Carly Fiorina has a message for Democrats who oppose a ban on late-term abortions: You don't represent most women. The Republican presidential candidate and former Hewlett-Packard CEO said she backs a bill, passed by the House of Representatives and just introduced in the Senate, that limits abortions after 20 weeks of gestation except in cases of rape, incest, and where the life of the mother is at stake.
"I would support this bill if I were president," Fiorina said, in a conference call with reporters Thursday. By contrast, Hillary Clinton said that the House bill "puts women's health and rights at risk," and President Obama has said he would veto the proposal.
Fiorina, who describes herself as pro-life, said Democrats who oppose the legislation do so at their own political peril. "They are not in the mainstream of public opinion anymore. They’re not in the mainstream of women anymore," she said. "I predicted that Democrats would oppose this bill, but I find it a very hard position for them to reconcile."
Several polls in recent years have shown a majority of women as well as Americans in general support bans on abortions that occur after 20 weeks of gestation, which is when science has shown a fetus can survive outside the womb.
The Republican-led House, joined by a handful of Democrats, passed the late-term abortion ban last month after an abortive attempt to pass the bill in January. South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham introduced the Senate version of the bill this week. Graham is also running for president.
Democrats pounced on the bill. “I don’t think it’s the right thing to do and I don’t think it helps them politically,” said New York senator Chuck Schumer, according to Politico. “In 2016, voters across the country – men and women alike – will remember that Senate Republicans were more interested in playing politics with women’s health than in moving our country forward,” said Sadie Weiner of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Fiorina, who will give a speech in Washington Thursday evening about feminism in America, also spoke about the issue of over-the-counter birth control, which some Capitol Hill Republicans have proposed in recent weeks. Some Democrats are arguing insurance companies should cover the cost of OTC birth control, essentially providing it "free."
"There is nothing that is actually free. We have loads of data that support that when you put something over the counter, the costs plummet dramatically," Fiorina said. "I really think this is a specious argument on the Democrat side. I don’t understand why they’re opposing over-the-counter birth control, it’s completely illogical, which sometimes happens with ideology."