Pro-Life Members of Congress Bash Hillary Clinton for Selling Out Human Rights

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 24, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Members of Congress Bash Hillary Clinton for Selling Out Human Rights

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 24
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Leading pro-life members of Congress are heavily criticizing pro-abortion Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for selling out human rights. Clinton raised eyebrows recently when she said on her Asia tour that human rights would take a back seat to economic considerations.

Considering China’s record of forced abortions and sterilizations, punishing offenders of its coercive one-child policy in other ways, and other abuses, Clinton’s comments were appalling to some.

While she said the administration of President Barack Obama would continue to lobby for human rights reforms, "our pressing on those issues can’t interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crisis."

Led by pro-life Rep. Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican, several pro-life members said Clinton’s comments undermine the long-fought campaign for human rights in China and fail the civil society groups in China and those suffering human rights abuses.

“In a shocking display of pandering, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made it clear in Beijing, that the Obama Administration has chosen to peddle U.S. debt to the largest dictatorship in the world over combating forced abortion" and other abuses, Smith said.

“Secretary Clinton said concern for the protection of human rights of the Chinese people can’t ‘interfere’ with the economic crisis, climate change, and security – as if human rights were somehow disconnected and irrelevant to those issues," he told a press conference Tuesday in the Capitol Building.

“Everyday, brave Chinese risk their lives and liberty in the pursuit of freedom, democracy, protection of the family and respect per human rights,” Smith added in the statement received. "It is too much to ask that our Secretary of State firmly and boldly raise human rights rather than a tin cup?"

“The Obama Administration effectively dismissed, devalued, and debased human rights – especially women’s rights – in the People’s Republic of China,” Smith concluded.

Rep. Frank Wolf, a Virginia Republican, also joined in the condemnation of Clinton’s comments.

He said Clinton could have given hope to the political prisoners and other victims in China’s forced abortion system, but left them wondering what the future holds.

“History teaches us that bold, public proclamations on the importance of liberty, freedom, and the absence of repression are cause for great hope to those political prisoners who languish behind bars,” Wolf said. “Words have power. They have the power to inspire, or deflate; they have the power to give vision or to stifle hope."

Rep. Joe Pitts, a Pennsylvania Republican, said he was not only troubled at what Clinton’s comments directly indicate — that human rights are apparently not a priority in the Obama Administration­ — but that she has indirectly sent a disturbing message to those suffering from human rights abuses under a repressive regime.

“For 200 years, people living in oppression around the world have looked to the United States for inspiration and support for their cause,” Pitts said. “We should not turn our backs on the importance of international human rights because we are in a recession."

"I urge Secretary Clinton to repair the damage she has done with her comments by expressing the importance of human rights in the U.S. relations with all nations, especially China," he said.

During her trip, Clinton failed to meet with any dissidents during her stay and was criticized by human rights groups covering a range of issues, including abortion.

Smith and Wolf traveled to China together last July to assess human right conditions as the Bejing Olympics were about to begin.

They saw the drastic enforcement of the one-child-per-couple policy via forced abortion and rampant sex-selection abortion.

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