Senator Clinton Speaks of 'Common Ground' on Abortion

  1. Senator Clinton Speaks of 'Common Ground' on Abortion

    LBANY, Jan. 24 - Proposing new political language about abortion rights for the Democratic Party, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton said today that friends and foes on the issue should come together on "common ground" to reduce the number of "unwanted pregnancies" and ultimately abortions, which she called a "sad, even tragic choice to many, many women."

    Mrs. Clinton, in a speech to about 1,000 abortion rights supporters at the state Capitol, firmly restated her support for the Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationwide, Roe v. Wade. But then she quickly shifted gears, offering warm words to opponents of abortion - particularly members of religious groups - asserting that there was "common ground" to be found after three decades of emotional and political warfare over abortion.

    Mrs. Clinton is widely seen as a possible candidate for the party's presidential nomination in 2008, and her remarks signaled that she could be recalibrating her strong identification with the abortion-rights movement as the Democratic Party engages in its own re-examination of its handling of the issue in the wake of Senator John Kerry's loss in the 2004 presidential race.

    Ms. Clinton has been a visible and very public defender of abortion rights, appearing at a huge rally in Washington last spring and denouncing what she called Republican efforts to demonize the abortion rights movement.

    While she acknowledged in her address today that Americans have "deeply held differences" over abortion rights, Mrs. Clinton told the annual conference of the Family Planning Advocates of New York State, "I for one respect those who believe with all their heart and conscience that there are no circumstances under which abortion should be available."

    In addition to her description of abortion as a "tragic choice" for many," Mrs. Clinton said that faith and organized religion were the "primary" reasons that teenagers abstain from sexual relations, and reminded the audience that during the 1990's, she promoted "teen celibacy" as a way to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies.

    "The fact is, the best way to reduce the number of abortions is to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies in the first place," Mrs. Clinton said.

    Mrs. Clinton also called today for the Bush administration, religious groups, supporters and opponents of abortion rights and others to look beyond the abortion rights divide and form a broad alliance on other issues that she suggested as less incendiary: sex-education programs for teenagers that included abstinence education, emergency contraception for women who have recently had unprotected intercourse, and family planning.

    The speech was also notable for a stream of statistics and data that, Mrs. Clinton's aides said afterward, were included to underscore her view that the reduction of "unwanted pregnancies" could be a unifying issue for supporters and opponents of abortion rights.

    At one point, for instance, she drew gasps from some in the audience by mentioning that 7 percent of American women who do not use contraception account for 53 percent of all unintended pregnancies.

    Several women in the audience reacted positively to Mrs. Clinton, whose remarks were interrupted by applause several times and ended with a standing ovation. But they also said her language and themes seemed politically calculated to deal with the abortion "freak-out" among Democrats, as one audience member put it, and reach out to independent and conservative voters in hopes of broadening her base of support for a possible 2008 presidential run.
  2. 36 Comments

  3. by   Roy Fokker
    More and more attention being heaped on Sen. Clinton by the media.

    Please, for the love of sanity - tell me that this is not a precussor to her wanting to run for 2008 (I know that it is a looooooooooooooooooooong ways off).
  4. by   BeachNurse
    Quote from Roy Fokker
    More and more attention being heaped on Sen. Clinton by the media.

    Please, for the love of sanity - tell me that this is not a precussor to her wanting to run for 2008 (I know that it is a looooooooooooooooooooong ways off).
    Okay..I won't tell you.
  5. by   Roy Fokker
    Quote from BeachNurse
    Okay..I won't tell you.
    :chuckle :chuckle
  6. by   Mkue
    wow. Sen. Clinton discussing faith based initiatives AND common ground on abortion all in the same month.. she's sliding a bit to the center.
  7. by   fergus51
    I don't think this is really new. Almost all women who support abortion rights in this country also advocate for decreasing the number of unwanted pregnancies through birth control or abstinence.
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from fergus51
    I don't think this is really new. Almost all women who support abortion rights in this country also advocate for decreasing the number of unwanted pregnancies through birth control or abstinence.
    exactly. And remember, pro-choice is NOT pro-abortion, in case anyone forgot.
    You did it again, fergus. said it for me.
  9. by   KrisRNwannabe
    In my opinion Sen Clinton has the same flip-flop tendencies as John Kerry. I would rather hear a politician say this is the way i feel and say it the same way every time not changing it depending on who is listening. I have said it before and i will say it again. If hillary clinton becomes president, I am moving to canada
  10. by   fergus51
    When has she said anything that conflicts with those statements?
  11. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    [QUOTE=SmilingBluEyes]And remember, pro-choice is NOT pro-abortion, in case anyone forgot.

