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MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin, February 12, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The sixth Democratic presidential debate once again omitted any questions about abortion, but the candidates made strong pledges of support to the abortion industry's trade group and attacked pro-life advocates for “hypocrisy.”

Both sides of the issue had appealed to PBS moderators to raise the issue at last night's debate. Instead, the candidates waded into the subject themselves.

“I was very proud to get the endorsement of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund,” Hillary Clinton said in response to a question about her campaign's appeal to women. “I'm very proud that NARAL endorsed me, because when it comes to it we need a leader on women's issues.”

The Democratic Party must nominate a presidential candidate who not only “votes right, but much more than that, leads the efforts to protect the hard-fought gains that women have made that — make no mistake about it — are under tremendous attack, not just by the Republican presidential candidates but by a whole national effort to try to set back women’s rights.”

She defined what her vision of “women's rights” mean while accepting Planned Parenthood's endorsement in New Hampshire. She said, “Any right that requires you to take measures to access it is no right at all” and called for federal funding of abortion-on-demand.

In his response to her debate statement, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders concurred that there is “no question women's rights are under fierce attack all over this country.”

“I will tell you something that really galls me,” he added.

He said that Republicans believe “government is the enemy,” but “when it comes to a woman having to make a very personal choice, in that case my Republican colleagues love the government and want the government to make that choice for every woman in America.”

“If that's not hypocrisy, I don't know what hypocrisy is,” he said to applause.

For years, authors have said there is no contradiction between supporting limited government and being pro-life, because government's first and most fundamental responsibility is to protect the innocent from harm.

“There is never a right to kill an innocent person,” Libertarians for Life, a small government pro-life group, teaches. “The proper purpose of the law is to side with the innocent, not against them.”

Instead, a wide variety of Americans say it is the position of Sanders and Clinton that is hypocritical. “It is not 'pro-choice' to force others to fund a procedure to which they have fundamental objections,” Richard Doerflinger told a House subcommittee in 2011 on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Among those who have publicly agreed with him is Bill Clinton. In 1986, he wrote a letter to a concerned voter saying, “I am opposed to abortion and to government funding of abortions. We should not spend state funds on abortions, because so many people believe abortion is wrong.”

The following year, then-Congressman Al Gore wrote to a constituent, “In my opinion, it is wrong to spend federal funds for what is arguably the taking of a human life.”

Both Hillary Clinton and Sanders favor taxpayer funding of abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy across the globe, a position underscored as the candidates recently went on record to overturn the Helms Amendment this week.

A Marist poll released last month found that 70 percent of Americans including a majority of those who call themselves “pro-choice,” oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.

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