Sunday, April 3, 2016

Hilary Clinton's Language on Abortion

Our language reveals us.  

What do you make of the language of Hilary Clinton's two answers regarding abortion?

Can we learn anything from the words she chooses?

TODD: Give me your straightforward position on the issue of abortion.
CLINTON: My position is in line with Row 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. 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. 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: 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 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. And I think that’s an important distinction that under Roe v. Wade we’ve had refined under our Constitution.

31 comments:

sidewalk super said...


she talks in circles, I wish the FBI good luck.

Apple said...

"It doesn’t mean that, you know, don’t do everything possible to try to fulfill your obligations"
---
Obligations?

Anonymous said...


Sentence by sentence, I am not able to find answers to either question.
Moreover, I cannot make sense of what she is saying.
Help !

Hey Jude said...

I think:

In the first statement, Hilary Clinton avoids using the words 'fetus', 'baby', 'unborn child', 'abortion',and uses 'life' only in relation to 'the mother'. She uses 'intimate', 'personal' and 'privacy', so as to suggest, that abortion is only a private matter, and therefore it's somehow prurient and a personal intrusion to regard abortion as a public concern, or to question the morality of abortion - it's no-one's concern but that of 'the mother'. She says 'mother' rather than 'woman'; we don't have reason to think of someone who aborts a baby as already being a mother (unless stated), rather as a woman who terminated a pregnancy. Describing her as 'the mother' is a misrepresentation, an attempt to have abortion regarded as an alternative 'maternal' choice. She suggests that while there are time limits to abortion, the life of the mother is the main consideration, making late-term abortion acceptable. She doesn't make clear if 'the life' of the mother means late abortion should be considered acceptable if a woman's physical life is endangered by carrying a child, or if that could just a easily mean her social life.

In the second statement she acknowledges that a fetus is an 'unborn person' and a 'child', yet one who is without any rights. The 'unborn person' is worthy of appropriate medical support to ensure health - IF the mother wants to carry the baby. If she doesn't, her right to abort trumps any non-rights of the baby, despite it may be a viable pregnancy which would otherwise have resulted in the birth of a healthy baby.

Hey Jude said...

Am I allowed to wonder if Hilary has had an abortion? - looking at the pronouns, there is a bit of wiggle room there. And it's all a bit curiously private and intimate for quite such a pubic interest issue. I expect one is not allowed to wonder, because that would be a scurrilous wondering.

sidewalk super said...


Wow,
Hey Jude,
nice untangle.
...Considering what we have to work with.

Can you imagine dealing with this from a president ?

Nic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter Hyatt said...

Hey Jude,

you are allowed to wonder...

This was the purpose.

Pro Abortion officials are furious at her statement and it is likely to lead her to apologize or 'walk back' (the new lingo) as her language reveals her own belief, and may suggest her background and experiences.

I was wondering if readers would grasp this.

Peter

Hey Jude said...

What I find interesting, Sidewalk Super, is how she puts aside in the first statement the fetus/baby/unborn child, as to be non-existent except as a right relating to the mother, whilst evidently, in her second response, she does regard the fetus as an unborn child - yet one who can be sacrificed to the 'right to choose' as though it is just some abstract possibility rather than a life.

I suppose 'sacrifice' is too inflammatory a word, but it's difficult to even try to be objective on some subjects. I am not completely opposed to abortion (endangerment to life, rape, genuine mental health crisis) and do not find condemnation an appropriate response, whatever a woman's reasons - still, 'the right to choose' is too casual, too colluding with the abrogation of responsibility in regard to the use of contraception, altogether dismissive of the sanctity of life - of the baby who would not choose to be aborted, of the father's non-existent right to his child, which, if given a choice, he might rather raise himself as a single parent, than have aborted, yet there is no choice, he does not figure, it is somehow only the woman's child, yet that only as convenient. I rant. :-/

Hey Jude said...

Thanks, Peter. :)

Shannon Duane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nic said...

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 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. And I think that’s an important distinction that under Roe v. Wade we’ve had refined under our Constitution.



The unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights.

The question is about an unborn child yet Clinton responds using person. Change in reality. Change in language. She will not say child. Sensitivity noted.


help a mother who is carrying a child

“a” versus “the”

She puts in order what is important. A mother comes first. A mother is helped before a child.

“carry” - the burden is with a mother, not a child.


But

But negates that which was previously discussed — obligatory pre-natal and health care for the mother to ensure the child will be healthy. The obligation is to the mother, not the child.


“it does not include sacrificing the woman’s right to make decisions.

change in reality/language mother has become woman

"it" (obligation to the child)

“sacrificing” - give up

"the woman’s right to make decisions” (in the first place: see “but”).


And I think that’s an important distinction that under Roe v. Wade we’ve had refined under our Constitution.

"I "changes to “we”

“we” weakens what “Clinton" thinks.

"we’ve had refined” - we’ve had (third party) distancing

“refined” - made clear and precise

Clinton interprets Roe v. Wade, a landmark decision she aligns her position with as: 1) woman, 2) mother, 3) child

Shannon Duane said...

But here's the thing...women are allowed to have home births which are absolutely more dangerous in the US due to lack to midwife regulation. It's about 4x more dangerous. And a woman can choose to let her baby die during labor because she doesn't want a c-section. She is allowed to risk her baby in both situations because of bodily autonomy. Why is it okay in these situations but not before that time? Honest question...kind of a devil's advocate question in a way. I just don't understand why a woman is entitled to choose something that will result in death because she doesn't want a c-section but not allowed to choose to not carry the child at all.

