The Corner

Clinton vs. Canada

The secretary of state has opened up a new front in the Obama administration’s campaign to get into as many pointless fights with our allies as possible. Canada heads the G8 this year, and Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper wants to start a new G8 initiative to fight child and maternal mortality. Harper doesn’t want the initiative to include abortion. Clinton does. “You cannot have maternal health without reproductive health and reproductive health includes contraception and family planning and access to legal, safe abortions,” she says.

I’ll let others debate whether there’s something off in fighting child mortality by promoting abortion, and note only that in the U.S., at least, Clinton’s claim does not appear to be true. The legalization of abortion does not appear to have done much to reduce the maternal death rate from abortion, let alone maternal death rates in general. (I discuss this in my book on abortion and related issues.)

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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