It’s probably the most highly publicized book of the summer–Hard Choices by Hillary Rodham Clinton. Curious, I decided to download a sample onto my electronic tablet.
I was surprised when Mother Teresa made an appearance within the pages of the memoir. Hillary Clinton talks about her first visit to India in 1995, accompanied by her daughter Chelsea. Hillary refers to the celebrated Teresa as the “humble Catholic nun whose charity and saintliness made her a global icon.” The former First Lady talks of touring an orphanage filled with baby girls, abandoned because of their sex (boys being considered more valuable than girls.)
Hillary also writes of leading a U.S. delegation to Mother Teresa’s funeral in 1997. According to Hillary, Mother Teresa’s successor later led her to a private meeting at the Missionaries of Charity headquarters. There, Hillary says, the nuns asked Hillary to offer a prayer before the closed casket.
“I hesitated,” Hillary writes, “then bowed my head and thanked God for the privilege of having known this tiny, forceful, saintly woman during her time here on earth.”
But what made Mother Teresa saintly? Merriam-Webster defines saint as “one eminent for piety or virtue.” Mother Teresa’s care for the poor, people with AIDS, and the dying were legendary. She entered into the messiness of life, took on tasks that were hard and distasteful, and showed love and respect to people that might have been ignored by polite society. And she did it day after day, hour after hour, with an angelic smile that radiated the warmth within.
Back in 1994, the diminutive Mother Teresa delivered a powerful speech before the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. There, she spoke the following words:
“But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself.
“And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.
“By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems.
“And, by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion.
“Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.
“Many people are very, very concerned with the children of India, with the children of Africa where quite a few die of hunger, and so on. Many people are also concerned about all the violence in this great country of the United States. These concerns are very good. But often these same people are not concerned with the millions who are being killed by the deliberate decision of their own mothers. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today – abortion which brings people to such blindness.”
You can view the video of the speech at https://www.c-span.org/video/?54274-1/national-prayer-breakfast . Hillary Clinton was there, too. It has been 20 years since Mother Teresa spoke unflinchingly of the devastation caused by abortion. Hillary heard the message, but she has yet to embrace it. Instead, she continues to trumpet the abortion-on-demand philosophy of Planned Parenthood.
Citing Mother Teresa is always a crowd-pleaser, especially among Catholics. Mother Teresa stood for social justice, but it was and is a justice that serves all–including the women inside their mothers’ wombs. The 20th century trailblazing Teresa wanted an abortion-free world. That is not Hillary’s World.
LifeNews.com Note: Maria Vitale is an opinion columnist for LifeNews.com. She is the Legislative Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and Vitale has written and reported for various broadcast and print media outlets, including National Public Radio, CBS Radio, and AP Radio.