KABUL, AFGHANISTAN — Sitting in her office in Kabul, Abass Rashidi, the director of the Afghan Family Planning Association (AFPA), has had little to do these past few years. Afghan women, burkas or no, value motherhood and children too much. But with the help of Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), the local affiliate of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)(1)has begun to push for abortion and other “family planning” services inside Afghanistan.
Already, AFPA is working hand-in-glove with the United Nations Population Fund(UNFPA) in refugee camps in Quetta and Peshawar, Pakistan, promoting abortion under the guise of “saving women's lives.” While it is true that maternal mortality rates among Afghan women are among the highest in the world–an estimated 20 women out of 1,000 die in childbirth–the solution is not abortion, but basic aid and adequate pre- and postnatal health care.
That the vast majority of Afghan women oppose abortion, indeed, find it reprehensible, is immaterial to Planned Parenthood's top brass. Rashidi herself is banking on a substantial infusion of federal funds for groups like hers who will work to change the “mentality” of Afghan women, and lobby for the legalization of abortion. And their fundraising efforts have no greater ally than Senator Clinton.
The junior Senator from New York has made it clear that she views the establishment of a new Afghan government as an opportunity for her to impose her abortion agenda on Afghan women. For Clinton, shedding the burka means embracing the killing of the unborn.
Remember the Hague Forum, the February 1999 UN conference on women's rights?Clinton gave a grandstanding speech advocating abortion as a basic human right. In the U.S. Senate, she is working hard to gut President Bush's Mexico City policy, which prevents US funds from going to groups that perform, promote, or lobby for the legalization of abortion.
The debate over the emergency supplemental bill for aid to Afghanistan provided Clinton with yet another opportunity to hammer the Bush administration over Mexico City.
But it was at a 29 November hearing in the US Senate on the role of Afghan women in a post-Taliban government,(2)that Clinton's abortion rights advocacy reached new heights of deception. The panel of Afghan women were asked to identify their needs in order of importance. “Rebuild the homes destroyed by war,” they responded. “Rebuild the roads and the factories. Restore the water supply. And educate our children.”
Not one of the Afghan women witnesses mentioned abortion or even family planning as a basic need. But Hilary was not to be deterred. She forced her abortion agenda into the hearing with a display of Clintonesque spin not seen since her husband occupied the Oval Office.
Claiming to be speaking on behalf of the female, pro-abortion Senators at the hearing, Clinton claimed that she had been attacked by “male lawmakers” for trying to “impose our views of rights” onto Afghan women. Then she asked the Afghan women witnesses if they thought this concern had merit. As Clinton looked on benignly, smiling and nodding, the witnesses all said that they felt no imposition.
They had no idea what Clinton was really talking about her radical abortion agenda, and her opposition to Mexico City. They thought that she had been criticized for promoting the kind of basic aid for Afghanistan which they themselves had come to advocate. And so they hastened to reassure her that her values were their values.
But not really.
If Senator Clinton had been honest enough to put the question to them directly, she would have gotten a very different answer. She would have found out that Afghan women oppose abortion and value children. They want basic aid, but not at the price that Hilary and her cohorts want them to pay.
(1) “Arab World Region: Afghanistan Country Profile,” International
Planned Parenthood Federation;
(2) “Hillary Clinton explores the future of women in Afghanistan,”
Associated Press. 29 November, 2001.
(Steven W. Mosher is President of the Population Research Institute, and author of Hegemon: China’s Plan to Dominate Asia and the World.)