary never saw him for an abortion. Harrison says he met Hillary simply as a result of her yearly ob-gyn exam.
This is an important point, since it would mean that Hillary’s support does not stem from a personal experience in which
she had the procedure. Rather, Harrison estimates that a reason for her pro-choice stance is that she is a product of an age “where she would have had friends who had illegal abortions. I am sure that was part of it.”
Harrison says that when he met
Hillary, she was already steadfast in her support of Roe v. Wade. He sees her upbringing as a Methodist as no reason to believe she would be against abortion. “Hillary is a Methodist. The Methodist Church is very strongly pro-choice.”
Source: God and Hillary Clinton, by Paul Kengor, p. 49-50
Jul 18, 2007
1993 health plan included RU-486 & widely available abortion
Mrs. Clinton, during her efforts to revolutionize the health care industry, said 1993 that under her plan, abortion services “would be widely available.” This prompted anxieties over the prospect of taxpayer-funded abortions, sparking the Coates
Amendment, which sought to strip abortion funding from the plan.
The first lady allowed for a “conscience exemption” in which doctors and hospitals would not be forced to perform abortions. Pro-lifers were relieved; still, they could not fathom that
their tax dollars might be used to find what they saw as the deliberate destruction of innocent human life.
Mrs. Clinton’s words also ignited fears among moderate and conservative Christians over the availability of the abortion pill, RU-486, under
her health care plan. One of her husband’s first acts in office was to push the pill to market through an expedited FDA approval process that was criticized by pro-lifers as allegedly too quick for the safety of the women who would take the pill.
Source: God and Hillary Clinton, by Paul Kengor, p.124-125
Jul 18, 2007
1999: keep abortion safe, legal & rare into next century
On January 22, 1999, Hillary took an unprecedented step for a first lady by delivering a speech to NARAL, the National Abortion Rights Action League, the premier advocacy group for legal, unrestricted abortion.
Speaking to the group in DC, she stated her goal of “keeping abortion safe, legal and rare into the next century,” a slogan that would become the mantra for her position.
She shared revealing remarks beyond conventional pro-choice sentiments: “I have never met anyone who is pro-abortion. Being pro-choice is not being pro-abortion.
Being pro-choice is trusting the individual to make the right decision for herself and her family, and not entrusting the decision to anyone wearing the authority of government in any regard.”
Source: God and Hillary Clinton, by Paul Kengor, p.191
Jul 18, 2007
Lift ban on stem cell research to cure devastating diseases
Later today, the president will veto a bill passed by Congress to support stem cell research. I co-chair the Alzheimer’s Caucus in the Senate. I’ve worked on helping to boost funding for research to look for cures and a way to prevent so many devastating
diseases. And we know that stem cell research holds the key to our understanding more about what we can do. When I am president, I will lift the ban on stem cell research. This is just one example of how the president puts ideology before science.
Source: Take Back America 2007 Conference
Jun 20, 2007
1993:Early action on abortion rights ended Right’s dominance
On the 4th day of the Clinton presidency, Jan. 23, the 20th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Bill Clinton signed a series of executive orders undoing the draconian policies of the Reagan-Bush era relating to abortion, contraception, and family planning.
Hillary had pushed unequivocally for the orders, but Bill’s pollster argued that she was dead wrong on the timing of such a hot-button issue; by acting on abortion policy as one of the administration’s first pieces of business, the president and, worse,
Hillary, would be perceived as governing from the left. But Hillary regarded the prohibitions in question as a powerful symbol of Reagan-era policies, and an opportunity to declare boldly that the Clinton era had begun.
The milestone anniversary of
Roe v. Wade, in Hillary’s view, was the perfect opportunity to move the new presidency on course unambiguously in terms of women’s rights, signal the religious right that its decade of dominance in regard to suc personal questions was over.
Source: A Woman in Charge, by Carl Bernstein, p.256-257
Jun 5, 2007
Personally would never abort; but deeply values choice
The milestone anniversary of Roe v. Wade, in Hillary’s view, was the perfect opportunity to move the new presidency on course unambiguously in terms of women’s rights, signal the religious right that its decade of dominance in regard to such questions wa
over, as was the ascendancy of the conservative movement.