    Thank you!
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from KrisRNwannabe
    In my opinion Sen Clinton has the same flip-flop tendencies as John Kerry. I would rather hear a politician say this is the way i feel and say it the same way every time not changing it depending on who is listening. I have said it before and i will say it again. If hillary clinton becomes president, I am moving to canada
    which Province?

    Just kidding. Flipflopping is not limited to Just Kerry or Clinton. Our own President has been know to turn a few himself.
  13. by   Roy Fokker
    Quote from smilingblueyes
    just kidding. flipflopping is not limited to just kerry or clinton. our own president has been know to turn a few himself.
    1. social security surplus
    bush pledges not to touch social security surplus... "we're going to keep the promise of social security and keep the government from raiding the social security surplus." [president bush, [color=#0250a2]3/3/01]

    ...bush spends social security surplus the new york times reported that "the president's new budget uses social security surpluses to pay for other programs every year through 2013, ultimately diverting more than $1.4 trillion in social security funds to other purposes." [the new york times, 2/6/02]

    2. patient's right to sue

    governor bush vetoes patients' right to sue... "despite his campaign rhetoric in favor of a patients' bill of rights, bush fought such a bill tooth and nail as texas governor, vetoing a bill coauthored by republican state rep. john smithee in 1995. he... constantly opposed a patient's right to sue an hmo over coverage denied that resulted in adverse health effects." [salon, [color=#0250a2]2/7/01]

    ...candidate bush praises texas patients' right to sue... "we're one of the first states that said you can sue an hmo for denying you proper coverage... it's time for our nation to come together and do what's right for the people. and i think this is right for the people. you know, i support a national patients' bill of rights, mr. vice president. and i want all people covered. i don't want the law to supersede good law like we've got in texas." [governor bush, [color=#0250a2]10/17/00]

    ...president bush's administration argues against right to sue "to let two texas consumers, juan davila and ruby r. calad, sue their managed-care companies for wrongful denials of medical benefits 'would be to completely undermine' federal law regulating employee benefits, assistant solicitor general james a. feldman said at oral argument march 23. moreover, the administration's brief attacked the policy rationale for texas's law, which is similar to statutes on the books in nine other states." [washington post, [color=#0250a2]4/5/04]

    3. tobacco buyout

    bush supports current tobacco farmers' quota system... "they've got the quota system in place -- the allotment system -- and i don't think that needs to be changed." [president bush, [color=#0250a2]5/04]

    ...bush administration will support federal buyout of tobacco quotas "the administration is open to a buyout." [white house spokeswoman jeanie mamo, [color=#0250a2]6/18/04]

    4. north korea

    bush will not offer nuclear north korea incentives to disarm... "we developed a bold approach under which, if the north addressed our long-standing concerns, the united states was prepared to take important steps that would have significantly improved the lives of the north korean people. now that north korea's covert nuclear weapons program has come to light, we are unable to pursue this approach." [president's statement, [color=#0250a2]11/15/02]

    ...bush administration offers north korea incentives to disarm"well, we will work to take steps to ease their political and economic isolation. so there would be -- what you would see would be some provisional or temporary proposals that would only lead to lasting benefit after north korea dismantles its nuclear programs. so there would be some provisional or temporary efforts of that nature." [white house press secretary scott mcclellan, [color=#0250a2]6/23/04]

    5. abortion

    bush supports a woman's right to choose... "bush said he...favors leaving up to a woman and her doctor the abortion question." [the nation, [color=#0250a2]6/15/00, quoting the lubbock avalanche-journal, 5/78]

