U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has received a flurry of criticism from politicians on both sides of the border for pushing abortion as a necessary component of the Canadian government’s G8 maternal and child health initiative. While Canadian Conservative politicians and even the prime minister resented Clinton’s interference into Canadian politics, several Congressmen from her own nation have decried her intervention as misrepresenting America.
Speaking by telephone, leading pro-life Congressman Chris Smith told LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) that Clinton’s abortion push was “outrageous.” Particularly in a discussion of maternal and child health, said Smith the abortion push is ”bewildering.” “Abortion is, by definition, infant mortality,” he said. He noted that in addition to “killing children,” abortion harms mothers; he pointed out that hundreds of studies have found harmful psychological and physical consequences associated with abortion.
Congressman John Flemming from Louisiana, told LSN that he was “not surprised that the socialist liberal pro-abortion forces of the Democrat Party are working not only in the United States to advance abortion and the numbers of abortions but also to export that to other countries.” Fleming, a physician for over 30 years, added: “The fact that life begins at conception, is not above my pay grade, and abortion is not health care but the taking of life.”
Kansas Republican Todd Tiahrt is the Ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education, through which all funding requests for healthcare spending must pass. He was the sponsor of the still-in-effect 1999 Tiahrt Amendment, which prevents American foreign aid from going to forced abortions, sterilizations or contraceptives.
Tiahrt told LSN that a strong majority of Americans oppose government funding of abortion. Therefore, he suggests that Clinton “is speaking contrary to American culture and American thought.”
Iowa Congressman Steve King concurred as he told LSN, “Congress has spoken and 64 Democrats and every Republican voted to block funding of abortion both foreign and domestic. … Funding abortions overseas violates the will of Congress and the American people. Secretary Clinton’s pro-abortion beliefs are causing her to misrepresent U.S. policy.”
In the Canadian House of Commons today, Liberal politicians pounced on the fact that Clinton’s insistence on abortion in the plan was backed by British Foreign Secretary David Miliband. Liberal MP Bob Rae said, “What was supposed to be the Canadian signature initiative on maternal health has been described as completely inadequate by the two major allies … both the United States and the United Kingdom.” Rae added: “I wonder if the Prime Minister can explain how such a major diplomatic setback could be occurring in the build up to the G8, which Canada is hosting.”
Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whose Conservative colleague yesterday blasted Clinton’s interference in Canadian politics, responded by implying that Canadians, rather than the British or Americans, would decide on the matter of promoting abortion or not. Referring to the abortion G8 push broadly as “foreign aid priorities,” he said, “it is Canada and Canadians who will make Canadian decisions.”