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PolitiFact: Cruz misstates Clinton’s position on abortion


Sen. Ted Cruz stirred an Austin crowd by declaring that Hillary Clinton favors abortion without limit.

The Republican senator from Texas characterized the Democratic presidential nominee’s position after an audience member at the Texas Tribune Festival asked how the father of two young girls could support “a candidate who is so openly misogynistic,” referring to Cruz’s endorsement the day before of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Cruz stressed his concerns about entrusting Clinton with nominating Supreme Court justices who would, he said, threaten his daughters’ constitutional rights.

When he paused, the audience member voiced another question: “Like the right to choose?”

Cruz replied that the “right to life” needs to be protected, adding: “I can also tell you even on the question of the right to life that the views of Hillary Clinton on abortion are radical and extreme. Her views: She supports unlimited abortion on demand up until the moment of birth, including partial-birth abortion, with taxpayer funding.”

Unlimited to the moment of birth? Readers asked us to check this claim.

We perused Clinton’s own statements and one of her votes as a New York senator.

A January “fact sheet” on her campaign website states that as president, Clinton will ensure the right to choose an abortion is protected, a reference to the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion.

Also, the sheet says, Clinton will “repeal the Hyde amendment to ensure low-income women have access to safe reproductive health care.” That’s potentially a call for more federally funded abortions in that the Hyde amendment, regularly embraced by Congress since 1976, bars government funding of abortion through Medicaid except in cases of rape, incest or to save the health or life of the mother.

Clinton has long said that she’d support a late-term limit on abortion — provided it has exceptions.

In 2003, as a U.S. senator from New York, Clinton was on the losing end of a 64-33 floor vote to advance the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 later signed into law by President George W. Bush. That change — barring physicians from knowingly performing intact dilation and extraction on a living fetus — had no exception to preserve the health or life of the woman.

“Clearly, the administration and my colleagues on the other side of the aisle see this as an opportunity to begin to eliminate Roe v. Wade,” Clinton said at the time, “and the possibility of safe, legal and rare abortions in this country. And many young women don’t seem to understand that this is not an option that they can take for granted.”

Earlier, in an Oct. 8, 2000, candidate debate, Clinton said: “I have said many times that I can support a ban on late-term abortions, including partial-birth abortions, so long as the health and life of the mother is protected. I’ve met women who faced this heart-wrenching decision toward the end of a pregnancy. Of course, it’s a horrible procedure. No one would argue with that. But if your life is at stake, if your health is at stake, if the potential for having any more children is at stake, this must be a woman’s choice.”

In March 2016, more recently, Bret Baier of Fox News asked Clinton during a Democratic presidential town hall whether she favors abortion rights with no exceptions.

Clinton said: “No, I have been on record in favor of a late-pregnancy regulation that would have exceptions for the life and health of the mother. I object to the recent effort in Congress to pass a law saying after 20 weeks, you know, no such exceptions, because although these are rare, they sometimes arise in the most complex, difficult medical situation.”

Our ruling:

Cruz said Clinton “supports unlimited abortion on demand up until the moment of birth, including partial-birth abortion, with taxpayer funding.”

Clinton clearly supports a woman’s right to choose an abortion and she’s called for ending congressional restrictions on Medicaid funding of abortions.

However, she’s said since 2000 that she’d support a legislated late-term limit on abortion if it included an exception to protect the health of the woman — which the law against partial-birth abortions does not.

We rate this statement False.



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