April 22, 2009
Clinton Drilled on Abortion, Torture
The House Foreign Affairs Committee took a turn today when Reps. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about abortion.
Smith asked why she had recently praised Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, according to Emily Belz at World.
Smith: Sanger was an unapologetic eugenicist and racist who said "the most merciful thing a family does for one of its infant members is to kill it." And said on another occasion, "eugenics is the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems."
Clinton didn't respond to the Sanger quotes at first, but later in the hearing when questioned again on the matter, she said in all humans (she used Thomas Jefferson's slave holding as an example) "there are things we admire and there are things we deplore."
Smith asked whether the administration would be promoting abortion in places like Africa, under the umbrella of "reproductive health."
Clinton: We happen to think family planning is an important part of women's health - and that reproductive health includes access to abortion?.We are now an administration that protects the rights of women including the rights to reproductive health care.
Inglis asked Clinton why she didn't condemn forced abortions on her trip to China. "They heard me say it already," she said, referring to a trip 14 years ago.
Inglis: Don't we have to speak with moral authority when we engage countries like China?
Clinton: Yes, we certainly do. It is a broad engagement that we have with large and complex countries. There is always and must be a moral dimension to our foreign policy.
Inglis: When you're in China next, I hope you'll speak to these issues.
Farah Stockman at The Boston Globe reports that Clinton was also asked about torture.
Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican, repeatedly asked Clinton whether the administration would declassify documents that former Vice President Dick Cheney has said paint the CIA interrogators in a more heroic light and show the important information produced from the interrogations.
Clinton said she had no knowledge of such documents. "It won't surprise you that I don't consider him a particularly reliable source," she said, to some laughter.