Clinton Calls Family a ‘Basic Human Need,’ But State Dep’t Still Funds Abortion Abroad

By Matt Cover | November 9, 2011 | 1:10 AM EST

Orphaned children in Uganda (AP Photo/Jon Hrusa)

( – Every child deserves a family, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday, describing the family as a “basic human need.”

“We meet today because we all believe that every child deserves a safe, loving, permanent family of his or her own,” Clinton said at a Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute event promoting child adoption in Africa. “That’s a basic human need.”

She said the U.S. and African countries must coordinate better to promote adoption, including adoptions between countries.

“Let’s improve coordination between different government programs. Let’s try to provide more support to families to be able to take in children who need kinship care,” Clinton said. “When separation is unavoidable, let’s promote early childhood development with local adoption, foster care, and when desirable inter-country adoption.”

Despite her longstanding and vocal support for adoption, Clinton’s State Department also sends tens of millions of dollars to African countries each year for family planning and reproductive health services, including abortion.

The largest recipient is the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), which received $50 million from the State Department in 2010, the most recent year for which figures are available.

UNFPA has a history of supporting abortion services in Africa, most notably in 2005 through its Maputo Plan of Action.

The plan, adopted by the health ministers of the African Union, calls for the implementation of another UNFPA-drafted document known as the Continental Framework on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, which calls on African countries to “[p]rovide safe abortion services to the fullest extent of national laws, and where appropriate provide legal framework for safe abortion services.”

In both the Continental Framework and the Maputo Plan, discussion of abortion is couched in terms of reducing “unsafe” abortions, providing “safe” abortions, and promoting access to family planning in Africa.

Through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the State Department also sends millions of dollars to Africa to help with population control and family planning programs.

Clinton on Monday cited six countries – Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, and Uganda – which had partnered with the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s The Way Forward Project to increase care for children in their countries.

Combined, those six countries received a $90.5 million for “family planning” in 2010.

In the case of each country, USAID cited a high birth-rate and the need to use “family planning” services to reduce it.

In the case of Kenya, USAID said that its funds would be used, in part, to promote better “post-abortion care” and access to modern contraceptives, including intrauterine devices (IUDs), which some consider an abortifacent since it prevents implantation of a fertilized egg.

Early on during his presidency, President Obama rescinded the Mexico City Policy, a ban on funding for international health groups that perform or promote abortions. Dubbed the “global gag rule” by opponents, the regulation was first instituted by President Reagan in 1984, reversed by President Clinton in 1993, and revived by President George W. Bush in 2001.