Gotcha, Hillary! (No, Not Really.)
April 25, 2015

At the Daily Caller, Kerry Picket has what seems to be a Hillary Clinton gotcha:

Hillary On Abortion: ‘Deep-Seated Cultural Codes, Religious Beliefs And Structural Biases Have To Be Changed’

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took a feminist tone on Thursday. She told attendees at the sixth annual Women in The World Summit that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed” for the sake of giving women access to “reproductive health care and safe childbirth.”

“Far too many women are denied access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth, and laws don’t count for much if they’re not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice -- not just on paper,” Clinton said.

Hot Air's Ed Morrissey, citing a tweet from a Religion News Service reporter, writes:

David Gibson suggested this might be Hillary Clinton’s “clinging to guns and religion” moment, and he may be right....

In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is. As Hillary admits here -- albeit unwittingly -- the at-will destruction of the unborn goes against religious beliefs, long-held cultural values, and the structural “biases” that exist to recognize the value of human life. That’s what the “clump of cells” fallacy has to overcome, and as Hillary and the Left have discovered, it’s a tall order. And it’s not just abortion, but also same-sex marriage and forced participation in it, euthanasia dressed up as “right to die” movements, and the rest.

Is this an accurate reflection of what she really said?

Well, you might think so if you've only read the quote as excerpted by the Caller, or if you took the Caller's advice and watched the speech clip starting at 8:26:

But try watching it from 6:31. Here's what Clinton says, in context:

All the evidence tells us that despite the enormous obstacles that remain, there has never been a better time in history to be born female. Think about that. A girl born twenty years ago in Tanzania could not hope to one day own or inherit property. Today she can. If she were born in Nepal, there was a tragically high chance that her mother and even she would die in childbirth. Today, thankfully, that is far less likely. A girl born twenty years ago in Rwanda grew up in the shadow of genocide and rape. Today she can be proud that women have led the way out of that dark time, and now there are more women serving in her country's parliament than anywhere else in the world.

But the data leads to a second conclusion: that despite all this progress, we're just not there yet. Yes, we've nearly closed the global gender gap in primary school. But secondary school remains out of reach for so many girls around the world. Yes, we've increased the number of countries prohibiting domestic violence. But still, more than half the nations in the world have no such laws on the books, and an estimated one in three women still experience violence. Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half. But far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth.

All the laws we've passed don't count for much if they're not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will, and deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.

She's talking about women being able to go to school and own property and live in societies where rape and beatings aren't shrugged off. She's talking about women being able to survive carrying a child to term. Undoubtedly she would include access to abortion under the heading of reproductive health care, but she explicitly includes prenatal care.

She's not saying what these people claim she's saying.

But that's how the right does it. If this gets picked up by Fox or Drudge (or both), every conservative will be certain forever that Hillary made a big speech in 2015 focusing on abortion (or maybe abortion plus euthanasia and gay marriage) and demanded that all cultures be forced to yield to them, and to hell with their cultural values.

It's a huge distortion of the truth. But distorting the truth is what the right-wing media does best.

Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.