Yet, Hillary’s views of sexuality and the exercise of women’s reproductive rights were far more conservative than perceived at the time. While some of her friends had undergone abortions and ha
been promiscuous, she had not. The idea of choosing to abort a child she had conceived would have been totally out of character and at odds with her own values. One of the fortunate facts of her life was that she was of the generation whose sexuality was
fashioned in large measure by the pill and its easy availability. Her own difficulty in conceiving a child had only intensified her deeply held belief that abortion, for anyone, was a personal choice that should be made with the greatest reluctance.
Source: A Woman in Charge, by Carl Bernstein, p.257
Jun 5, 2007
Abortion is a sad, tragic choice to many women
Clinton Seeking Shared Ground Over Abortions, read the New York Times. It was 2005, and the story was about a speech Hillary had given. “Yes, we do have deeply held differences of opinion about the issue of abortion and I, for one, respect those who
believe that there are no circumstances under which any abortion should ever be available.”
Hillary said: “We can all recognize that abortion in many ways represents a sad, even tragic choice to many, many women.”
Hillary is correct.
Abortion is tragic. But why? What makes an abortion “sad, even tragic” is that an unborn child loses his life. Her “sad, even tragic” comment is not the first indication that Hillary believes it is indeed a child that is ripped from the womb during an
abortion. In 2003, while debating a proposed ban on partial-birth abortions, Hillary referred to the unborn child as “the child, the fetus, your baby.”
[Nevertheless,] Hillary has spent a lifetime fighting to keep abortions legal.
Source: The Extreme Makeover, by Bay Buchanan, p.134-136
May 14, 2007
Fought for years to get “Plan B” contraceptive on the market
In the last few years, we’ve seen major breakthroughs in research and effectiveness of contraceptives. For example, Plan B is a new emergency contraceptive that can prevent a pregnancy after another contraceptive has failed or after unprotected sex.
I fought for years to get Plan B on the market, so that fewer women will face the choice of abortion. It is now available for over-the-counter use by adult women.
I have proposed Prevention First, a bill that focuses on prevention of unwanted pregnancies through comprehensive education, emphasizing responsible decision-making and expanded access to contraception.
With these efforts, it’s my hope that the abortion rate will fall further.
Source: 2006 intro to It Takes A Village, by H. Clinton, p.301
Dec 12, 2006
Respect Roe v. Wade, but make adoptions easier too
Hillary has spoken clearly about the importance of respecting such landmark Supreme Court decisions as Roe v. Wade. Her commitment to supporting Roe and working to reduce the number of abortions [includes] reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies.
Hillary is one of the original cosponsors of the Prevention First Act to increase access to family planning. As First Lady, Hillary led efforts to make adoption easier and increase support for families in the adoption and foster care system.
Source: PAC website, www.hillpac.com, “Biography”
Nov 17, 2006
Prevention First Act: federal funds for contraception
In 2006 Hillary teamed up with nominally pro-life Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and pushed to increase federal funding to abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood in order to “increase awareness” about unintended pregnancies.
Clinton co-wrote an editorial with Reid titled, “Abortion Debate Shuns Prevention.” The piece said, “As two senators on opposite sides of the abortion debate, we recognize that one side will not suddenly convince the other to drop its deeply held beliefs
And we believe that, while disagreeing, we can work together to find common ground.“
The ”common ground,“ was, once again, increased government--in this case government programs to promote contraception. The Prevention First Act, as they named it,
would increase accessibility and ”awareness and understanding“ of emergency contraception. They aimed to ensure that sex education programs have medically accurate information about contraception and ”end insurance discrimination against women.“
Source: Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, by Amanda Carpenter, p. 96-97
Oct 11, 2006
Government should have no role in abortion decision
Here is the paragraph in Hillary's speech that everyone focused on:
This decision, which is one of the most fundamental, difficult, and soul-searching decisions a woman and a family can make, is also one in which the government should have no
role. I believe we can all recognize that abortion in many ways represents a sad, even tragic choice to many women. Often, it's a failure of our system of education, and preventive services. It's often a result of family dynamics. This decision is a
profound and complicated one; a difficult one, often the most difficult that a woman will ever make. The fact is that the best way to reduce the number of abortions is to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies in the first place.The
phrase that the neo-conservative pundits all left out, in describing the speech as remarkable, is that the abortion decision is "also one in which the government should have no role." Put that in, and the rest of her description is totally unremarkable.
