On the day she delivered a rousing speech in which she pledged to end the epidemic of abortion, Hillary Clinton called abortion a human right.
In a speech to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees on Thursday, Clinton said she would “fight to end abortion in every state” and that “abortion is a human rights issue.”
Clinton, who has long supported abortion rights, said abortion should be a choice, not a condition.
The former secretary of state made the remarks while speaking at the AFL-CIO convention in Detroit, where she was also the keynote speaker.
While the speech was widely praised by labor unions, the issue is polarizing.
Some Democrats, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, criticized Clinton for her rhetoric and called for a more “pragmatic” approach.
Many Republicans, including Trump, have questioned whether abortion should even be legal.
During her speech Thursday, however, Clinton focused on the lives of women and their unborn children.
“The unborn child, and all children, deserve to be protected from the horrific choices that many of us make every day,” Clinton said.
“I believe in the sanctity of life.
But the unborn child deserves to be safe.
And I know that every mother has the right to make her own personal decision about the best way to care for her child.”
Clinton did not mention abortion by name in her speech.
But in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash in January, Clinton had said she opposed abortion in the first trimester.
“But I have to be very clear, I don’t want to ban abortion in this case, I think there are circumstances where it is appropriate,” she said at the time.
“In the first three months of pregnancy, the fetus is not fully developed.
And the unborn infant has the potential to be the victim of violence.
So I think that’s one of the reasons that we have to respect the right of the mother to make that choice.”
The former first lady was referring to cases of rape, incest, and murder.
She also argued that abortion is a form of violence against women.
But she has since softened her stance on abortion.
In February, the former secretary called for abortion to be allowed in certain circumstances, but only after a woman’s health is in danger.
Clinton told Bash that while abortion should never be banned in a pregnancy, “it should be in the second trimester.”
On Thursday, she again said that she was for a “choice for women.”
“I don’t think we should be saying we’re going to allow a woman to abort in the third trimester of pregnancy because she’s in danger of being raped or murdered,” Clinton told the AFLCIO.
“That is not how we should approach this issue.”