Hillary Clinton comforts Kelly Clarkson as she tearfully recalls being hospitalised during pregnancies

Former US secretary of state and ‘The Kelly Clarkson Show’ host discussed Arizona’s 1864 law that bans nearly all abortions

Meredith Clark
New York
Wednesday 17 April 2024 17:37 BST
Related: Tearful Kelly Clarkson tears into ‘cruelty’ of Arizona abortion ban

Kelly Clarkson and Hillary Clinton recently sat down for a candid conversation about women’s reproductive rights.

The former US secretary of state appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show on 15 April, where she spoke with the American Idol winner about the Arizona Supreme Court’s recent decision to uphold an 1864 law that bans nearly all abortions.

When Clinton was asked by Clarkson if she ever thought she’d witness such a sweeping abortion ban – which provides no exceptions for rape or incest – in her lifetime, the former Democratic presidential candidate replied: “I feared it would happen but I hoped it wouldn’t happen.”

“The danger to women’s lives, as well as our right to make our own decisions about our bodies and ourselves, is so profound and there’s another element to it which I find so troubling,” Clinton continued. “There’s a kind of cruelty to it – no exceptions for rape or incest. I mean, really?”

Their discussion about abortion rights prompted Clarkson to open up about being hospitalised twice while she was pregnant with her two children. As the “Since U Been Gone” singer recalled her difficult pregnancies, Clarkson became overcome with emotion.

“I have been pregnant twice, hospitalised both times. I asked God – this is a real thing – to just take me and my son in the hospital the second time,” she shared, before pausing as her eyes welled up with tears. “It’s the worst thing. I didn’t know I’d get emotional, sorry.”

Tearful Kelly Clarkson tears into ‘cruelty’ of Arizona abortion ban

Clinton offered some words of encouragement to Clarkson by reminding her that she’s “speaking for so many” women who have had similar pregnancy experiences. “It’s okay because you’re speaking for so many. You’re speaking for literally millions of women in our country and around the world,” she told Clarkson.

After she regained her composure, the “Stronger” singer maintained that it “was [her] decision” to follow through with her pregnancies.

“It was just the worst. To make some woman go through that?” Clarkson said. “It was my decision and I’m so glad I did it, I love my babies. But to make someone… The fact that you would take that away from someone,” she said about a woman’s right to choose.

“That it can literally kill them. The fact if they’re raped… by their family member… and they have to - like that, it’s just like insane to me,” Clarkson added.

On 9 April, the Arizona Supreme Court enforced the landmark decision to ban nearly all abortions, citing an 1864 law that suggests that physicians can be prosecuted for providing, supplying, or administering a medical or surgical abortion.

“In light of this opinion, physicians are now on notice that all abortions, except those necessary to save a woman’s life, are illegal,” the ruling said. The justices noted additional criminal and regulatory sanctions may apply to abortions performed after 15 weeks of pregnancy, with a sentence of two to five years in prison upon conviction.

The 1864 law, which predates Arizona’s statehood, also provides no exceptions for rape or incest and allows abortions only if the mother’s life is in jeopardy.

Clarkson, 41, shares two children with ex-husband Brandon Blackstock: daughter River, nine, and son Remy, eight. The Grammy winner previously opened up about her difficult second pregnancy in a 2015 interview with CBS Mornings. She noted at the time that she was having “really bad” all-day sickness, similar to her first pregnancy, and had “to get IVs and fluids because I get so dehydrated.”

She confirmed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show one year later that she was “done” having children, and shared in a separate interview that she had undergone a tubal ligation surgery to prevent from becoming pregnant again.

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