    ...bush opposes a woman's right to choose "i am pro-life." [governor bush, [color=#0250a2]10/3/00]

    6. opec

    bush promises to force opec to lower prices... "what i think the president ought to do [when gas prices spike] is he ought to get on the phone with the opec cartel and say we expect you to open your spigots...and the president of the united states must jawbone opec members to lower the price." [president bush, 1/26/00]

    ...bush refuses to lobby opec leaders with gas prices soaring in the united states at the beginning of 2004, the miami herald reported the president refused to "personally lobby oil cartel leaders to change their minds." [miami herald, 4/1/04]

    7. iraq funding

    bush spokesman denies need for additional funds for the rest of 2004... "we do not anticipate requesting supplemental funding for '04" [white house budget director joshua bolton, [color=#0250a2]2/2/04]

    ...bush requests additional funds for iraq for 2004 "i am requesting that congress establish a $25 billion contingency reserve fund for the coming fiscal year to meet all commitments to our troops." [president bush, statement by president, [color=#0250a2]5/5/04]

    8. condoleeza rice testimony

    bush spokesman says rice won't testify as 'a matter of principle'... "again, this is not her personal preference; this goes back to a matter of principle. there is a separation of powers issue involved here. historically, white house staffers do not testify before legislative bodies. so it's a matter of principle, not a matter of preference." [white house press secretary scott mcclellan, [color=#0250a2]3/9/04]

    ...bush orders rice to testify: "today i have informed the commission on terrorist attacks against the united states that my national security advisor, dr. condoleezza rice, will provide public testimony." [president bush, [color=#0250a2]3/30/04]

    9. science

    bush pledges to issue regulations based on science..."i think we ought to have high standards set by agencies that rely upon science, not by what may feel good or what sounds good." [then-governor george w. bush, [color=#0250a2]1/15/00]

    ...bush administration regulations ignore science "60 leading scientists--including nobel laureates, leading medical experts, former federal agency directors and university chairs and presidents--issued a statement calling for regulatory and legislative action to restore scientific integrity to federal policymaking. according to the scientists, the bush administration has, among other abuses, suppressed and distorted scientific analysis from federal agencies, and taken actions that have undermined the quality of scientific advisory panels." [union of concerned scientists, [color=#0250a2]2/18/04]

    10. ahmed chalabi

    bush invites chalabi to state of the union address...president bush also met with chalabi during his brief trip to iraq last thanksgiving [white house documents [color=#0250a2]1/20/04, [color=#0250a2]11/27/03]

    ...bush military assists in raid of chalabi's house "u.s. soldiers raided the home of america's one-time ally ahmad chalabi on thursday and seized documents and computers." [washington post, [color=#0250a2]5/20/04]

    11. department of homeland security

    bush opposes the department of homeland security..."so, creating a cabinet office doesn't solve the problem. you still will have agencies within the federal government that have to be coordinated. so the answer is that creating a cabinet post doesn't solve anything." [white house spokesman ari fleischer, [color=#0250a2]3/19/02]

    ...bush supports the department of homeland security "so tonight, i ask the congress to join me in creating a single, permanent department with an overriding and urgent mission: securing the homeland of america and protecting the american people." [president bush, address to the nation, [color=#0250a2]6/6/02]

    12. weapons of mass destruction

    bush says we found the weapons of mass destruction..."we found the weapons of mass destruction. we found biological laboratories...for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them." [president bush, interview in poland, [color=#0250a2]5/29/03]

    ...bush says we haven't found weapons of mass destruction "david kay has found the capacity to produce weapons.and when david kay goes in and says we haven't found stockpiles yet, and there's theories as to where the weapons went. they could have been destroyed during the war. saddam and his henchmen could have destroyed them as we entered into iraq. they could be hidden. they could have been transported to another country, and we'll find out." [president bush, meet the press, [color=#0250a2]2/7/04]

    13. free trade

    bush supports free trade... "i believe strongly that if we promote trade, and when we promote trade, it will help workers on both sides of this issue." [president bush in peru, [color=#0250a2]3/23/02]

