.- 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. governmentâs definition of reproductive health includes access to abortion.
Rep. Smith began his comments by criticizing Secretary Clintonâs reception of the Margaret Sanger Award from Planned Parenthood in Houston in March. Secretary Clinton said she was in âaweâ of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger and claimed her âlife and leadershipâ was âone of the most transformational in the entire history of the human race.â
Secretary Clinton also said that Sangerâs work was ânot done.â Rep. Smith said Sangerâs work was indeed âtransformational,â but ânot 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.â
âSangerâs prolific writings drip with contempt for those she considers to be unfit to live,â Rep. Smith said.
Noting that he had read many of Sangerâs articles and books, Rep. Smith characterized Sanger as an âunapologetic eugenicist and racistâ who said âthe most merciful thing a family does for one of its infant members is to kill itâ and also characterized eugenics as the âmost adequate and thorough avenueâ to solve âracial, political and social problems.â
He quoted Sangerâs book âPivot of Civilizationâ in which she decried charitable work as ânot merely superficial and near-sightedâ but also as concealing âa stupid crueltyâ that leads to âthe perpetuation of defectives, delinquents and dependents.â
Rep. Smith said it was âextraordinarily difficultâ to understand how a Secretary of State could be in âaweâ of Sanger, saying she had openly professed views âantithetical to protecting human rights.â
He also charged Planned Parenthood with killing over 305,000 children by abortion in the U.S. and âmillions moreâ worldwide in 2007 alone.
Pressing Secretary Clinton about the policies of the Obama administration, he asked whether the administration seeks to âweaken or overturnâ pro-life laws and policies in African and Latin American countries either âdirectlyâ or by funding non-governmental organizations such as Planned Parenthood, or through âmultilateral organizationsâ such as the U.N., African Union, or the Organization of American States.
He also asked whether the United Statesâ definitions of the terms âreproductive health,â âreproductive servicesâ or âreproductive rightsâ include abortion.
Responding to Rep. Smith, Secretary Clinton avoided commenting on Margaret Sanger or her reception of the Margaret Sanger Award.
She said she âdeeply respectedâ Rep. Smithâs concerns and views, but said âwe obviously have a profound disagreement.â
Saying she had visited hospitals in Brazil where âhalf the womenâ were greeting new babies and the other half were âfighting for their lives against botched abortions,â she remarked that she had also been in African countries where â12 and 13 year old girls are bearing children.â
She also claimed that the denial of âfamily planningâ in Asian countries âconsigns women to lives of oppression and hardship.â
âWe happen to think that family planning is an important part of womenâs health. And reproductive health includes access to abortion that I believe should be safe, legal, and rare,â Secretary Clinton continued, claiming she has spent âa lot of my timeâ trying to bring down the rate of abortions.
She argued that keeping women and men in âignoranceâ and denying them access to âservicesâ actually increases the rate of abortion.
âWe are now an Administration that will protect the rights of women, including their rights to reproductive health care,â she said.
Commenting later on Wednesday about Clintonâs 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. taxpayersâ expense.
âIt 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,â Smith said.
âThere are other ways in which both mother and baby are protected, cared for and helpedâ with food, nutrition, clean water and life-affirming healthcare,â he said. âSecretary Clintonâs 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.â