Op-ed: Eight out of ten Americans surveyed support abortion limits
© Getty

During the first presidential debate this year, the candidates’ abortion views were the second most searched topic on the Internet, according to Google, yet it wasn’t until the final debate that moderator Chris Wallace pressed the candidates on their stances on abortion.

His very first question of the night was about the kind of judges they would nominate to the U.S. Supreme Court, a significant question during any presidential campaign that’s even more pressing this year with a vacancy on our nation’s highest court. Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rips Dems' demands, impeachment talk: 'Witch Hunt continues!' Nevada Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push MORE responded, “The justices that I am going to appoint will be pro-life. They will have a conservative bent.” Not surprisingly, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonNevada Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote 2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests Iowa Democrats brace for caucus turnout surge MORE re-affirmed her commitment to upholding Roe v. Wade.

ADVERTISEMENT

Clinton’s support for the 1973 Supreme Court case that, along with Doe v. Bolton, established a right to abortion on demand, seems like a popular opinion.

For example, when Americans are polled on Roe, they respond affirmatively: they want it upheld. However, when the reality of Roe is spelled out — abortion legal at any time during pregnancy — Americans want restrictions.

As recently as July, a Knights of Columbus/ Marist surveyed 1,009 people and the poll revealed that merely eight out of ten Americans believe abortion should be limited at most to the first three months of pregnancy. When polling those who self-identify as “pro-choice”, a combined 62 percent would limit abortion to the first trimester (39 percent), to cases involving rape, incest or for the life of the mother (19 percent, with 2 percent weighing in only for the life of the mother), or would ban abortion altogether (4 percent). But sadly, this is not reflective of the U.S. Law.

Wallace asked a more pointed abortion question to both of the candidates. To Trump, he asked if he would overturn Roe v. Wade. Trump responded (three times) by explaining that were Roe overturned, the question of abortion legality would be decided at the state level, a fact that many people are not aware of.

Clinton again reaffirmed her support for Roe, and her support for the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood (also three times). This sentiment is in line with the 2016 Democratic platform, which for the first time ever calls for the protection of the nation’s largest abortion provider. Clinton’s first speaking engagement after being named nominee was at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser. While anti-abortion Democrats were refused speaking slots, Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood — who attended the most recent debate and is a surrogate for the Democratic nominee — was a keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention in July, touting the party’s extreme position on life.

Planned Parenthood benefits greatly from having a pro-abortion rights administration; its latest annual report shows that the organization received $553 million, or 43 percent, of its total revenue from taxpayer dollars in fiscal 2014. Breaking that number down further, PPFA receives $1.55 million a day in taxpayer dollars. The financially beneficial relationship between Planned Parenthood and the Democrats who protect the organization is scandalous.

Wallace pressed Clinton on how far a “right to abortion” goes: “You have been quoted as saying that the fetus has no constitutional rights. You also voted against a ban on late-term partial-birth abortions. Why? 

Clinton’s answer was more terrifying, as she suggested that aborting a fully formed human being the day before it is to be born, fully capable of life outside the womb, is something the “government should not interfere with.”

It’s hard to imagine that anyone could be that callous. As expecting parents joyfully paste the sonogram photo of their unborn child to their refrigerator, Hillary Clinton believes there is no point at which you cannot take that child’s life.

Most of the 1.1 million abortions in the United States every year are in the first trimester, however, according to the Guttmacher Institute, as many as 12,000 abortions annually occur after the 21st week of pregnancy. Americans, in large part, are in favor of eliminating late-term abortion.

Is Clinton’s commitment to the American people or to the pro-abortion lobby that gives to her campaign and speaks on her behalf?

In this rare opportunity to discuss abortion on a national stage, Donald Trump responded with a description of late-term abortion: “If you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month you can take a 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 is okay and Hillary can say that that is okay, but it's not okay with me.”

This was perhaps the most telling and moving moment of all three debates. The sad truth is that Clinton and the Democratic platform are advocating for abortion up until birth, a position that is out of touch with mainstream America. While Trump’s description of a late-term abortion was difficult to hear, it is even harder to imagine this heinous act. But, that is what Clinton and her radical allies are fighting for. 

 Jeanne Mancini is the president of the March for Life.


The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.