Nic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nic said...

My impression is that she is trying not to alienate either side.

Nic said...

The interviewer asked Clinton her position - she is a lawyer by vocation and a politician. He didn't ask her position as a woman. I think that's the qualifier and she ran with it choosing politicize her position.

Nic said...

Shannon Duane, further to your thought, here in Canada there has been ongoing debate between fetus and "human being" in terms of legal rights.

[snip]

The position that a fetus does not have the independent legal rights of a human being until it has completely emerged from the womb was also upheld in Ontario provincial court in 1997. Brenda Drummond, a postal clerk, returned home from work on May 30, 1996, and gave birth to a baby in her home. She claimed to have been unaware of the pregnancy. However, when doctors undertook an emergency brain scan, the scan revealed a pellet in the baby boy's brain. Two days prior to giving birth, Drummond had inserted a pellet gun in her vagina and shot the fetus. Originally charged with attempted murder, the charge was later thrown out. In making the case, the prosecutor had argued that fetal rights are de facto created by a Criminal Code provision that provides sanctions against people whose actions injure a fetus that is later born alive but subsequently dies. Even though the baby survived, it was argued that the homicide clause's provision was applicable because the real intent of the law was to protect fetuses (Kondro, 1997). In making Drummonds case, the defence contended a conviction would invite charges against women who have abortions; doctors who perform them; or even pregnant women who drink, smoke, or use drugs. Upon rendering a decision, the judge agreed with Drummonds defence lawyer, who also argued that Canadian law provides only a remedy for the murder of a person and a fetus is not defined as a person, thus no one can be charged with attempting to murder a fetus [end snip]

http://canadiancrc.com/newspaper_articles/Issue_Fetal_Rights_Canada_Wintermans_25NOV05.aspx

Nic said...

One last thought about her use of the word "moment".

"Moment" is used in place of abortion. Major understatement for a life-changing decision.

Shannon Duane said...

I'm pretty sure In the US that kind of case would result in a murder charge. There's been quite a few cases in the last few years where certain miscarriages have been treated as criminal acts. One woman was sentenced to 20 some years in prison because she "disposed" of the body (the baby was severely premature and would have had a hard time in the hospital even) even though there conflicting reports about whether the baby was born alive or not. The ironic thing is that if she'd just had an abortion, assuming she could get to a state where it was still legal at her weeks of pregnancy, she wouldn't have been charged with anything.

Our laws are kind of all over the place right now. You can knowingly kill your baby by refusing a c-section and be totally fine but stabbing a pregnant woman can result in two murder charges (to be clear, I do think they are totally different situations). Or you can get a legal abortion and nothing will happen to you but if you do something deemed dangerous to the fetus, it's another criminal charge.

Like I said...all over the place.

The Sheep said...

She didn't say "moment"; she said "most". Breitbart just transcribed it wrong.

Anonymous said...

Peter, what parts of her statement would she need to "walk back"? It seems pretty clear to me that she is very pro-abortion, although she comes at the issue very technically in order to make it as inoffensive as possible (I would guess this was a calculated political move on her part).

Nic said...

The Sheep is correct, Clinton said "most". She also said, "enshrined" not "refined"

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/04/03/chuck_todd_to_hillary_clinton_when_or_if_does_an_unborn_child_have_constitutional_rights.html

Thank you, The Sheep! I will amend my analysis. Interesting how analysis can pivot on a single word.

Also, listening to the video in its entirety, "family" isn't unexpected when I hear her talk about the 3rd trimester.

She does answer the question on a professional level, not as a woman, and within the confines of the Constitution (safe!) I wonder how much she would blink and stutter if he had asked her to answer as a woman faced with the situation of an unplanned/unwanted pregnancy. I find it an interesting notion because a personal answer is really sticking her neck out. I don't think she would fair any better than Donald Trump.

Anonymous said...

O/T How odd that Peter almost never posts statement analysis about Republican politicians' words. I haven't seen Ted Cruz issue anything near resembling a reliable denial of the infidelity charges laid out in the National Enquirer. Inasmuch as I know about statement analysis learned solely from this blog, his is practically a textbook case of unreliable denials one after the other. And yet...

Nic said...

Anonymous @ 11:27, if we want Peter to analyze a statement we post the transcript for him, in kind... or link him to it. Then it boils down to time.

The Sheep said...

"Under Roe v. Wade as you know there is room for reasonable kinds of restrictions after a certain point in time."

TODD: When or if does an unborn child have constitutional rights?
CLINTON: Well, under our laws currently, that is not something that currently exists."


This is a contradiction. The restrictions placed on abortion later in pregnancy are indeed due to and largely based upon the viability of the fetus. The unborn gains the right to life as it might be able to live outside the womb. She acknowledges the restrictions but fails to acknowledge the restrictions exist to protect life.

Linda said...

"The unborn person doesn't have constitutional rights."

What kind of a people are we....?

Anonymous said...

She called the unborn a PERSON. I was surprised by that. Most abortion advocates refuse to acknowledge the unborn as a person, preferring instead to use "tissue and cells" etc.
I think she genuinely would like to see a reduction in abortions but her primary concern is being seen as pro-choice and appealing to democrats, obviously.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps she personally feels conflicted on the issue of abortion.

Anonymous said...

I think she might have had an abortion. That might explain how conflicted she comes across.

Anonymous said...

Are you certain women can refuse baby-saving measures during labour? That doesn't sound right because usually if the baby's life is in danger the mom's life is as well and doctors are obliged to save the mom.

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