    ...bush supports restrictions on trade "in a decision largely driven by his political advisers, president bush set aside his free-trade principles last year and imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel to help out struggling mills in pennsylvania and west virginia, two states crucial for his reelection." [washington post, [color=#0250a2]9/19/03]

    14. osama bin laden

    bush wants osama dead or alive... "i want justice. and there's an old poster out west, i recall, that says, 'wanted: dead or alive.'" [president bush, on osama bin laden, [color=#0250a2]09/17/01]

    ...bush doesn't care about osama "i don't know where he know, i just don't spend that much time on him... i truly am not that concerned about him."[president bush, press conference, [color=#0250a2]3/13/02]

    15. the environment

    bush supports mandatory caps on carbon dioxide... "[if elected], governor bush will work to...establish mandatory reduction targets for emissions of four main pollutants: sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury and carbon dioxide." [bush environmental plan, [color=#0250a2]9/29/00]

    ...bush opposes mandatory caps on carbon dioxide "i do not believe, however, that the government should impose on power plants mandatory emissions reductions for carbon dioxide, which is not a 'pollutant' under the clean air act." [president bush, letter to sen. chuck hagel (r-ne), [color=#0250a2]3/13/03]

    16. wmd commission

    bush resists an outside investigation on wmd intelligence failure... "the white house immediately turned aside the calls from kay and many democrats for an immediate outside investigation, seeking to head off any new wide-ranging election-year inquiry that might go beyond reports already being assembled by congressional committees and the central intelligence agency." [ny times, [color=#0250a2]1/29/04]

    ...bush supports an outside investigation on wmd intelligence failure "today, by executive order, i am creating an independent commission, chaired by governor and former senator chuck robb, judge laurence silberman, to look at american intelligence capabilities, especially our intelligence about weapons of mass destruction." [president bush, [color=#0250a2]2/6/04]

    17. creation of the 9/11 commission

    bush opposes creation of independent 9/11 commission... "president bush took a few minutes during his trip to europe thursday to voice his opposition to establishing a special commission to probe how the government dealt with terror warnings before sept. 11." [cbs news, [color=#0250a2]5/23/02]

    ...bush supports creation of independent 9/11 commission "president bush said today he now supports establishing an independent commission to investigate the sept. 11 terrorist attacks." [abc news, [color=#0250a2]09/20/02]

    18. time extension for 9/11 commission

    bush opposes time extension for 9/11 commission... "president bush and house speaker j. dennis hastert (r-ill.) have decided to oppose granting more time to an independent commission investigating the sept. 11, 2001, attacks." [washington post, [color=#0250a2]1/19/04]

    ...bush supports time extension for 9/11 commission "the white house announced wednesday its support for a request from the commission investigating the september 11, 2001 attacks for more time to complete its work." [cnn, [color=#0250a2]2/4/04]

    19. one hour limit for 9/11 commission testimony

    bush limits testimony in front of 9/11 commission to one hour... "president bush and vice president dick cheney have placed strict limits on the private interviews they will grant to the federal commission investigating the sept. 11 attacks, saying that they will meet only with the panel's top two officials and that mr. bush will submit to only a single hour of questioning, commission members said wednesday." [ny times, [color=#0250a2]2/26/04]

    ...bush sets no timelimit for testimony "the president's going to answer all of the questions they want to raise. nobody's watching the clock." [white house spokesman scott mcclellan, [color=#0250a2]3/10/04]

    20. gay marriage

    bush says gay marriage is a state issue... "the state can do what they want to do. don't try to trap me in this state's issue like you're trying to get me into." [gov. george w. bush on gay marriage, larry king live, [color=#0250a2]2/15/00]

    ...bush supports constitutional amendment banning gay marriage "today i call upon the congress to promptly pass, and to send to the states for ratification, an amendment to our constitution defining and protecting marriage as a union of man and woman as husband and wife." [president bush, [color=#0250a2]2/24/04]

    21. nation building

    bush opposes nation building... "if we don't stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, then we're going to have a serious problem coming down the road." [gov. george w. bush, [color=#0250a2]10/3/00]