Source: The Case for Hillary Clinton, by Susan Estrich, p. 54
Oct 17, 2005
We can find common ground on abortion issue
Hillary advocates finding common ground with opponents: Mrs. Clinton, in a speech to about 1,000 abortion rights supports, firmly restated her support for the Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationwide,
Roe v. Wade. But then she quickly shifted gears, offering warm words to opponents of abortion--particularly members of religious groups--asserting that there was “common ground” to be found.
Source: What Every American Should Know, by the ACU, p. 87
Sep 30, 2005
Alternatives to pro-choice like forced pregnancy in Romania
When I defend my pro-choice position in the debate over abortion in our country, I frequently refer to Romania, where pregnancy could be monitored on behalf of the state, & to China, where it could be forcibly terminated. One reason I continue to oppose
efforts to criminalize abortion is that I do not believe any government should have the power to dictate, through law or police action, a woman’s most personal decision.
[The Romanian dictatorship in the 1980s] banned birth control and abortion,
insisting that women bear children for the sake of the state. Women told me how they had been carted from their workplace once a month to be examined by government doctors whose task was to make sure they weren’t using contraceptives or aborting
pregnancies. I could not imagine a more humiliating experience.
In Romania and elsewhere, many children were born unwanted or into families that could not afford to care for them. They became wards of the state, warehoused in orphanages.
Source: Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton, p. 354-5
Nov 1, 2003
Advocates birth control but OK with faith-based disagreement
Mother Teresa had just delivered a speech against abortion, and she wanted to talk to me. Mother Teresa was unerringly direct. She disagreed with my views on a woman's right to choose and told me so. Over the years, she sent me dozens of notes & messages
with the same gentle entreaty. Mother Teresa never lectured or scolded me; her admonitions were always loving & heartfelt. I had the greatest respect for her opposition to abortion, but I believe that it is dangerous to give any state the power to enforc
criminal penalties against women & doctors. I consider that a slippery slope to state control in China & Communist Romania. I also disagreed with her opposition--and that of the Catholic Church--to birth control. However, I support the right of people of
faith to speak out against abortion and try to dissuade women, without coercion or criminalization, from choosing abortion instead of adoption. Mother Teresa and I found much common ground in many other areas including the importance of adoption.
Source: Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton, p.417-418
Nov 1, 2003
Must safeguard constitutional rights, including choice
Q: What kind of justice to the Supreme Court would you support?
A: I think the fate of the Supreme Court hangs in the balance. If we take Gov. Bush at his word, his two favorite Justices are Scalia and Thomas, both of whom are committed to overturning
Roe v. Wade, ending a woman’s right to choose. I could not go along with that. In the Senate, I will be looking very carefully at the constitutional views [indicating] as to what that nominee believes about basic, fundamental, constitutional rights.
Source: Senate debate in Manhattan
Oct 8, 2000
Late term abortion only if life or health are at risk
Q: Are there circumstances when the government should limit choice?
LAZIO: I had a pro-choice record in the House, and I believe in a woman’s right to choose. I support a ban on partial-birth abortions. Senator Moynihan called it “infanticide.” Even
former mayor Ed Koch agreed that this was too extreme a procedure. This is an area where I disagree with my opponent. My opponent opposes a ban on partial-birth abortions.
CLINTON: My opponent is wrong. I have said many times that I can support a ban
on late-term abortions, including partial-birth abortions, so long as the health and life of the mother is protected. I’ve met women who faced this heart-wrenching decision toward the end of a pregnancy. Of course it’s a horrible procedure.
No one would argue with that. But if your life is at stake, if your health is at stake, if the potential for having any more children is at stake, this must be a woman’s choice.
Source: Senate debate in Manhattan
Oct 8, 2000
Remain vigilant on a woman’s right to chose
I am and always have been pro-choice, and that is not a right any of should take for granted. There are a number of forces at work in our
society that would try to turn back the clock and undermine a woman’s right to chose, and [we] must remain vigilant.
