Congressman: Obama Admin Pushing Abortion as Solution for Maternal Mortality

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 21, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Congressman: Obama Admin Pushing Abortion as Solution for Maternal Mortality

by Chris Smith
September 21, 2010 Note: Congressman Chris Smith represents a New Jersey congressional district and is the chairman of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus. Smith is a senior Republican member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Ranking Republican of the Committee’s Africa and Global Health Subcommittee.

An army of health activists and world leaders will gather at the United Nations this week to review the eight Millennium Development Goals agreed to at the start of the century and to recalibrate and recommit to more effectively achieve them by 2015.

The overarching and noble goal is reducing global poverty. But the most compelling and achievable objectives — huge reductions in maternal and child mortality worldwide — will be severely undermined if the Obama administration either directly or covertly integrates abortion into the final outcome document.

If the summit is sidetracked by abortion activists, the robust resolve required at national levels to deploy the funds needed to achieve the internationally agreed targets will be compromised. The risk is real.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said publicly that she believes access to abortion is part of maternal and reproductive health, thinking that runs contrary to the understanding of the more than 125 U.N. member states that prohibit or otherwise restrict abortion in their sovereign laws and constitutions. Moreover, speaking before the House International Relations Committee in 2005, Mark Malloch Brown, chief of staff for then-Secretary General Kofi Annan, said concerning reproductive health, "we do not interpret it as including abortion." Clinton also calls pro-abortion nongovernmental organizations "partners."

At the Group of Eight meetings in Canada this year, Prime Minister Stephen Harper rebuffed Clinton’s attempt to integrate abortion with initiatives to reduce maternal mortality. He stated his opposition to funding abortions by saying: "We want to make sure our funds are used to save the lives of women and children and are used on the many things that are available to us, and, frankly, do not divide the Canadian population."

Millennium Development Goal No. 4 is reducing child mortality rates two-thirds from 1990 levels. It is clear that myriad cost-effective interventions need to be expanded to save children’s lives. These include treatment and prevention of disease, as well as greater access to adequate food and nutrition, clean water, childhood vaccinations, oral rehydration packets, antibiotics, and drugs to inhibit mother-to-child HIV transmission.

Similarly, unborn children desperately need care to optimize their health before and after birth. Healthy children start in the womb.

You can read the rest of this opinion column here.


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