Washington: Preserving the right to seek and obtain an abortion will remain a key component of Hillary Clinton's presidential bid, the presumptive Democratic nominee said Friday.
Speaking to the political arm of the national reproductive health and advocacy organization Planned Parenthood, Clinton placed herself in stark contrast to her Republican rival Donald Trump, whom she portrayed as a sexist enemy of women's rights.
"When Donald Trump says 'let's make America great again,' that is code for 'let's take America backward' -- back to a time when opportunity and dignity were reserved for some, not all," Clinton said.
"Back to the days when abortion was illegal, women had far fewer options and life for too many women and girls was limited."
"Donald, those days are over," she said.
Clinton spoke in a direct style that she has recently adopted to challenge billionaire Trump's often brusque manner, referring to the presumptive Republican nominee simply by his first name in an effort to diminish his stature.
She reminded her audience that Trump has advocated scrapping paid family leave, equal pay laws, threatened to defund Planned Parenthood, and could appoint Supreme Court justices who want to strip abortion rights.
"Anyone who would so casually agree to the idea of punishing women like it was nothing... that's someone who doesn't hold women in high regard," Clinton said.
Potentially the first woman to become a US president, Clinton cited her record as a longtime advocate for gender equality, going back to her years as first lady, a US senator and as Barack Obama's secretary of state.
According to a recent Fox News poll, 64 percent of US women hold an unfavorable view of Trump, compared to 49 percent who dislike Clinton. Half of the women polled said they plan to vote for Clinton, versus 32 percent for Trump.