Newly uncovered audio recordings of a long-time Clinton family confidante and presidential biographer show that former President Bill Clinton believed late-term abortions should be illegal.
In the audio recordings, which were released on Wednesday by the Washington Free Beacon, Taylor Branch recounts conversations he had with the former president in 1997 about the issue of abortion. Branch, who shared an apartment with Bill Clinton in the 1970’s and won a Pulitzer Prize in 1989 for his historical research, wrote a critically acclaimed book in 2009 detailing eight years worth of his conversations with the 42nd president.
According to Branch, Clinton was no fan of late-term abortion and believed that extremist rhetoric from abortion activists made them look cruel and insensitive. Clinton also believed that extremist positions from abortion activists, such as the belief that abortion should be legal up until birth, were political losers:
Clinton said that pro-choice activists “framed the question selfishly by putting it in terms of a woman’s right to do whatever she wanted,” making it seem like they were fighting for a “selfish woman’s right to crush her baby’s skull.”
Clinton saw some of the pro-choice stances as extreme, such as the belief that third-trimester abortion should be legal.
“I believe that if you can’t make up your mind in the first six months, you don’t have the right to have an abortion,” Clinton said according to Branch.
“He said the pro-choice people have essentially allowed their own insensitivities to push them into a losing political situation and make a statesman out of Rick Santorum, which he rolled his eyes at,” said Branch.
Polls have consistently shown that most Americans agree with Clinton that late-term abortions should be banned. Although Bill Clinton specifically referenced a ban on abortion after six months, a clear majority of voters also support bans on abortion after 5 months. As Slate noted in 2014, “Even the most pro-choice people aren’t sold on abortion rights beyond the first trimester.”
Bill Clinton’s comments about the extremism of abortion activists are especially noteworthy given new claims from abortionists that pro-life rhetoric leads to violence and might even be considered a form of domestic terrorism. Planned Parenthood proponents have specifically targeted pro-lifers who highlighted undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood abortionists discussing the harvesting and sale of unborn baby body parts.
“We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part,” a senior Planned Parenthood abortionist tells prospective unborn baby organ buyers in one of the videos. “I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”
According to Taylor Branch, Bill Clinton specifically cited the push by abortion activists for an unfettered legal right to “crush [a] baby’s skull” as evidence of pro-abortion extremism.
Clinton’s comments, as recounted by Branch, raise serious questions about whether Planned Parenthood would consider him to be a domestic terrorist using rhetoric to incite violence against abortionists. The comments also suggest that Clinton, the first Democrat since FDR to be elected to two full terms as president, might not even be able to win a Democratic presidential primary in 2016 given the party’s lurch to the left on issues like abortion. Whereas Clinton said during his presidency that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare,” many modern abortion activists belief the procedure should be unfettered, heavily subsidized by taxpayers, and available up to the point of birth.