Fetal Parts Investigative Panel Chair: Hillary Might Use Executive Orders to Push Abortion Ideology

By Dustin Siggins Published on June 21, 2016

A top pro-life Member of Congress told The Stream that presumed Democratic presidential nominee could use Executive Orders to go around Congress on abortion policy.

“On April 3rd, Hillary Clinton said on Meet the Press that an ‘unborn person’ doesn’t have constitutional rights,” said Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). “Think about how strikingly callous that is. The analytical coldness with which she dismissed rights of unborn children reveals a type of hardened core that is shocking. Abortion restrictions are in place precisely because an unborn child does have constitutional rights.”

“What’s even more troubling is that her comments may signal an intention, much the way President Obama has on immigration, to use executive action to block even minimal protections of life at its most vulnerable stage.”

Clinton, who in 2008 said she wanted abortion to be “safe, legal, and rare,” told Planned Parenthood earlier this month that “I will always have your back.” Her voting record includes voting against the partial-birth abortion ban in 2003, and in the current presidential race, she opposed bans on third-trimester abortions unless exceptions were allowed for the health and life of the mother.

Created Equal President Mark Harrington told The Stream that Clinton’s dismissal of constitutional rights for the unborn proves the validity of Blackburn’s concern. “What other kind of constitutional right do we want people to rarely express?” he asked. “She is for abortion all the way up to the point of birth. She’s said that. She’s for late-term abortions. I’d say no, there no limits” to Clinton’s support for abortion.

“It’s politically correct for her to say that they should be safe, legal, and rare. It plays well. But her words don’t match her policies or what she really stands for.”

While Obama has issued fewer Executive Orders than his two predecessors, he has issued at least a dozen affecting immigration, including some that conservative immigration advocates say are unconstitutional. The Supreme Court may decide this month on whether the president’s actions allowing four to five million people various levels of legal status is constitutional, especially given that statutory law passed by Congress makes such orders illegal.

Whether unborn children currently have constitutional rights is up to the interpreter. Harrington said the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion nationwide but also said limits could be instituted at the point of viability, offered some constitutional rights to the unborn child. “I think that’s the only conclusion you can make of their decision,” he said.

NIFLA founder and attorney Tom Glessner disagreed. “Unborn children have constitutional rights if, but only if, they are acknowledged as ‘persons’ under the Constitution,” he told The Stream. “The 14th Amendment protects the lives of ‘persons.’  However, in Roe v. Wade, the United States Supreme Court held that regardless of their humanity, unborn children are not considered ‘persons’ under the 14th Amendment and cannot be protected.”

“Hillary Clinton’s comment (a slip of the tongue no doubt) simply acknowledges the error of the Supreme Court in Roe,” continued Glessner. “While a state may limit abortions at the point of viability there is no requirement for them to do so because even after viability and before birth, the unborn are not ‘persons.’  Further, the high court said that even after viability, a state may not prohibit abortion if it is necessary to protect the ‘health’ of the mother.  Its definition of ‘health’ reasons for abortion is so broad that virtually any reason for an abortion after viability can be used to justify the act.”

According to Harrington, any limits on Clinton’s executive power if she wins the White House in November are “what Congress makes of them. We live in a post-constitutional era. It’s really what the president thinks he can get away with.”

The Stream reached out to the ACLU for comment on Rep. Blackburn’s remarks, but has not yet received an answer.


Editors Note: Tom Glessner is a client of this author separate from The Stream. His inclusion in this article is based upon his expertise in abortion law and the U.S. Constitution, and no compensation was received for the inclusion.

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