Hillary says it all

Secretary of State defends the Obama administration's stance on abortion.

Published April 24, 2009 8:23PM (EDT)

Here's a Friday afternoon video clip that's really worth watching; it's a happy reminder of the far-reaching implications of the fact that Bush is -- finally! -- out of the White House.

On Wednesday at a hearing in Washington D.C., Rep. Christopher Smith, a pro-life Republican from New Jersey, asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton if the Obama administration is seeking to weaken or overturn pro-life laws in Latin American or African countries. The Congressman also wanted to know if the Obama administration's definition of reproductive health, rights or services includes abortion.

Clinton responded with a passionate defense of reproductive rights, including, yes, abortion, by reflecting on the real costs to millions of women around the world when they do not have those rights. "When I think about the suffering I have seen of women around the world," Clinton says, as she recounts visiting a hospital in Brazil, where half the female patients were new mothers "enthusiastically and joyfully greeting new babies," and the other half were "fighting for their lives against botched abortions."

"Keeping women and men in ignorance and denied the access to services actually increases the rate of abortion," she says, defending family planning. And the Secretary takes the thankfully now-gone Bush administration to task for its health policies which, she contends, contributed to the recent rise in teen pregnancies, domestically.



(Thanks to Michelle Goldberg, author of "The Means of Reproduction," for the tip.)

By Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Katharine Mieszkowski

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Broadsheet Hillary Rodham Clinton Love And Sex