Source: New York Times, pg.A11
Jan 22, 2000
Keep abortion safe, legal and rare
We come to [the abortion] issue as men and women, young and old, some far beyond years when we have to worry about getting pregnant, others too young to remember what it was like in the days before Roe v. Wade. But I think it’s essential
that as Americans we look for that common ground that we can all stand upon. [Our] core beliefs and values. can guide us in reaching our goal of keeping abortion safe, legal and rare into the next century.
Source: Remarks to NARAL, Washington DC
Jan 22, 1999
Being pro-choice is not being pro-abortion
I have met thousands and thousands of pro-choice men and women. I have never met anyone who is pro-abortion. Being pro-choice is not being pro-abortion. Being pro-choice is trusting the individual to make the right
decision for herself and her family, and not entrusting that decision to anyone wearing the authority of government in any regard.
Source: Remarks at NARAL, Washington, DC
Jan 22, 1999
Reach out to teens to reduce teen sex problems
Fewer teens are having sex, getting pregnant, and having abortions, but there are clearly too many young people who have not gotten the message. Every teenager must be reached. More has to be done to reach out to young men,
and enlist them in the campaign to make abortions rare, and to make it possible for them to define their lives in terms other than what they imagine sexual prowess and fatherhood being.
Source: Remarks at NARAL, Washington, D.C.
Jan 22, 1999
Supports parental notice & family planning
If you can presume that a child is competent to make a decision, you still want that child to have parental guidance whenever possible. But realistically, we know that in many cases that is not possible.
I believe in parental notification. I think there are exceptions. There are situations in which the family is so dysfunctional that notification is not appropriate. In general, I think families should be part of helping their children through this.
Source: Unique Voice, p.186-87
Feb 3, 1997
Cairo Document: right to abortion but not as family planning
The Cairo Document, drafted at the International Conference on Population and Development in 1994, reaffirms that “in no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning.” And it recognizes “the basic right of all couples and individuals
to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing, and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so.” Women & men should have the right to make this most intimate of all decisions free of discrimination or coercion.
Source: It Takes A Village, by Hillary Clinton, p. 63
Sep 25, 1996
Hillary Clinton on Voting Record
Voted liberal line on partial birth & harm to fetus
Hillary’s votes all echo the liberal line in the Senate
Source: Condi vs. Hillary, by Dick Morris, p. 85-86
Oct 11, 2005
- She opposed the ban on partial birth abortions
- She came down against criminalizing harm to a fetus during an attack on the mother
- She opposed a travel ban to Cuba
- She opposed a
constitutional amendment banning gay marriage
- She backed extending the ban on assault rifles for 10 years
- She was against Bush’s tax cuts
- She opposed repealing the estate tax
- She opposed limits on class action lawsuits.
Voted NO on defining unborn child as eligible for SCHIP.
CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: To require that legislation to reauthorize SCHIP include provisions codifying the unborn child regulation. Amends the definition of the term "targeted low-income child" to provide that such term includes the period from conception to birth, for eligibility for child health assistance.
SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES:Sen. ALLARD: This amendment will codify the current unborn child rule by amending the SCHIP reauthorization reserve fund. This amendment will clarify in statute that the term "child" includes the period from conception to birth. This is a pro-life vote.OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO:
Sen. FEINSTEIN: We already clarified SCHIP law that a pregnant woman's coverage under SCHIP law is optional. We made it obligatory so every pregnant woman has the advantage of medical insurance. This amendment undoes that. It takes it away from the woman and gives it to the fetus. Now, if a pregnant woman is in an accident, loses the child, she does not get coverage, the child gets coverage. We already solved the problem. If you cover the pregnant woman, you cover her fetus. What Senator Allard does is remove the coverage from the pregnant woman and cover the fetus.LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Amendment rejected, 46-52
Bill S.Amdt.4233 to S.Con.Res.70
; vote number 08-S081
on Mar 14, 2008
Voted NO on prohibiting minors crossing state lines for abortion.
CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: To increase funding for the vigorous enforcement of a prohibition against taking minors across State lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions consistent with the Child Custody Protection Act.
SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES:Sen. ENSIGN: This amendment enables enforcing the Child Custody Protection Act, which passed the Senate in a bipartisan fashion by a vote of 65 to 34. Too many times we enact laws, and we do not fund them. This is going to set up funding so the law that says we are going to protect young children from being taken across State lines to have a surgical abortion--we are going to make sure those people are protected.
OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO:Sen. BOXER: We already voted for $50 million to enhance the enforcement of child protective laws. If Sen. Ensign's bill becomes law, then that money is already there to be used for such a program. LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Amendment rejected, 49-49 (1/2 required, or 50 votes; Sen. Byrd & Sen. McCain absent)
Bill S.Amdt.4335 to S.Con.Res.70
; vote number 08-S071
on Mar 13, 2008
Voted YES on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines.
Allows federal funding for research that utilizes human embryonic stem cells, regardless of the date on which the stem cells were derived from a human embryo, provided such embryos:
- have been donated from in vitro fertilization clinics;
- were created for the purposes of fertility treatment;
- were in excess of the needs of the individuals seeking such treatment and would otherwise be discarded; and
- were donated by such individuals with written informed consent and without any financial or other inducements.
Proponents support voting YES because:
Since 2 years ago, the last Stem Cell bill, public support has surged for stem cells. Research is proceeding unfettered and, in some cases, without ethical standards in other countries. And even when these countries have ethical standards, our failures are allowing them to gain the scientific edge over the US. Some suggest that it is Congress' role to tell researchers what kinds of cells to use.
I suggest we are not the arbiters of research. Instead, we should foster all of these methods, and we should adequately fund and have ethical oversight over all ethical stem cell research.
Opponents support voting NO because:
A good deal has changed in the world of science. Amniotic fluid stem cells are now available to open a broad new area of research. I think the American people would welcome us having a hearing to understand more about this promising new area of science. As it stands today, we will simply have to debate the bill on the merits of information that is well over 2 years old, and I think that is unfortunate.
The recent findings of the pluripotent epithelial cells demonstrates how quickly the world has changed. Wouldn't it be nice to have the researcher before our committee and be able to ask those questions so we may make the best possible judgment for the American people?
Reference: Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act;
Bill S.5 & H.R.3
; vote number 2007-127
on Apr 11, 2007
Status: Vetoed by Pres. Bush Bill passed, 63-34
Voted NO on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions.
This bill prohibits taking minors across State lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions. Makes an exception for an abortion necessary to save the life of the minor. Authorizes any parent to sue unless such parent committed an act of incest with the minor. Imposes a fine and/or prison term of up to one year on a physician who performs an abortion on an out-of-state minor in violation of parental notification requirements in their home state.
Proponents recommend voting YES because:
This bill deals with how young girls are being secretly taken across State lines for the purpose of abortion, without the consent of their parents or even the knowledge of their parents, in violation of the laws of the State in which they live. 45 states have enacted some sort of parental consent laws or parental notification law. By simply secreting a child across State lines, one can frustrate the State legislature's rules.
It is subverting and defeating valid, constitutionally approved rights parents have.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
Some States have parental consent laws, some don't. In my particular State, it has been voted down because my people feel that if you ask them, "Do they want their kids to come to their parents?", absolutely. But if you ask them, "Should you force them to do so, even in circumstances where there could be trouble that comes from that?", they say no.
This bill emanates from a desire that our children come to us when we have family matters, when our children are in trouble, that they not be fearful, that they not be afraid that they disappoint us, that they be open with us and loving toward us, and we toward them. This is what we want to have happen. The question is: Can Big Brother Federal Government force this on our families? That is where we will differ.
Reference: Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act;
; vote number 2006-216
on Jul 25, 2006
Voted YES on $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives.
Vote to adopt an amendment to the Senate's 2006 Fiscal Year Budget that allocates $100 million for the prevention of unintended pregnancies. A YES vote would expand access to preventive health care services that reduce unintended pregnancy (including teen pregnancy), reduce the number of abortions, and improve access to women's health care. A YES vote would:
Reference: Appropriation to expand access to preventive health care services;
Bill S.Amdt. 244 to S Con Res 18
; vote number 2005-75
on Mar 17, 2005
- Increase funding and access to family planning services
- Funds legislation that requires equitable prescription coverage for contraceptives under health plans
- Funds legislation that would create and expand teen pregnancy prevention programs and education programs concerning emergency contraceptives
Voted NO on criminal penalty for harming unborn fetus during other crime.
