On 27 March Hillary Clinton (pictured bottom-right), the radical pro-abortion US secretary of state, visited the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico, a major shrine for the international pro-life movement. The very next day in Texas, Mrs Clinton received from Planned Parenthood, America's biggest abortion provider, an award named after Margaret Sanger (pictured top-right), the founder of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) of which Planned Parenthood of America forms part. In her acceptance speech, Mrs Clinton said: "I admire Margaret Sanger enormously" and "I want to assure you that reproductive rights and the umbrella issue of women's rights and empowerment will be a key to the foreign policy of [the Obama] Administration".
In response, on 31 March Chris Smith, the pro-life congressman for Trenton, New Jersey, gave a stunning speech in the House of Representatives, holding Mrs Clinton to account for her endorsement of Sanger. Among many notable parts of his speech, Mr Smith laid out the evidence of Sanger's "cruel and reckless disregard for poor, pregnant women". Sanger had argued forcefully and at length against any form of welfare for poor mothers, arguing instead for the poor to be prevented from breeding. Mr Smith said that Planned Parenthood was really "Child Abuse Incorporated", as "[a]bortion is violence against children".
In a world dominated by a more and more aggressive and extremist anti-life regime under President Obama, we need many more courageous public figures like Congressman Chris Smith. There is no incompatibility between clear condemnations of abortion and profound, practical compassion for mothers in difficult circumstances. Chris Smith's speech featured both, and accurately represented the pro-life movement's core values.