by Steven Ertelt
January 26, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — While her political party conducts a furious battle over the issue of abortion, pro-abortion Senator Hillary Clinton says abortion advocates and pro-life stalwarts need to find "common ground" on abortion.
In a speech to abortion activists on Monday night, Senator Clinton, often mentioned as a top Democratic presidential prospect in 2008, described herself as a "praying person."
"There is an opportunity for people of good faith to find common ground in this debate. We should agree that we want every child in this country to be wanted, cherished and loved," Senator Clinton said. "We can all recognize that abortion in many ways represents a sad, even tragic, choice to many, many women."
"Yes, we do have deeply held differences of opinion about the issue of abortion, and I, for one, respect those who believe with all their hearts and minds that there are no circumstances under which any abortion should ever be available," the former first lady said.
Her comments drew gasps from the abortion advocates in attendance.
Critics, however, say pro-abortion lawmakers have made similar previous statements without backing them up with concrete actions to reduce abortions.
"The gasp exemplifies the Democrats’ challenge," explains Cato Institute senior fellow Doug Bandow. "Many activists don’t understand what there is about abortion not to like. Others offer only rhetoric. For instance, Sen. Clinton restated her support for Roe, thereby offering little practical protection for the unborn."
"Democrats must do more than talk the talk. They must walk the walk," Bandow added. "It is not enough to talk about the unborn as life. Democrats must treat the unborn as life."
During the speech, Clinton praised groups which have run abstinence campaigns for teenagers.
"There is no contradiction between support for faith-based initiatives and upholding our constitutional principles," Mrs. Clinton said in her remarks, seemingly supporting President Bush’s increased federal funding for abstinence programs.
Yet, Clinton’s words weren’t all in an attempt to find a middle ground on the issue of abortion. She strongly attacked the president’s pro-life policies and claimed they were causing more abortions.
Some critics consider her remarks the first attempt to repackage herself as a more moderate politician in advance of the 2008 elections.
Gary Bauer, president of the American Values organization and a former Republican presidential candidate, called the speech an attempt at the "ultimate makeover."
"She clearly wants to sit in the Oval Office. She’s a bright lady, and I think she watched her party throw everything, including the kitchen sink, at the president and still lose. She’s made her own calculation that values in the broadest sense of the word was the reason for that loss," he said.