Rarely have presidential nominees declared, without qualification, the it’s a woman’s ideal to choose.

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Hillary Clinton stands at the lectern during the third and final 2016 presidential campaign debate.  (Lucy Nicholson / Reuters)

Even in a presidential campaign that has come to be so intensely focused on gender, there to be something surreal around watching Hillary Clinton’s solution to a question about abortion in Wednesday night’s debate.

Here was the first woman nominated by a significant party because that the United claims presidency, was standing on the debate stage in “suffragette white,” and talking in no uncertain terms around her strong commitment to protecting a woman’s ideal to “make the many intimate, most challenging in plenty of cases, decisions around her health treatment that one have the right to imagine.”

Democrats room expected to support abortion rights, that course, but that support is regularly couched with closely hedged language. This is one understandable impulse, provided how divisive the worry of abortion remains.

“I would never have actually an abortion,” said Geraldine Ferraro, a Democrat and also the very first female evil presidential candidate because that a significant party, in a 1984 debate, “but ns was not rather sure if i were ever to end up being pregnant as result of a rape if I would certainly be the self-righteous.” Ferraro and also others have regularly talked about being pro-choice together a matter of separation in between church and state. (“I will certainly accept the teaching of the church, but I can not impose my spiritual views on someone else,” she stated in that same debate. “I truly take it an oath as a public main to represent all the people in mine district, not just the Catholics.”)

In 1992, Al Gore explained his ticket’s pro-choice stance through a caveat: “Bill Clinton and I assistance the best of a woman to choose,” Gore said. “That doesn"t typical we"re pro-abortion; in fact, we believe there are means too many abortions in this country.”

More recently, chairman Obama has echoed the Clinton-Gore method in his very own comments top top Roe v. Wade, emphasizing his assistance for a woman’s right to choose while additionally focusing ~ above the need to reduce “unintended pregnancies” and also minimize “the require for abortion.”

Implicit in many of this statements is the idea that abortion is no really the best choice—but the women have to be enabled to make it anyway.

Last night, top top the national stage, Clinton rubbish this implication. She did no hedge her assistance for Roe v. Wade. And also she did not promote the idea that abortions should, or even can, it is in avoided. (To it is in clear, though, she has supported late-pregnancy restrictions on abortions v exceptions because that the health and wellness of the mother and fetus.)

The article was loud and also clear: A woman’s best to select is a woman’s appropriate to choose. Period.

“I will defend Roe v. Wade,” she said, “and i will safeguard women"s rights to do their own healthcare decisions.”

“I’ll confess ns felt a little thrill,” Emily Bazelon, a staff writer at The new York times Magazine composed in a blog post. “More than at any big moment due to the fact that the convention, Mrs. Clinton owned her feminism. She sounded like the first woman to run for president, defending other women—our autonomy and our manage of our own bodies.”

Donald Trump, top top the other hand, characterized Clinton’s position as “not acceptable” to him: “I think it"s disastrous if you go v what Hillary is saying,” the said, when asked for his view on late-term abortions. “In the ninth month you have the right to take the baby and rip the baby the end of the womb that the mother simply prior to the birth of the baby.” (Very couple of abortions room performed ~ the 20-week note of a woman’s pregnancy, permit alone at the finish of a 40-week pregnancy—just 1 percent of every abortions take location past 21 weeks, follow to The Washington Post. Numerous of the few women who acquire late-term abortions do so since their fetus cannot survive exterior the womb, or because their own lives space at risk.)

Trump’s graphic language seemed prefer an noticeable dog-whistle come the pro-life movement, i beg your pardon favors using vivid and often inaccurate explanation of what happens to fetuses to do its argument versus abortions. Clinton, blasting Trump’s “scare rhetoric,” refocused the conversation on women.

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“You should fulfill with several of the females that I"ve met with—women I"ve recognized over the course of mine life,” she said. “This is just one of the worst feasible choices that any kind of woman and her family members has come make. And also I perform not think the federal government should it is in making it.”

“I’ve to be to countries where governments either compelled women to have abortions favor they offered to perform in China or forced women come bear children like they supplied to perform in Romania,” she added. “And I can tell you the federal government has no company in the decision that women make through their families in accordance through their faith, with clinical advice and also I will stand increase for that right.”

Clinton’s message, unequivocally, is that women aren’t just baby-growers. Women are humans. And also that, together Clinton likes to say, women’s civil liberties are human rights. That’s one of her go-to lines on the project trail, and there’s a reason it has actually stuck. Never in U.S. Background has a presidential nominee been so convincing around her id that the true.