Clinton, Sanders Draw Fire for No-Limits Abortion Positions

SBA List: voters now ‘know the truth about Clinton’s extreme views on abortion’

Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders / AP
March 8, 2016

A prominent pro-life organization is going on the offensive against the "extreme" pro-abortion positions held by Democratic hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, which recruits and funds female pro-life politicians, said that the Democrats’ support for late-term abortion "is a liability" in the general election.

"Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were finally asked about abortion last night, and we now know why it’s been avoided up until this point," Dannenfelser said in a release. "Both oppose legislation that would protect unborn children from brutally painful late-term abortions after five months of pregnancy."

Sanders and Clinton were grilled about abortion at a town hall hosted by Fox News on Monday. Both candidates responded to questions from anchor Brett Baier by highlighting their commitment to abortion.

"Women have this right to make this highly personal decision with their family in accordance with their faith, with their doctor," Clinton said. "It’s not much of a right if it is totally limited and constrained. So I think we have to continue to stand up for a woman’s right to make these decisions, and to defend Planned Parenthood."

Clinton became the first Democrat to receive Planned Parenthood’s endorsement in a presidential primary. Employees of the nation’s top abortionist have pumped more than $20,000 to her campaign, which has in turn paid Planned Parenthood about $5,000 for volunteer hours and "staff time."

Sanders, who has only received a handful of small-dollar contributions from abortionists, echoed his opposition to legislation that would limit late-term abortions.

"I happen to believe that it is wrong for the government to be telling a woman what to do with her own body," Sanders said. "I am very strongly pro-choice. That is a decision to be made by the woman, her physician, and her family. That’s my view."

Late term abortion bans starting at 20 weeks have passed in several states, as well as the House of Representatives. Dannenfelser said the Democrats could meet resistance from voters in the general election.

"Clinton knows her support for late-term abortion is a liability, and is desperately trying to hide it," she said in the release.

Multiple polls have shown that about 60 percent of Americans support bans on abortions after 20 weeks—roughly five months—into a pregnancy, and 80 percent oppose third trimester abortions. Sanders and Clinton enjoy 100 percent ratings from abortion lobbyist NARAL, which opposes any restrictions on late-term abortion. Both opposed the partial birth abortion ban signed by George W. Bush that eliminated a process in which doctors deliver a baby feet-first, in order to stab him in the head before it fully from the womb.

The Fox News town hall was the first time that Democrats were questioned about their views on abortion.

Planned Parenthood has been a topic of conversation at nearly every Republican debate in light of congressional efforts to cease the $500 million taxpayers send to the abortionist every year. Frontrunner Donald Trump is the only candidate who supports continuing to send taxpayer dollars to the group. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio criticized the media for refusing to ask "extremists" in the Democratic Party about the issue at a February debate.

"There have been five Democratic debates. The media has not asked them a single question on abortion, and on abortion, the Democrats are extremists. Why doesn’t the media ask Hillary Clinton why she believes that all abortions should be legal, even on the due date of that unborn child?" Rubio said. "Why don’t they ask Hillary Clinton why she believes that partial-birth abortion, which is a gruesome procedure that has been outlawed in this country, she thinks that’s a fundamental right. They are the extremists when it comes to the issue of abortion, and I can’t wait to expose them in a general election."

Clinton has walked back her support for late-term abortion on the campaign trail, telling MSNBC in September that she supported "restrictions in the very end of the third trimester."

She reiterated to Baier that she is "in favor of a late pregnancy regulation that would have exceptions for the life and health of the mother." Dannenfelser said that the "health" exception would be so elastic as to "render such a regulation meaningless." She said that the debate has provided ammunition from pro-lifers in this effort.

"SBA List already has hundreds of paid field staff on the ground in key battleground states ensuring voters know the truth about Clinton’s extreme views on abortion," Dannenfelser said.

Planned Parenthood is currently being investigated by several states, federal agencies, and congressional committees after the emergence of undercover videos showing top executives candidly discussing the sale of aborted baby body parts.