Hillary Clinton is still being pushed to the Left by Bernie Sanders. It’s a fact which was on display yet again this week when she sat down with Chuck Todd for a segment on Meet the Press. The topic was abortion, and since there is no limit to how liberal candidate Clinton will go as she fends off the Vermont socialist, she decided to go whole hog in an answer to Chuck’s question about the rights of the unborn.
The NRC picked up on that one pretty quickly and provided a transcript.
CHUCK TODD: “When, or if, does an unborn child have constitutional rights?”
CLINTON: “Well, under our laws currently, that is not something that exists.. The unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights. Now, that doesn’t mean that we don’t do everything we possibly can, in the vast majority of instances to, you know, help a mother who is carrying a child and wants to make sure that child will be healthy, to have appropriate medical support. It doesn’t mean that you don’t do everything possible to try to fulfill your obligations. But it does include sacrificing the woman’s right to make decisions. And I think that’s an important distinction, that under Roe v. Wade we’ve had enshrined under our Constitution.”
While it pains me to say it, Clinton is quoting a doctrine which has long been popular in some of the more libertarian segments of the commentariat and there’s a bit of text to support Clinton’s assertion… possibly. It comes directly from the 14th Amendment.
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
The 14th Amendment sets forth precisely who is entitled to the privileges or immunities enjoyed by Americans and the first three words are, “All persons born.” By that extremely strict reading, unless you can find some way to naturalize your unborn child (which would be difficult given that they have to take a test and an oath) then they don’t fall under that category.
The place where it obviously gets a bit fuzzy is where the amendment goes on to say that the state shall not deprive “any person” of life, liberty or property. The liberty and property are mostly out of the question, but if you believe that everyone is “a person” from the moment of conception then the argument can be said that they can’t be deprived of life. Thus far our highest courts are essentially silent in terms of this question. It’s a tangled web, and one which obviously wasn’t thought through when the amendment was crafted.
But the larger point here is that Hillary Clinton is in full campaign mode, fighting to secure her liberal base. While in that mindset she is liable to say any number of things which won’t sit well during the general election with moderates and independents who may not be as gung-ho pro-life as some of the conservative base, but who are still uncomfortable with abortion on demand. Clinton is staking out this far left ground not only on this hot button topic, but on guns, criminal justice and a raft of other issues. The eventual GOP nominee should be taking notes and preparing some advertisements featuring all of these clips for September and October.