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Hillary Clinton Quotes About Motherhood Show She's Serious About All Women's Rights


As the front-runner for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 election, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could possibly be the first female president the United States has ever had. But, as she often notes in speeches and interviews (and even in her Twitter bio!), she's also a proud mother and grandmother, intimately understanding what it feels like for all of the other women who also have those roles in their own lives. That's why Hillary Clinton's quotes about motherhood are so important to hear: for the first time, women aren't just hearing from men who say they "respect" women (or, if you're Mitt Romney, that you have "binders full of" them); they're actually hearing from someone who has experienced what it's like to be a mother — even if, to be fair, her experience of motherhood was decidedly more privileged than most.

Have kids quickly teaches you how all-consuming parenthood can be, and how difficult it can feel at times to find balance — to maintain your own identity while also being the best parent you can be for your children. That's why hearing Clinton speak about motherhood is so valuable, and why some of these quotes are likely to resonate with women everywhere, even those who aren't staunchly #TeamClinton.

"For All The Dorothys"

Motherhood was the focus of Clinton's first television ad for her presidential campaign. Specifically, she spoke about her own mother, Dorothy, and how having a "champion" in her life despite her difficult upbringing helped her become a loving, dedicated mother. Inspired by her mother's example, Clinton said,

"If You Really Want To Know How Strong[ ] A Country's Health System Is, Look At The Well-being of Its Mothers."

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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C) greets a young child as she talks with US Embassy employees and their families at the Chief of Mission Residence in Oslo, on June 1, 2012. AFP PHOTO / POOL / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

In June 2012, Clinton spoke as Secretary of State at the Global Health Summit in Oslo, Norway, discussing maternal health. In her remarks, she spoke about the importance of high-quality maternal healthcare and healthcare for women in general, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. Speaking briefly about her own birth experience in the United States versus those of women in less developed countries, Clinton said,

Clinton went on to emphasize the role maternal health plays in a country's ability to prosper, saying,


It Is Past Time For Women To Take Their Rightful Place ... In The Rooms Where ... Their Children's ... Fates, Are Decided"

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WEST PALM BEACH, FL - MARCH 15: Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during her primary night gathering on March 15, 2016 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Hillary Clinton defeated rival U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Florida, Ohio and North Carolina primaries. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Clinton spoke about the importance of women again in 2012, as the keynote speaker at the International Crisis Group's awards ceremony. According to Elle, she told the crowd:

(Mothers and grandmothers everywhere are surely nodding their heads in agreement!)

"Thinking About Everything You Want To Do ... To Give That Child The Best Chance In Life ... Is Profoundly Moving To Me."

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DETROIT, MI - MARCH 6: Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the Russell Street Baptist Church March 6, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. Clinton is campaigning in Michigan ahead of the primary on March 8. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

It's not just motherhood that has affected Clinton's view, but also becoming a grandmother to her first grandchild, Charlotte, in 2014 (daughter Chelsea is currently pregnant with baby #2). On being a grandmother, Clinton told People:

She's also drawn on her experience as a grandmother in other ways, like when she spoke out on Twitter in support of vaccines:

"You Cannot Have Maternal Health Without Reproductive Health"

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HOOKSETT, NH - JANUARY 10: Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks after receiving an endorsement from Planned Parenthood Action Fund at Southern New Hampshire University January 10, 2016 in Hooksett, New Hampshire. This marks the first time the organization has ever given an endorsement in a primary race. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Maternal health is a cause that is clearly important to Clinton, as it is something she has discussed (and continues to discuss) many times. In 2010, Clinton visited Canada as Secretary of State to speak at a G8 meeting of foreign ministers, ahead of a summit focusing specifically on improving maternal health around the world. Clinton pushed back at then-Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who did not want to discuss abortion as part of the maternal health discussion. According to the Center For Reproductive Rights, Clinton said:


Of course, a president does not have to be a mother in order to represent women's interests (and women's rights encompasses so much more than just motherhood, anyway, particularly since many women don't have children). But being able to hear discussions like these from someone who stands a good chance at leading the country is definitely a nice change.