Culture of Life Part III
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Monday that the opposing sides in the divisive debate over abortion should find "common ground" to prevent unwanted pregnancies and ultimately reduce abortions, which she called a "sad, even tragic choice to many, many women."
In a speech to about 1,000 abortion rights supporters near the New York State Capitol, Mrs. Clinton firmly restated her support for the Supreme Court's ruling in Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide in 1973. But then she quickly shifted gears, offering warm words to opponents of legalized abortion and praising the influence of "religious and moral values" on delaying teenage girls from becoming sexually active.
"There is an opportunity for people of good faith to find common ground in this debate - we should be able to agree that we want every child born in this country to be wanted, cherished and loved," Mrs. Clinton said.
She called on abortion rights advocates and anti-abortion campaigners to form a broad alliance to support sexual education - including abstinence counseling - family planning, and morning-after emergency contraception for victims of sexual assault as ways to reduce unintended pregnancies.
"We can all recognize that abortion in many ways represents a sad, even tragic choice to many, many women," Mrs. Clinton told the annual conference of the Family Planning Advocates of New York State. "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."
Mrs. Clinton said. "I don't think this debate should be about ideology - it should be about facts, and evidence. We have to deal with the choices that young people make, not just the choices we wish they would make."
Mrs. Clinton's remarks drew some gasps and head-shaking from those gathered here when she offered a string of statistics and data that, her aides said, were meant to show that preventing unwanted pregnancies could be a unifying issue for supporters and opponents of abortion rights.Several audience members inhaled sharply, for instance, when Mrs. Clinton said that 7 percent of American women who do not use contraception make up 53 percent of all unintended pregnancies.
Mrs. Clinton supported a proposed ban on late-term abortions as long as it included an exception to protect the health of the mother; in turn, she has opposed such a ban when it lacked that exception.
She has also supported some state parental notification laws under which a teenager must involve at least one parent in the decision - but only when there is an exception in the laws that allows the judge to bypass the law and let the teenager obtain an abortion on her own - a process known as "judicial bypass," which Mrs. Clinton has also supported before."
NewDonkey also noticed, and commented:
"True, some abortion rights ultras will denounce Clinton's position as a "move to the right" or a "compromise with the enemy," but let's be clear that she did not change her position on abortion rights one iota. "