A newly uncovered set of audio recordings indicates that former President Bill Clinton may have believed that late-term abortions should be illegal and abortion advocates were too extreme in their rhetoric
The Federalist reports that long-time Clinton family confidante and presidential biographer Taylor Branch spoke with Bill Clinton about late-term and partial-birth abortions in 1997 and then recounted his conversation on the audio recordings.
According to the audio recordings released Wednesday by the Washington Free Beacon:
Clinton said that pro-choice activists “framed the question selfishly by putting it in terms of a woman’s right to do whatever she wanted,” making it seem like they were fighting for a “selfish woman’s right to crush her baby’s skull.”
Clinton saw some of the pro-choice stances as extreme, such as the belief that third-trimester abortion should be legal.
“I believe that if you can’t make up your mind in the first six months, you don’t have the right to have an abortion,” Clinton said according to Branch.
“He said the pro-choice people have essentially allowed their own insensitivities to push them into a losing political situation and make a statesman out of Rick Santorum, which he rolled his eyes at,” said Branch.
The Free Beacon reports that Clinton also made a cryptic comment to Branch indicating that he suspected former pro-life U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum and his wife had an abortion and were lying about it.
Matt Beynon, communications director for the Santorum campaign, told the Free Beacon that Clinton’s suspicions were untrue and “sad.”
“The Santorum family went through a family tragedy 20 years ago when they lost their son Gabriel,” said Beynon. “It is disappointing to hear that the president would make such a callous remark about it.”
But did Clinton really oppose late-term abortions?
Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee, told LifeNews that Clinton’s remarks are nothing new. Clinton spoke openly about his so-called opposition to late-term abortions in 1996 and 1997, but it was just a “diversionary tactic” to “deflect public attention away from partial-birth abortions,” he said.
“It was just his way of justifying his two vetoes of the real bill to limit late abortions, which was the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act,” Johnson said. Clinton vetoed the bills in 1996.
Johnson added that Clinton did not use the term “late-term abortions” the way most Americans do.
“Certainly, most Americans regard abortions performed in the fifth and sixth months as ‘late abortions’ — for example, dismemberment abortions,” Johnson said. “But those are not ‘late-term’ abortions as Clinton used the term … The ‘third trimester’ begins at 27 weeks of pregnancy. That is a full month, a full month, after babies who are born spontaneously prematurely have a substantial chance to survive long term.”
Johnson added, “… even with respect to the ‘third trimester’ abortions, Bill Clinton wanted a pretty expansive ‘health’ exception.” Health exceptions to abortion typically are so expansive that they nullify any protections for unborn babies.
Wife and Democratic candidate for president Hillary Clinton also takes an extreme position on abortion, one that lines up with just 13 percent of Americans, LifeNews blogger Andrew Bair pointed out in September. A November 2014 poll conducted by The Polling Company found that just 13% of Americans believe abortion should be legal for any reason and essentially at any time during pregnancy. In other words, just 13% of Americans agree with Hillary Clinton on abortion.
Hillary Clinton has vocally opposed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to protect unborn babies 20 weeks and older from excruciating late abortions. She has defended Planned Parenthood after undercover videos exposed the group’s trafficking of aborted baby body parts. She went as far as to say, “I’m proud to stand with Planned Parenthood.”