.- During a House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing on Wednesday, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) questioned Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about whether the Obama administration is seeking to weaken or overturn pro-life laws and policies in other countries. Secretary Clinton responded to his questions, affirming that the U.S. government’s definition of reproductive health includes access to abortion.
Rep. Smith began his comments by criticizing Secretary Clinton’s reception of the Margaret Sanger Award from Planned Parenthood in Houston in March. Secretary Clinton said she was 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.”
Secretary Clinton also said that Sanger’s work was “not done.” 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 also characterized eugenics as the “most adequate and thorough avenue” to solve “racial, political and social problems.”
He quoted Sanger’s book “Pivot of Civilization” in which she decried charitable work as “not merely superficial and near-sighted” but also as concealing “a stupid cruelty” that leads to “the perpetuation of defectives, delinquents and dependents.”
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.”
He also charged Planned Parenthood with killing over 305,000 children by abortion in the U.S. and “millions more” worldwide in 2007 alone.
Pressing Secretary Clinton about the policies of the Obama administration, he 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.
Responding to Rep. Smith, Secretary Clinton avoided commenting on Margaret Sanger or her reception of the Margaret Sanger Award.
She said she “deeply respected” Rep. Smith’s concerns and views, but said “we obviously have a profound disagreement.”
Saying she had visited hospitals in Brazil where “half the women” were greeting new babies and the other half were “fighting for their lives against botched abortions,” she remarked that she had also been in African countries where “12 and 13 year old girls are bearing children.”
She also claimed that the denial of “family planning” in Asian countries “consigns women to lives of oppression and hardship.”
“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,” Secretary Clinton continued, claiming 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.
Commenting later on Wednesday about 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.”