At an event to accept the endorsement of Planned Parenthood in New Hampshire on Sunday, Hillary Clinton called for unlimited taxpayer-funding of elective abortions for Medicaid recipients.
“I believe we need to protect access to safe and legal abortion, not just in principle, but in practice. Any right that requires you to take extraordinary measures to access it is no right at all,” Clinton said. “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 added at the end of a list of restrictions that supposedly deny women a right to abortion.
The Hyde amendment prevents federal funding of abortion through Medicaid, except in cases where the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother or is the result of rape or incest. The ACLU notes that after the Hyde amendment was first passed in 1976, “abortions financed by federal Medicaid funds dropped from about 300,000 per year to a few thousand.” Studies have shown that hundreds of thousands of people are alive today because of the Hyde amendment.
Opposition to direct federal funding of elective abortion is so strong that Democrats didn’t attempt to repeal the Hyde amendment when they held the White House and overwhelming majorities in the Congress from 2009 to 2011. A 2010 Quinnipiac poll found that American voters opposed public funding of abortion by a 40-point margin–67 percent to 27 percent.
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