Clinton backs Planned Parenthood, hails battle flag removal

Clinton backs Planned Parenthood, hails battle flag removal

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton praised South Carolina leaders for removing the Confederate flag from Statehouse grounds yet said the country must "dig deeper" against racial injustice.

"America's long struggle with racism is far from finished," she said at a technical college in Greenville, South Carolina, on Thursday.

Separately, she defended Planned Parenthood against attacks from her Republican counterparts who are using an edited video to accuse the women's health care & abortion provider of profiting from the sale of fetal tissue to researchers.

p>She accused Republicans of a "concerted effort" to undermine a woman's constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy.

It was Clinton's first campaign appearance in South Carolina, which holds the South's first presidential primary, since the massacre at a black church in Charleston prompted the flag's removal by Republican Gov. Nikki Haley & the GOP-run legislature.

In Greenville, Clinton praised "your governor," though she did not call Haley by name.

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Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton greets supporter & poses for photos at a ca …

At an earlier stop in West Columbia, a few miles from the Capitol, where the Confederate banner was removed earlier this month, Clinton declared, "Anybody who says we don't have more progress to make is blind."

She offered a harsh assessment of a criminal justice system she said is unfair to African-Americans.

"There are clear, undeniable racial disparities," she said. "We shouldn't have to gloss it over or pretend it will just go away if we are nicer to each other." She said: "We have to dig deeper," & that all Americans should rally behind the cry, "black lives matter."

The phrase spread rapidly after the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, & Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina. The white officer who shot Brown was not charged. In the South Carolina case, the officer captured on video shooting Scott in the back has since been fired & charged with murder. Clinton moreover cited the Texas case of Sandra Bland, who was found dead in her jail cell last week after her arrest during a traffic stop.

Though she promised to address "mass incarceration" of young black males, she declined in a news conference afterward to denounce her advocacy of crime legislation signed by her husband, President Bill Clinton, that stiffened sentences for many nonviolent offenders.

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Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton reacts to a questions Thursday, July 23, 2015 …

"We were facing different problems in the '80s & '90s which I did allude to here today," she said, referring to spiking crime rates. But, she added, "It is time for us to say, what have we learned & what do we need to do now. That is what I am talking about."

On Planned Parenthood, Clinton did not address details of the videos circulated by an anti-abortion group that taped a Planned Parenthood executive discussing the sale of fetal tissue from aborted fetuses.

Republican say the initial, edited version of the video shows Planned Parenthood profits from the practice. The full video shows the executive discussing fees intended only to cover the cost of processing tissue samples.

"Planned Parenthood has apologized for the insensitivity of the employee who was taped, & they will continue to answer questions of Congress & others," Clinton said.

But she said Planned Parenthood provides "essential services for women, not just reproductive health services" & shouldn't suffer further financial hits because of the latest stories.

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Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton greets supporter & poses for photos after a …

Clinton repeated her call for more federal spending on early childhood education & infrastructure as well as on expanding broadband Internet access in poor areas.

She again avoided taking a specific position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. "Every trade deal does have pluses & minuses," she said, noting she both backed & rejected such agreements as a senator. "It's our job to maximize the pluses."

Clinton is set to deliver another economic address Friday in New York, where she will urge American businesses to break free from a short-term focus on quarterly earnings reports.

Her campaign said the proposals would include raising capital gains taxes for some investors to provide incentives for long-held investments, greater disclosure of stock buybacks by corporations & reviews of rules pertaining to executive compensation & stockholder activism.

She did not directly answer a question approximately whether she backs legislation that would split up banks that she again said are part of "a 'too huge to fail' problem."

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Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton greets supporter & poses for photos after a …

Instead, Clinton said regulators should be given the opportunity to "fully implement" the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul that President Barack Obama signed in 2010.

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Associated Press writer Lisa Lerer in Washington & Ken Thomas in New York contributed to this report.

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Follow Bill Barrow on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/BillBarrowAP

Hillary Rodham ClintonPlanned ParenthoodSouth CarolinaBill Clinton

Source: “Associated Press”

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