WASHINGTON — During a speech before supporters of the abortion giant Planned Parenthood, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Friday that she believes legalizing abortion has helped to keep women in the workplace, and thus has aided the economy.
“Roe v. Wade guaranteed the right to safe, legal abortion, so young women were no longer dying in emergency rooms and back alleys from botched abortions, and this is a fact that is not often heard, but I hope you will repeat it,” she said at the Washington, D.C. gathering.
“America’s maternal mortality rate dropped dramatically, and it turns out being able to plan their families not only saved women’s lives, it also transformed them because it meant that women were able to get education, build careers, enter new fields and rise as far as their talent and hard work would take them,” Clinton declared.
She praised “[a]ll the opportunities that follow when women are able to stay healthy and choose whether and when to become mothers.”
Clinton said that birth control has likewise helped the economy because it has kept women in the work force instead of at home raising children.
“Today, the percentage of women who finish college is six times what it was before birth control was legal,” she stated. “Women represent half of all college graduates in America and nearly half our labor force and our whole economy then is better off.”
“The movement of women into the work force, a paid work force, over the past 40 years was responsible for more than $3.5 trillion in growth in our economy,” Clinton said.
She said that as secretary of state, she disliked observing the lack of abortion and birth control in other countries, stating that it consigned women to “lives of hardship.”
“I traveled to parts of the world … where the denial of family planning consigns women to lives of hardship,” Clinton stated. “I visited countries where governments have strictly regulated women’s reproduction, either forcing women to have abortions or forcing women to get pregnant and give birth. Everything I have seen has convinced me that life is freer, fairer, safer and far more humane when women are empowered to make their own reproductive choices.”
She was met with applause and cheers at several points in her speech, which lasted for approximately half an hour.
As previously reported, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, a Reagan appointee, made similar statements about how abortion has kept women in the workforce in the 1992 ruling of Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
“For two decades of economic and social developments, people have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail,” wrote O’Connor on behalf of the court.
“The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives,” she said.
Planned Parenthood, founded by feminist and eugenics advocate Margaret Sanger, outlined in its annual report released at the end of December that the organization performed 323,999 abortions nationwide during the 2014-2015 fiscal year.