By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made it clear during a recent hearing on Capital Hill that the Obama administration is seeking to weaken or overturn pro-life laws in other countries through the promotion of “women’s reproductive health” – which includes access to abortion.
According to a report by the Catholic News Agency (CNA), Secretary Clinton’s statements were made during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Wednesday while being questioned by the staunchly pro-life Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ).
Rep. Smith asked whether the administration seeks to “weaken or overturn” pro-life laws and policies in African and Latin American countries either “directly” or by funding non-governmental organizations such as Planned Parenthood, or through “multilateral organizations” such as the U.N., African Union, or the Organization of American States.
He also asked whether the United States’ definitions of the terms “reproductive health,” “reproductive services” or “reproductive rights” include abortion.
Clinton responded by saying, “We happen to think that family planning is an important part of women’s health. And reproductive health includes access to abortion that I believe should be safe, legal, and rare.” She went on to claim that she has spent “a lot of my time” trying to bring down the rate of abortions.
She argued that keeping women and men in “ignorance” and denying them access to “services” actually increases the rate of abortion.
“We are now an Administration that will protect the rights of women, including their rights to reproductive health care,” she said.
During the same hearing, Rep. Smith criticized Clinton’s reception of the Margaret Sanger Award from Planned Parenthood in Houston last month. During her speech, she claimed to be in “awe” of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger and claimed her “life and leadership” was “one of the most transformational in the entire history of the human race.”
Rep. Smith said Sanger’s work was indeed “transformational,” but “not for the better if one happens to be poor, disenfranchised, weak, disabled, a person of color, an unborn child, or among the many so-called undesirables Sanger would exclude and exterminate from the human race. Sanger’s prolific writings drip with contempt for those she considers to be unfit to live,” Rep. Smith said.
Noting that he had read many of Sanger’s articles and books, Rep. Smith characterized Sanger as an “unapologetic eugenicist and racist” who said “the most merciful thing a family does for one of its infant members is to kill it” and who said eugenics was the “most adequate and thorough avenue” to solve “racial, political and social problems.”
Rep. Smith said it was “extraordinarily difficult” to understand how a Secretary of State could be in “awe” of Sanger, saying she had openly professed views “antithetical to protecting human rights.”
Secretary Clinton responded by saying she “deeply respected” Rep. Smith’s concerns and views, but said “we obviously have a profound disagreement.”
She went on to claim that she visited hospitals in Brazil where “half the women” were greeting new babies and the other half were “fighting for their lives after botched abortions.” She also alleges to have been in African countries where “12 and 13 year old girls are bearing children.”
Commenting later on Clinton’s testimony, Rep. Smith said it shows the Obama Administration is plotting to conduct a foreign policy that spreads abortion all over the world at U.S. taxpayers’ expense.
“It is evident that Mrs. Clinton and President Obama want to force the tragedy of abortion upon women around the world especially and including in countries where democratically elected leaders want to continue to protect their unborn children,” Smith said.
“There are other ways in which both mother and baby are protected, cared for and helped— with food, nutrition, clean water and life-affirming healthcare,” he said. “Secretary Clinton’s inability to see this will mean more babies will die and more women will suffer the consequence of abortion as a result of U.S. foreign policy overseas.”
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