There’s been no shortage of reaction after news broke earlier this month that former Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton will be honored with Planned Parenthood’s first-ever “Champion of the Century Award.”
According to a Planned Parenthood press release, the organization will honor Clinton at a May 2 gala event titled, “100 Years Strong: The Celebration of a Century,” in observance of “her 40 years of service to women and girls in this country.”
The event — a celebration of the organization’s centennial — will also honor TV producer Shonda Rhimes, who will be given the “Champion of Change Award” for “revolutionizing the way women and issues of reproductive health — including safe, legal abortion — are portrayed on television.”
Social media reaction to Clinton’s honor has been swift:
PATHETIC! Planned Parenthood is honoring Crooked Hillary Clinton as its "Champion of the Century" https://t.co/XDGg2xAJYm
— The National Pulse (@TheNatPulse) April 17, 2017
Of course Planned Parenthood is honoring Hillary! Had she won she would have made Planned Parenthood a fourth branch of government.
— Judie Brown (@Judie_Brown) April 18, 2017
So grateful that Hillary Clinton is not the President of the USA. She favors aborting unborn babies at any stage. https://t.co/tPGUdWJrOH
— Pastor Steve Gaines (@bellevuepastor) April 18, 2017
— Albert Mohler (@albertmohler) April 18, 2017
National Review fellow Alexandra Desanctis decried the awards as evidence that, “Planned Parenthood is an abortion corporation that seeks every possible opportunity to glorify abortion and deify the public figures who push for total access to government-funded abortion-on-demand.”
But while critics sounded off, Planned Parenthood is hoping the event attracts 1,000 supporters who can help benefit both the Planned Parenthood Federation of America as well as the organization’s New York City branch, so that the organization can continue to provide “access to sexual and reproductive health care,” according to the press release.
The decision to honor Clinton comes after a highly contentious presidential campaign season in which the Democratic leader often took heat — and received accolades — for her stance on abortion.
The issue really took off after the Democratic Party decided to call for a repeal of the Hyde Amendment in its official platform — a law that bans public funding for abortion. Then, in October, the abortion issue once again reared its head. It was during an Oct. 19 debate between Clinton and then-Republican contender Donald Trump that Clinton doubled down on her late-term abortion stance.
“The kinds of cases that fall at the end of pregnancy are often the most heartbreaking, painful decisions for families to make,” Clinton said. “I have met with women who toward the end of their pregnancy get the worst news one could get, that their health is in jeopardy if they continue to carry to term or that something terrible has happened or just been discovered about the pregnancy.”
She continued, “I do not think the United States government should be stepping in and making those most personal of decisions. So you can regulate if you are doing so with the life and the health of the mother taken into account.”
As Faithwire noted at the time, Trump pushed back, calling Clinton’s stance on abortion “terrible,” specifically when it comes to late-term procedures. Using graphic language to illustrate his take, he said Clinton essentially condones taking a baby and “rip(ping) the baby out of the womb” in the ninth month of pregnancy — just before its birth.
Tax $ never funded abortion. You eliminated cancer screening, STD testing, family planning & women's healthcare. Nothing to be proud of. https://t.co/WngwAxKzfw
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) April 14, 2017
“Now, you can say that that’s OK and Hillary can say that that’s OK, but it’s not OK with me, because based on what she’s saying, and based on where she’s going, and where she’s been, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month on the final day,” Trump reiterated. “And that’s not acceptable.”
It was a back-and-forth that showed just how profoundly divergent the two parties remain on the contentious social issue.
Earlier this year, Michael Wear, who worked in the Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships under former President Barack Obama, told Faithwire where he believes Clinton went wrong leading up to her stunning loss to Trump.
Rather than broadening the tent, he said the Democratic Party seemed to rally around an ideological agenda that focused on “issues that concern a lot of people of faith.” In addition to claiming that Clinton didn’t do much outreach to evangelicals, he noted that the Hyde Amendment stance was also problematic.
Listen to what Wear had to say at the 1 hour, 15-minute mark below:
The Planned Parenthood award is sure to only further alienate Clinton from the very audience that turned up at the polls to vote against her. But the former presidential candidate doesn’t seem too intent in separating herself from the contentious abortion issue, as she delivered an interview this month seemingly taking aim at Trump.
“All of the men sitting around the table deciding how they were going to defund Planned Parenthood, end maternity care and access to contraception ― looking at that picture, you just think it’s got to be from a skit on ‘Saturday Night Live,'” she said.
As for Rhimes, who created hit shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal,” she recently joined Planned Parenthood’s national board, and has tackled the issue of abortion on at least one of her ABC television shows.
Case-in-point: An episode of “Scandal” featured main character Olivia Pope, played by actress Kerry Washington, presumably undergoing an abortion as “Silent Night” played in the background.
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