Bill would make it a criminal offense to harm or kill a fetus during the commission of a violent crime. The measure would set criminal penalties, the same as those that would apply if harm or death happened to the pregnant woman, for those who harm a fetus. It is not required that the individual have prior knowledge of the pregnancy or intent to harm the fetus. This bill prohibits the death penalty from being imposed for such an offense. The bill states that its provisions should not be interpreted to apply a woman's actions with respect to her pregnancy.
Reference: Unborn Victims of Violence Act;
; vote number 2004-63
on Mar 25, 2004
Voted NO on banning partial birth abortions except for maternal life.
S. 3 As Amended; Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. Vote to pass a bill banning a medical procedure, which is commonly known as "partial-birth" abortion. Those who performed this procedure would then face fines and up to two years in prison, the women to whom this procedure is performed on are not held criminally liable. This bill would make the exception for cases in which a women's life is in danger, not for cases where a women's health is in danger.
; vote number 2003-51
on Mar 12, 2003
Recommended by EMILY's List of pro-choice women.
Clinton is endorsed by EMILY's list, a pro-choice PAC:
EMILY’s List operates as a donor network, recommending pro-choice Democratic women candidates to its members, who contribute directly to the candidates they choose. In the 1999-2000 election cycle, EMILY’s List members contributed $9.3 million to pro-choice Democratic women candidates. In its 16-year history, EMILY’s List has helped to elect four women governors, eleven women to the United States Senate and 53 women to the U.S. House of Representatives. “Women continue to be the power players in Democratic politics,” said Ellen R. Malcolm, president of EMILY's List. “In 2002, redistricting could result in as many as 75 open seats, creating multiple opportunities to recruit and elect pro-choice Democratic women.”
Source: Press Release on Diane Watson (CA-32) victory 01-EL1 on Apr 11, 2001
Rated 100% by NARAL, indicating a pro-choice voting record.
Clinton scores 100% by NARAL on pro-choice voting record
For over thirty years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has been the political arm of the pro-choice movement and a strong advocate of reproductive freedom and choice. NARAL Pro-Choice America's mission is to protect and preserve the right to choose while promoting policies and programs that improve women's health and make abortion less necessary. NARAL Pro-Choice America works to educate Americans and officeholders about reproductive rights and health issues and elect pro-choice candidates at all levels of government. The NARAL ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Source: NARAL website 03n-NARAL on Dec 31, 2003
Expand embryonic stem cell research.
Clinton signed a letter from 58 Senators to the President
Dear Mr. President:
We write to urge you to expand the current federal policy concerning embryonic stem cell research.
Embryonic stem cells have the potential to be used to treat and better understand deadly and disabling diseases and conditions that affect more than 100 million Americans, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, and many others.
We appreciate your words of support for the enormous potential of this research, and we know that you intended your policy to help promote this research to its fullest. As you know, the Administration's policy limits federal funding only to embryonic stem cells that were derived by August 9, 2001.
However, scientists have told us that since the policy went into effect more than two years ago, we have learned that the embryonic stem cell lines eligible for federal funding will not be suitable to effectively promote this research. We therefore feel it is essential to
relax the restrictions in the current policy for this research to be fully explored.
Among the difficult challenges with the current policy are the following:
We would very much like to work with you to modify the current embryonic stem cell policy so that it provides this area of research the greatest opportunity to lead to the treatments and cures for which we are all hoping.
Source: Letter from 58 Senators to the President 04-SEN8 on Jun 4, 2004
- While it originally appeared that 78 embryonic stem cell lines would be available for research, only 19 are available to researchers.
- All available stem cell lines are contaminated with mouse feeder cells, making their therapeutic use for humans uncertain.
- It is increasingly difficult to attract new scientists to this area of research because of concerns that funding restrictions will keep this research from being successful.
