Failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was given the “Champion of the Century” Award from the nation’s largest abortion provider Tuesday night with a kiss on the cheek from her dear friend, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards.
In her speech, Clinton called defending abortion access “an issue of morality” adding, "I wish it were common ground, but I know for sure it is higher ground. And I believe, as you do, that trusting and valuing women is the right and moral position to take."
Clinton called "protecting access to the full range of reproductive health care” a “health issue” and “core economic issue,” but added that “anyone who wants to lead should also understand that fundamentally, this is an issue of morality.”
She did address the nation’s division on the issue saying, "I believe we can and should respect deeply held beliefs of our friends, our neighbors, our fellow citizens, even if they differ from our own. That's what should make America, America.”
But she added that it is possible to respect others' beliefs “while holding firm to what we know is the only right approach in our diverse democracy. Oh, yes, let's respect people's convictions, but never back down from our commitment to defend the ability of every woman to make these deeply personal decisions for herself."
Clinton also referenced Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale which is now a popular Hulu series about a woman forced to live as a concubine in a theocratic regime. Many in the media have called the series “timely” and have made comparisons to Trump’s America.
“I’m not suggesting this dystopian future is around the corner,” Clinton acknowledged, “but this show has prompted important conversations about women’s rights and autonomy.”
“In The Handmaid’s Tale, women’s rights are gradually, slowly stripped away. As one character says, ‘We didn’t look up from our phones until it was too late.’ It is not too late for us, but we have to encourage the millions of women and men who support Planned Parenthood’s mission to keep fighting,” she urged. “To paraphrase Margaret Atwood, we can never let them grind us down.”
Clinton’s remarks come at a time when America is deeply divided on the issue of abortion. Recent remarks by DNC Chair Tom Perez that Democratic candidates must share the party’s position on the issue have revealed a division in the Democratic party over abortion as well.
This is the second award that Hillary Clinton has received from the abortion giant. In 2014 as Secretary of State, Clinton received the organization’s “highest honor, the PPFA Margaret Sanger Award,” for “her unwavering support of women’s health and rights throughout her public service career.”
Planned Parenthood’s 2014-2015 report boasts 323,999 abortions in one year and 1 million unborn babies killed over the past three years.