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 American Life League

AMES, Iowa, October 6, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards said “I don’t know” when an unborn child should be protected from abortion, because “honestly, that’s not the problem we are facing in America.”

Richards spoke with WHO radio host Doug Wagner on Tuesday during a campaign tour of Iowa on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

Clearly taking her off-guard, Wagner twice asked Richards when she believes an unborn child enjoys legal protection against being killed in the womb.

After she changed the subject, Wagner followed up, “At what point does that child – or that unborn person, fetus – whatever you want to call it – at what point does that baby get the constitutional rights?”

“Actually, I don’t know that there’s an exact answer for that,” she said, after stumbling over her words. Her phone then cut out as she continued, saying “that women have and there are – as you know – restrictions on women’s ability to terminate a pregnancy, and when they can. But until a pregnancy is viable they have the right to make that decision.”

The Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade allows states to regulate abortion only after the point of viability, which has been consistently revised downward since the 1973 ruling, but some states allow abortions well past that point.

Nonetheless, Richards found herself unconcerned about discovering a point at which human rights must be respected and protected from aggression.

“I think it really – honestly, that’s not the problem we are facing in America,” she said.

Instead, she celebrated the fact that “under the Affordable Care Act, finally 55 million women able to get birth control at no cost. To me, that’s what government should be focused on.” Richards went on to say that ObamaCare has been a success but needs a “public option” to expand government control of health care.

Her response echoed the stance taken by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton who, in April, told “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd, “The unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights.” “Under our laws currently, that is not something that exists,” she said. “That’s an important distinction, that under Roe v. Wade we’ve had enshrined under our Constitution…I want to maintain that constitutional protection.”

Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, has endorsed Clinton, who has promised the business more government funding if elected president.

Yet Richards tried to present her indifference to Constitutional rights as the limited government position on Tuesday, telling Wagner, “It’s impossible to think that you would now give the right about a pregnancy, and decision about a pregnancy, over to government, which is what you’re talking about.”

Wagner replied, “I’m not talking about the pregnancy portion. I’m talking about the constitutional right about that individual, who is separate and distinct.”

“Well, that is the pregnancy,” Richards interjected. 

Richards, who is not used to being pressed during media interviews, has had the time to prepare a more nuanced answer to the question of human embryology. TV host Jorge Ramos asked her when she believes life begins in 2014.

“It is not something that I feel like is really part of this conversation…I don't know that it's really relevant to the conversation,” Richards told Ramos.

“I'm the mother of three children,” she finally said. “For me, life began when I delivered them.”

She added that her children have “probably” been “the most important thing in my life ever since.”

Later that year, Richards said having an abortion “wasn’t a difficult decision” for her.

The full WHO interview is available online here. The question begins at approximately 2:38.