- Despite the fact that U.S. scientists were the first to derive human embryonic stem cells, leadership in this area of research is shifting to other countries.
Sponsored bill providing contraceptives for low-income women.
Clinton sponsored expanding contraceptive services for low-income women
OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: Amends Medicaid to:
- prohibit a state from providing for medical coverage unless it includes certain family planning services and supplies; and
- include women who are not pregnant but who meet income eligibility standards in a mandatory "categorically needy" group for family planning services purposes.
EXCERPTS OF BILL:
Congress makes the following findings:
- Rates of unintended pregnancy increased by nearly 30% among low-income women between 1994 and 2002, and a low-income woman today is 4 times as likely to have an unintended pregnancy as her higher income counterpart.
- Abortion rates decreased among higher income women but increased among low income women in that period, and a low income woman is more than 4 times as likely to have an abortion as her higher income counterpart.
- Contraceptive use reduces a woman's probability of having an abortion by 85%.
Levels of contraceptive use among low-income women at risk of unintended pregnancy declined significantly, from 92% to 86%.
- Publicly funded contraceptive services have been shown to prevent 1,300,000 unintended pregnancies each year, and in the absence of these services the abortion rate would likely be 40% higher than it is.
- By helping couples avoid unintended pregnancy, Medicaid-funded contraceptive services are highly cost-effective, and every public dollar spent on family planning saves $3 in the cost of pregnancy-related care alone.The Social Security Act is amended by adding [to the Medicaid section] the following: COVERAGE OF FAMILY PLANNING SERVICES AND SUPPLIES -- a State may not provide for medical coverage unless that coverage includes family planning services and supplies.
LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on Finance; never came to a vote.
Source: Unintended Pregnancy Reduction Act (S.2916/H.R.5795) 06-S2916 on May 19, 2006
Sponsored bill for emergency contraception for rape victims.
Clinton sponsored for emergency contraception for rape victims
OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: Prohibits any federal funds from being provided to a hospital unless the hospital provides to women who are victims of sexual assault:
- accurate and unbiased information about emergency contraception;
- emergency contraception on her request; and
- does not deny any such services because of the inability of the woman to pay.
SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Sen. CLINTON: This bill will help sexual assault survivors across the country get the medical care they need and deserve. It is hard to argue against this commonsense legislation. Rape--by definition--could never result in an intended pregnancy. Emergency contraception is a valuable tool that can prevent unintended pregnancy. This bill makes emergency contraception available for survivors of sexual assault at any hospital receiving public funds.
Every 2 minutes, a woman is sexually assaulted in the US, and each year,
25,000 to 32,000 women become pregnant as a result of rape or incest. 50% of those pregnancies end in abortion.
By providing access to emergency contraception, up to 95% of those unintended pregnancies could be prevented if emergency contraception is administered within the first 24 to 72 hours. In addition, emergency contraception could also give desperately needed peace of mind to women in crisis.
The FDA recently made EC available over the counter for women 18 years of age and older. Despite the ideologically driven agenda against this drug, the research has been consistently clear--this drug is safe and effective for preventing pregnancy. Women deserve access to EC. For millions of women, it represents peace of mind. For survivors of rape and sexual assault, it offers hope for healing and a tomorrow free of painful reminders of the past.
LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; never came to a vote.
Source: Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies Act (S.3945) 06-S3945 on Sep 26, 2006
Rated 0% by the NRLC, indicating a pro-choice stance.
Clinton scores 0% by the NRLC on abortion issues
OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2006 NRLC scores as follows:
About the NRLC (from their website, www.nrlc.org):
- 0% - 15%: pro-choice stance (approx. 174 members)
- 16%- 84%: mixed record on abortion (approx. 101 members)
- 85%-100%: pro-life stance (approx. 190 members)
The ultimate goal of the National Right to Life Committee is to restore legal protection to innocent human life. The primary interest of the National Right to Life Committee and its members has been the abortion controversy; however, it is also concerned with related matters of medical ethics which relate to the right to life issues of euthanasia and infanticide. The Committee does not have a position on issues such as contraception, sex education, capital punishment, and national defense.
The National Right to Life Committee was founded in 1973 in response to the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision, legalizing the practice of human abortion in all 50 states, throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy.
