On the agenda at the G8 summit in Canada is promoting maternal and infant health in the poorest parts of the globe. The high rates of maternal and infant mortality in many countries are an impediment to democracy and social development, to say nothing of a human tragedy for these communities. Commitments of resources from the G8 countries to address these problems should be welcomed and commended. Why, then, is the Obama delegation threatening to derail these agreements?
It does seem to be an odd form of “smart diplomacy” to politicize and hold a program that would make sure to limit infant deaths hostage to make sure that funding for abortions are included in the package that would be sent to these impoverished countries, but here it is:
Given this, one would expect there to be universal support for Canada’s leadership in taking on these problems and working to meet these critical needs. But the Obama administration is obstructing this positive consensus. Hillary Clinton, when asked about Canada’s G8 plan to address infant and maternal health in the developing world, said the following: “You cannot have maternal health without reproductive health. And reproductive health includes contraception and family planning and access to legal, safe abortion.”
It is surprising that Hillary Clinton would insist on funding for abortion and risk derailing an initiative that is poised to generate unprecedented commitments in both the private and public sectors. It is especially surprising considering the body of recent scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of various straightforward, uncontroversial, and achievable means to reduce maternal and infant mortality.
When top U.S. officials change the subject away from important global policy and development work to push for favored hot-button political issues, it gives the appearance of using American taxpayer funding to promote social engineering, bypassing public debate about the best way to achieve development worldwide and address the very real unmet needs of the developing world. Does Hillary Clinton think it is more important to promote liberal Western ideologies than to address the critical needs of the women and children of Africa and Asia? Does she prefer to promote the tired, old eugenic orthodoxies of the largely discredited population-control movement? Is Hillary Clinton — and the Obama administration — willing to hold up funding for maternal and infant health because of a dogmatic commitment to a universal right to abortion on demand? What about the rights of countless women all over the world who want to bring children into the world safely, without risking their lives and the lives of their children?
As Allahpundit points out, it is beyond ironic and hypocritical for the same people that criticized Bush for holding out on the same kind of funding to the third world in order to make sure that it doesn’t fund abortions. Then, they turn around and hold out on sending money to help the poorest among us to make sure that money for abortions are included in the money being sent to ensure the health of babies:
Besides, Hillary’s statement is nothing short of idiotic. Maternal health does not depend on abortion. In fact, abortion is a rather moot point when it comes to the stage of worrying about the health of mothers of newborn infants, isn’t it?