emarks by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
to the NYS Family Planning Providers
Thank you all very much for having me. I am so pleased to be here two days after the 32nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a landmark decision that struck a blow for freedom and equality for women. Today Roe is in more jeopardy than ever, and I look forward to working with all of you as we fight to defend it in the coming years. I'm also pleased to be talking to people who are on the front lines of increasing women's access to quality health care and reducing unwanted pregnancy -- an issue we should be able to find common ground on with people on the other side of this debate.
We should all be able to agree that we want every child born in this country and around the world to be wanted, cherished, and loved. The best way to get there is do more to educate the public about reproductive health, about how to prevent unsafe and unwanted pregnancies.
My own views of family planning and reproductive rights are heavily influenced by my travels as First Lady. I saw firsthand the costs to women when the government controls their reproductive health decisions.
In pre-democratic Romania, they had a leader named Ceausescu, a Soviet style Communist dictator, who decided it was the duty of every Romanian woman to bear five children so they could build the Romanian State. So they eliminated birth control, they eliminated sex education, and they outlawed abortions.
Once a month, Romanian women were rounded up at their workplaces. They were taken to a government-controlled health clinic, told to disrobe while they were standing in line. They were then examined by a government doctor with a government secret police officer watching. And if they were pregnant, they were closely monitored to make sure you didn't do anything to that pregnancy.
If a woman failed to conceive, her family was fined a celibacy tax of up to 10 percent of their monthly salary. The terrible result was that many...