The NRLC has been instrumental in achieving a number of legislative reforms at the national level, including a ban on non-therapeutic experimentation of unborn and newborn babies, a federal conscience clause guaranteeing medical personnel the right to refuse to participate in abortion procedures, and various amendments to appropriations bills which prohibit (or limit) the use of federal funds to subsidize or promote abortions in the United States and overseas.
In addition to maintaining a lobbying presence at the federal level, NRLC serves as a clearinghouse of information for its state affiliates and local chapters, its individual members, the press, and the public.
Source: NRLC website 06n-NRLC on Dec 31, 2006
Provide emergency contraception at military facilities.
Clinton sponsored providing emergency contraception at military facilities
Requires emergency contraception to be included on the basic core formulary of the uniform formulary of pharmaceutical agents for the pharmacy benefits program of the Department of Defense.
Introductory statement by Sponsor:
Sen. CLINTON: Last year, the FDA made emergency contraception available over-the-counter for women 18 years of age and older. Research shows that emergency contraception is safe and effective for preventing pregnancy. More than 70 major medical organizations, including the America Academy of Pediatrics, recommended that Plan B be made available over-the-counter.
Women deserve access to this medically approved drug and our servicewomen are no different. By providing access to emergency contraception, up to 95% of those unintended pregnancies could be prevented if emergency contraception is administered within the first 24 to 72 hours. For survivors of rape and incest, emergency contraception offers hope for healing.
Current Department of
Defense policy allows emergency contraception to be available at military health care facilities. Currently, it is available at some facilities, but not others. The Compassionate Care for Servicewomen Act would simply ensure broader access by including emergency contraception on the basic core formulary, BCF, a list of medications stocked at all military health care facilities.
There is a real need for this legislation. According to the Pentagon, the number of reported sexual assaults in the military increased approximately 24% in 2006 to nearly 3,000. We have reports from women & health providers in the military who have sought emergency contraception on an emergency basis and have been unable to obtain it quickly enough.
Ensuring that emergency contraception is more broadly available at military health care facilities is a fair, commonsense step that everyone should be able to agree on. It is my sincere hope that my colleagues join me in supporting this important legislation.
Source: Compassionate Care for Servicewomen Act (S.1800 & HR.2064) 07-HR2064 on Apr 26, 2007
Ensure access to and funding for contraception.
Clinton co-sponsored ensuring access to and funding for contraception
A bill to expand access to preventive health care services that help reduce unintended pregnancy, reduce abortions, and improve access to women's health care. The Congress finds as follows:
Source: Prevention First Act (S.21/H.R.819) 2007-HR819 on Feb 5, 2007
- Healthy People 2010 sets forth a reduction of unintended pregnancies as an important health objective to achieve over the first decade of the new century.
- Although the CDC included family planning in its published list of the Ten Great Public Health Achievements in the 20th Century, the US still has one of the highest rates of unintended pregnancies among industrialized nations.
- Each year, 3,000,000 pregnancies, nearly half of all pregnancies, in the US are unintended, and nearly half of unintended pregnancies end in abortion.
- In 2004, 34,400,000 women, half of all women of reproductive age, were in need of contraceptive services, and nearly half of those were in need of public support for such care.
US has the highest rate of infection with sexually transmitted diseases of any industrialized country. 19 million cases impose a tremendous economic burden, as high as $14 billion per year.
- Increasing access to family planning services will improve women's health and reduce the rates of unintended pregnancy, abortion, and infection with sexually transmitted diseases. Contraceptive use saves public health dollars. For every dollar spent to increase funding for family planning programs, $3.80 is saved.
- Contraception is basic health care that improves the health of women and children by enabling women to plan and space births.
- Women experiencing unintended pregnancy are at greater risk for physical abuse and women having closely spaced births are at greater risk of maternal death.
- A child born from an unintended pregnancy is at greater risk of low birth weight, dying in the first year of life, being abused, and not receiving sufficient resources for healthy development.
Focus on preventing pregnancy, plus emergency contraception.
Clinton signed Prevention First Act
Source: S.21&H.R.463 2009-S21 on Jan 6, 2009
Page last updated: Jan 27, 2010