U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, who supports abortion, is withdrawing her name for consideration in her possible bid to replace pro-abortion Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Said Rice on NBC today: “If nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly – to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities.”
President Barack Obama released a statement saying he accepted Rice’s decision not to be considered for Secretary of State.
“Today, I spoke to Ambassador Susan Rice, and accepted her decision to remove her name from consideration for Secretary of State,” Obama said. “I deeply regret the unfair and misleading attacks on Susan Rice in recent weeks.”
Previously, Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, said Rice is “not qualified” to replace Clinton as the nation’s number one foreign diplomat and suggested he would filibuster her nomination, if she is nominated for the post.
“She’s not qualified,” McCain said on CBS’s “This Morning.” “Anyone who goes on national television and in defiance of the facts, five days later — We’re all responsible for what we say and what we do. I’m responsible to my voters. She’s responsible to the Senate of the United States. We have our responsibility for advice and consent.”
McCain said he would be “adamantly opposed” to Rice’s nomination and would do “everything I can to keep her from getting confirmed.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, also opposes the potential of Rice replacing Clinton, saying, “I don’t trust her.”
“I don’t think that’s a good resume to be secretary of State,” Graham said.
Pro-abortion Sen. John Kerry has been discussed as a potential “compromise” selection since lawmakers are more familiar with him.
“I’d rather have John Kerry. I think he’s well-positioned. He’s experienced. I think he’d take the job and he’s not tainted with the kind of things that I think would be a problem for Ambassador Rice,” said Sen Jon Kyl of Arizona.
In 2009, Rice went on record (although without using the word abortion) in a speech at Howard University signaling a substantive policy shift from the Bush Administration on abortion by equating abortion with “reproductive health.”
Rice worked closely with abortion advocates when she was Bill Clinton’s Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. Abortion advocates such as Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards praised her selection to the U.N. ambassador position.
In her role as Secretary of State Clinton pressed for abortion on an international scale.
As recently as June, she was upset the document the United Nations adopted at its Rio+20 conference last week did not promote abortion by inserting terms like “reproductive rights” into he language of the text.
A diverse group of countries rallied together with the Holy See to successfully remove any mention of reproductive rights or population control from the final outcome document produced during the last round of UN negotiations at the Rio +20 conference. The UN Population Fund (UNFPA), along with Norway and Iceland, and Catholics for Choice and the International Planned Parenthood Federation, worked feverishly to take advantage of the Rio +20 conference on sustainable development in order to promote both an international right to abortion and population control.
However, nations like Nicaragua, Chile, Russia, Honduras, Syria, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Egypt all rejected the introductionof “reproductive rights” into the Rio +20 outcome document.
Responding to the resounding defeat, Clinton said she was disappointed, according to a CNS News report.
“While I am very pleased that this year’s outcome document endorses sexual and reproductive health and universal access to family planning, to reach our goals in sustainable development we also have to ensure women’s reproductive rights,” she said. “Women must be empowered to make decisions about whether and when to have children. And the United States will continue – the United States will continue to work to ensure that those rights are respected in international agreements.”
Last year, Clinton personally urged Obama to veto a State Department funding bill over cuts to groups that perform and promote abortions.
In 2010, she testified before a Congressional committee where two pro-life members of Congress presented her with a long lecture on abortion and how it hurts women.
Congressmen Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican, and Jeff Fortenberry, a Nebraska Republican, both addressed pro-life issues during the hearing.
Smith, who had frequently led the fight against abortion on an international scale, made his full remarks with Clinton sitting as the lone witness at the witness table.
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“Secretary Clinton, the most persecuted and at risk minority in the world today are unborn children,” Smith said. “Pregnancy is not a disease. The child in the womb is neither a tumor nor a parasite to be destroyed.”
Smith said he is troubled by President Barack Obama’s decision to overturn the Mexico City Policy and open the door forcing taxpayers to fund abortions in other nations.
“I am deeply concerned that with the elimination of the Mexico City Policy by executive order last year, NGO implementing partners may actively seek to integrate abortion with the many necessary and noble undertakings funded by the Global Health Initiative,” he said.
“I respectfully ask that the administration consider that for many of us, all abortion—legal or illegal—is violence against children and poses significant, often underappreciated risks to women and even to children later born to post-abortive women,” Smith added.