On many occasions, Hillary Clinton has stated her (once held) belief that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare.” At one time that was considered acceptable, but no longer. Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard recently voiced her support for the same philosophy and immediately came under attack. Vice News even wrote an article titled, “Tulsi Gabbard’s Stance on Abortion Is Stuck in the ‘90s.” So, what’s wrong with that? 

Abortion is always a tragedy, for the mother, child and the entire family. It can also impact relationships for decades to come. Focusing on making abortion rare is definitely not a bad thing, but that’s not what abortion activists believe.

“I cannot think of a less compelling way to advocate for something than saying that it should be rare,” said Amelia Bonow, the cofounder of the website Shout Your Abortion, which encourages women to share their abortion stories. “And anyone who uses that phrase is operating from the assumption that abortion is a bad thing.” 

But isn’t abortion a bad thing? No matter how you look at it, a life has been lost. In any other situation, that would be a tragedy instead of a policy.

Surprisingly, even former Planned Parenthood president, Dr. Leana Wen, agrees. On Twitter she wrote, “I don’t agree with @TulsiGabbard on a lot, but I do appreciate that she brought up the third rail for Democrats: that abortion should be ‘safe, legal and rare.’ We should reduce the need for abortions by investing in prevention.” … “(It) was also courageous (of) @TulsiGabbard to bring up the nuances (of abortion policy). Most Americans hold complex truths: they can both personally oppose abortion and support others’ right to choose; they can both feel uncomfortable about abortion and not want women to die from back-alley procedures.”

There is an immense amount of truth in Dr. Wen’s words, and it’s evident now why Planned Parenthood let her go. It wasn’t her competency as a leader or as a medical professional, but her desire to try and meet pro-life groups half-way. Instead of abortion on demand, at any point and for any reason, she wanted to minimize the number of abortions that occur through prevention. But of course that will affect Planned Parenthood’s bottom line. 

In addition, Gabbard also mentioned her belief that third trimester abortions should only be done to help protect the life of the mother.

“I support codifying Roe v. Wade while making sure that during the third trimester, abortion is not an option unless the life or severe health consequences of the woman are at risk,” Gabbard said during the October 16 debate.

Again, those were brave words but completely rational as well. There is no reason for a third trimester abortion, ever. After the 26th week, even in the event of a health emergency, a baby could be born and survive outside the womb with medical support. Again, her advocacy for this commonsense restriction puts her in the crosshairs of pro-abortion activists. 

With Planned Parenthood building mega abortion facilities in cities across the country, it is encouraging to see at least one Democratic candidate support something other than abortion on demand. While it would be great if abortion is illegal, we’re not there yet. But if some on the liberal side are willing to embrace a less radical approach to abortion, that definitely isn’t a bad thing.