December 1, 2008

Hillary Clinton and Global Women's Health

Cecile Richards on the implications of Hillary Clinton’s appointment:

For the past eight years, the Bush administration has enforced a global gag rule, an executive order that prevented thousands of health care entities around the world from providing women with birth control. In some parts of Africa, women have a one-in-10 risk of dying in childbirth. And as Nicholas Kristof wrote in the New York Times in October, the result of the so-called “pro-life” policy has likely been tens of thousands of additional and avoidable abortions each year. In addition to implementing the gag rule, each year the Bush administration has denied funding to UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, at the behest of the far right — money that would have paid for the provision of critical reproductive care.

Today, the incoming administration will generate another celebration by women all around the world when President-elect Obama names Hillary Clinton as our next secretary of state. The selection of Senator Clinton represents an important first step down a new path for American foreign policy — an enormous shift represented by the selection of a champion of women’s health and rights to be in charge of America foreign policy.

As first lady and as a U.S. senator, Hillary Clinton visited more than 80 nations, but for a majority of the world’s population, her unique quality may be her gender. Senator Clinton understands that improving the status of women is not simply a moral imperative; it is necessary to building democracies around the globe. Improving the status of women is key to creating stable families, stable communities, and stable countries. Women’s ability to control the size of their families, regardless of economics, nationality, or culture, has a direct impact on their economic well-being and that of their children. Senator Clinton understands that women’s quality of life directly affects the major issues confronting the globe: national security, environmental sustainability, and global poverty.

In a speech that, by the standards of the Bush administration, sounds positively radical, Clinton addressed the Cairo Plus Five Forum at the Hague in 1999, saying, “Women’s reproductive health and empowerment are critical to a nation’s sustainability and growth … we now know that no nation can hope to succeed in the global economy of the 21st century if half of its people lack the opportunity and the right to make the most of their God-given potential. No nation can move forward when its women and children are trapped in endless cycles of poverty; when they have inadequate health care, poor access to family planning, limited education.”

1 Comment »

  1. Hillary Clinton has paid her dues, illustrated her competence as a fighter for education and childre, was an excellent New York Senator and well beyond competent as a Secretary of State. American citizens should not want one of its best female minds on the political sidelines for any period of time, for this is simply a loss for the American people. At this critical juncture of American history, we can only hope that Hillary Clinton remains engaged in a truly meaningful way. The American people would be wise to elect her if given another opportunity to do. Fact is if any woman were ever qualified for the office of the Presidency, it is clearly, Ms. Hillary Rodham Clinton. There are many core Obama supporters who wish that Obama would replace Biden with Clinton on the 2012 ticket. Joe Biden is never going to be President of the United States, everyone knows that. Joe has been a loyal foot soldier. Hillary has paid he dues. It is time for HRC to lead America.

    Comment by Christopher London — March 15, 2012 @ 10:27 am

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