In an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton used the phrase “unborn person” when speaking about abortion, but asserted that the unborn do not have constitutional rights.
Clinton was interviewed by host Chuck Todd, who asked the candidate to provide her “straightforward position on the issue of abortion.”
“My position is in line with Roe v. Wade, that women have a constitutional right to make these moment intimate and personal and difficult decisions based on their conscience, their faith, their family, their doctor,” she replied. “And that it is something that really goes to the core of privacy. And I want to maintain that constitutional protection.”
“Under Roe v. Wade, as you know, there is room for reasonable kinds of restrictions after a certain point in time,” Clinton continued. “I think the life, the health of the mother are clear. And those should be included even as one moves on in pregnancy. So I have been—I’ve had the same position for many years.”
Todd then asked Clinton if unborn children have rights, and if so, to outline when. She replied by referring to the unborn as persons, but asserted that they don’t have rights under the U.S. Constitution.
“Well, under our laws currently, that is not something that exists. The unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights,” she said.
“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,” Clinton continued. “It doesn’t mean that, you know, don’t do everything possible to try to fulfill your obligations. But it does not include sacrificing the woman’s right to make decisions.”
Following her comments, a Planned Parenthood representative took issue with Clinton referring to the unborn as human persons.
“@HillaryClinton further stigmatizes #abortion. She calls a fetus an ‘unborn child’ & calls for later term restrictions,” Tweeted Diana Arellano of Planned Parenthood Illinois Action.
Others marveled at how both Clinton and Todd finally acknowledged the personhood of the child in the womb.
“Neither [Todd or Clinton] describes an unborn baby as a ‘bunch of cells,'” wrote Gary DeMar for Constitution.org. “Hillary describes an unborn baby as an ‘unborn person.’ … Since the Constitution uses the word ‘persons,’ and Hillary acknowledges that an unborn baby is a person, therefore, unborn babies deserve the full protection of the law like any other person.”
“Unborn babies are persons deserving the full protection of the law, not because of the Constitution, but because God designates them as persons,” he said. “No authority resides in the Supreme Court to rule that an ‘unborn baby’ or an ‘unborn person’ can be killed because of a woman’s conscience, faith, family, or doctor.”