TIME politics

Marjorie Dannenfelser: Donald Trump’s Abortion Stance Preserves the Sanctity of Life

Hillary Clinton, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, speaks as Donald Trump, 2016 Republican presidential nominee, gestures during the third U.S. presidential debate in Las Vegas on Oct. 19, 2016.
Bloomberg via Getty Images Hillary Clinton, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, speaks as Donald Trump, 2016 Republican presidential nominee, gestures during the third U.S. presidential debate in Las Vegas on Oct. 19, 2016.

Marjorie Dannenfelser is the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life political action committee.

Polls show more Americans agree with Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton on abortion policy

The third presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton exposed the deep chasm that exists between them on the issue of abortion.

Secretary Clinton made clear her strong support for Roe v. Wade. She defended her vote in the Senate against a ban on partial-birth abortion (which passed by a vote of 64-33). She praised Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider and pledged to continue its federal funding. And she spoke out against state-level efforts to regulate abortion, which include higher health and safety standards of facilities that perform abortions and limits on abortions performed on the disabled and for purposes of sex selection. The only part of her radical abortion agenda she forgot to mention was that she supports repealing the Hyde Amendment, which for four decades has prevented federal taxpayer funding of abortion.

Trump had this to say about Clinton’s platform: “Well, I think it’s terrible. If you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby. Now, you can say that that’s OK and Hillary can say that that’s OK. But it’s not OK with me.”

It’s not OK with the majority of Americans, either. National polling by Quinnipiac, National Journal, Huffington Post, NBC/Wall Street Journal and Washington Post/ABC News all found that a plurality or majority of Americans support limiting abortion after five months and that women support the measure in higher proportions than men.

The flurry of denunciations and deflections offered by Clinton’s supporters after the debate shows that they know they are on the wrong side of the American people. Some claimed that late-term abortion is a non-issue because only 1.5% of abortions reported annually occur after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Bearing in mind abortion reporting in the U.S. has many problems, given that more than one million abortions are performed in the U.S. each year, that comes out to more than 15,000 abortions.

Another claim made by Clinton and her defenders is that late-term abortion only occurs in cases when a life-threatening fetal abnormality is discovered late in pregnancy. But research published by Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, a journal of the Guttmacher Institute, finds that “data suggests that most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment,” but rather for the same elective reasons that lead to abortion earlier in a pregnancy. Testimony from doctors who perform late-term abortions also supports this conclusion. Leroy Carhart, who does late-term abortions in Germantown, M.D. told one woman seeking an abortion at 26-weeks that he had seen four other 26-week or similar cases in the same week.

Perhaps the most absurd point offered post-debate by those who seek to deflect attention from Clinton’s extreme position was that Trump’s description of a late-term abortion as “ripping a baby out of the womb” was not abortion at all, but merely a ceasarean section, a common method of childbirth. Um, no. There’s a crucial difference between a c-section and a late-term abortion: only one is meant to result in a child being born. Those seeking to brush off Trump’s description like this are willfully ignoring the reality of our nation’s permissive abortion laws. Remember Clinton herself acknowledged to the women of The View that even on his or her due date, an unborn child in America has no legal protection.

The denials and obfuscations can’t hide the fact that Clinton is one of the most radical pro-abortion candidates to ever to seek the presidency. In contrast, Trump has made clear his commitment to overturn Roe v. Wade, sign a ban on late-term abortion, defund Planned Parenthood and uphold the Hyde Amendment. Trump’s strong and compassionate defense of the unborn in last week’s debate forced Clinton to drop her mask. The choice for those who want to uphold the sanctity of human life and the Constitution’s guarantee of the right to life to all citizens could not be clearer.

Tap to read full story

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary on events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of TIME editors.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


YOU BROKE TIME.COM!

Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team