Where Does Hillary Clinton Stand On Access To Abortion?

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images.
Hillary Clinton is no stranger to talking about reproductive rights.

As the first female candidate from a major political party, one of the biggest pieces of her political platform is gender equality. And over the years, she's spoken frequently on one of the most significant issues relevant to women: reproductive rights.

But what has Clinton actually said? We've laid out what you really need to know about Hillary Clinton's stances on abortion and reproductive rights. And if you want to measure her against her opponent, Republican Donald Trump, you can check out what he has to say here.


Clinton is strongly in favor of a woman’s right to choose.

Reproductive rights are one of the issues that Clinton has been most consistent on throughout the decades of her political career.

In a speech to NARAL Pro-Choice America while she was first lady in 1999, she called choice "a fundamental American value and freedom," and spoke in favor of defending reproductive rights. "There are certain core beliefs and values that tie us together and set us apart as Americans. And it is those beliefs that can guide us in reaching our goal of keeping abortion safe, legal, and rare into the next century," she said.

Her championing of reproductive rights isn’t limited to American borders, either. As secretary of state in 2009, Clinton spoke in defense of including reproductive health care in the United States’ foreign policy at a Congressional hearing, saying, "Family planning is an important part of women’s health. And reproductive health includes access to abortion."

She supports Planned Parenthood (and has been endorsed by them).

Hillary Clinton stands behind Planned Parenthood, the largest single provider of reproductive health care in the United States, despite calls from its political opponents to defund the organization. On her campaign website, it says that Clinton “will always defend the essential health and reproductive care that Planned Parenthood provides for women.”

Planned Parenthood, for its part, has supported the Democratic candidate. In January, the organization announced that it was breaking a 100-year-old tradition to endorse Clinton during the primary races.

“No other presidential contender in our nation’s history has demonstrated such a strong, proactive commitment to women, or has such a clear and outspoken record on behalf of women’s health and rights,” the organization said on its website at the time.

She supports some restrictions on late-term abortions, provided there are exceptions made to protect the life and health of the woman.

According to her campaign website, Clinton believes that, “women’s personal health decisions should be made by a woman, her family, and her faith, with the counsel of her doctor.” But she does support some regulation, including possible restrictions on abortions later in the pregnancy. “I have been on record in favor of a late-pregnancy regulation that would have exceptions for the life and health of the mother,” she said in a Fox News town hall with former rival Bernie Sanders, in March.

In a statement to Mother Jones after the town hall, her campaign reasserted that stance, saying that Clinton “recognizes that Roe v. Wade provides that restrictions are constitutional later in pregnancy so long as there are clear exceptions for the life and health of the woman.” However, the statement did not include comment on whether she would support an exception for fetal abnormalities.

She wants to repeal the Hyde amendment and has advocated for Medicaid to fund abortions for low-income women.

One of Clinton’s more specific policy pledges on reproductive rights is her commitment to repealing the Hyde amendment, a legislative rider that forbids federal money from being used for abortion services. The amendment disproportionately affects low-income women, as it means that Medicaid, which provides health care to low-income women, is prohibited from providing abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or to preserve the health of the woman.

“Any right that requires you to take extraordinary measures to access it is no right at all…And not as long as we have laws on the book like the Hyde amendment, making it harder for low-income women to exercise their full rights,” she said at a campaign stop in January.

She’s supported increasing access to contraception, including the morning-after pill.

For Clinton, contraception access is a no-brainer. She’s said on multiple occasions that she wants to see abortion be “safe, legal, and rare” — and that one of the best routes to that is good contraceptive access.

Clinton has championed women’s access to contraception, and supports President Barack Obama's healthcare law, which requires that preventive care — including birth control — is available at no cost for many women.

She’s also pushed for emergency contraception. As a senator in 2007, Clinton introduced a bill to require military pharmacies to make emergency contraception available, a policy that failed at the time but was later enacted on the Pentagon’s initiative. And in 2005, she joined Sen. Patty Murray, D-WA, to fight to make the morning-after pill available over the counter.

“Our demand was simple: Base decisions about women’s health on science, not political ideology,” Murray later said to Slate of their push.
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