    ...bush supports nation building "we will be changing the regime of iraq, for the good of the iraqi people." [president bush, [color=#0250a2]3/6/03]

    22. saddam/al qaeda link

    bush says it is impossible to distinguish betweeen al qaeda and saddam... "you can't distinguish between al qaeda and saddam when you talk about the war on terror." [president bush, [color=#0250a2]9/25/02]

    ...bush says saddam had no role in al qaeda plot "we've had no evidence that saddam hussein was involved in sept. 11." [president bush, [color=#0250a2]9/17/03]

    23. u.n. resolution

    bush vows to have a un vote no matter what... "no matter what the whip count is, we're calling for the vote. we want to see people stand up and say what their opinion is about saddam hussein and the utility of the united nations security council. and so, you bet. it's time for people to show their cards, to let the world know where they stand when it comes to saddam." [president bush [color=#0250a2]3/6/03]

    ...bush withdraws request for vote "at a national security council meeting convened at the white house at 8:55 a.m., bush finalized the decision to withdraw the resolution from consideration and prepared to deliver an address to the nation that had already been written." [washington post, [color=#0250a2]3/18/03]

    24. involvement in the palestinian conflict

    bush opposes summits... "well, we've tried summits in the past, as you may remember. it wasn't all that long ago where a summit was called and nothing happened, and as a result we had significant intifada in the area." [president bush, [color=#0250a2]04/05/02]

    ...bush supports summits "if a meeting advances progress toward two states living side by side in peace, i will strongly consider such a meeting. i'm committed to working toward peace in the middle east." [president bush, [color=#0250a2]5/23/03]

    25. campaign finance

    bush opposes mccain-feingold... "george w. bush opposes an infringement on free expression." [washington post, 3/28/2000]

    ...bush signs mccain-feingold into law "[t]his bill improves the current system of financing for federal campaigns, and therefore i have signed it into law." [president bush, at the mccain-feingold signing ceremony, [color=#0250a2]03/27/02]

    26. 527s

    bush opposes restrictions on 527s: "i also have reservations about the constitutionality of the broad ban on issue advertising [in mccain feingold], which restrains the speech of a wide variety of groups on issues of public import." [president bush, [color=#0250a2]3/27/02]

    ...bush says 527s bad for system: "i don't think we ought to have 527s. i can't be more plain about it...i think they're bad for the system. that's why i signed the bill, mccain-feingold." [president bush, [color=#0250a2]8/23/04]

    27. medical records

    bush says medical records must remain private: "i believe that we must protect...the right of every american to have confidence that his or her personal medical records will remain private." [president bush, [color=#0250a2]4/12/01]

    ...bush says patients' histories are not confidntial: the justice department...asserts that patients "no longer possess a reasonable expectation that their histories will remain completely confidential." [businessweek, [color=#0250a2]4/30/04]

    28. timelines for dictators

    bush sets timeline for saddam: "if iraq does not accept the terms within a week of passage or fails to disclose required information within 30 days, the resolution authorizes 'all necessary means' to force compliance--in other words, a military attack." [la times, [color=#0250a2]10/3/02]

    ...bush says he's against timelines: "i don't think you give timelines to dictators." [president bush, [color=#0250a2]8/27/04]

    29. the great lakes

    bush wants to divert great lakes: "even though experts say 'diverting any water from the great lakes region sets a bad precedent' bush 'said he wants to talk to canadian prime minister jean chrétien about piping water to parched states in the west and southwest.'- [ap, 7/19/01]

    bush says he'll never divert great lakes: "we've got to use our resources wisely, like water. it starts with keeping the great lakes water in the great lakes position is clear: we're never going to allow diversion of great lakes water." [president bush, [color=#0250a2]8/16/04]
    sure. only kerry flip-flopped last year.

    can't say i really like sen. clinton though.
  14. by   SmilingBluEyes
    wooops we are not supposed to KNOW that Roy!!!!! Bush a flipflopper? No say it aint' so.....

    I am not a big fan of Hilary's either.But let's not tout Bush's integrity as a be-all, end-all either. Let's just be real.

    Thanks for that link, roy.