Doesn't Like Speaker Choice

RECEIVED Mon., Nov. 2, 2009

Dear Editor,
    I was recently amazed to discover that Planned Parenthood, which I have always fully supported, invited former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to speak at a fundraiser in Austin. Albright, on 60 Minutes (May 12, 1996), was asked by Lesley Stahl about the sanctions on Iraq. Stahl: “We have heard that a half-million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?” Albright: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price – we think the price is worth it.” Prior to this engagement, a number of activist groups approached Planned Parenthood and pointed out this issue on human rights and the paradox of having Albright as a speaker. Planned Parenthood feigned ignorance on Albright’s history and commented that the engagement was set and could not be canceled. Planned Parenthood’s website touts under its “International Programs” section that it is “fighting for policies that promote women’s health and improve quality of life.” I doubt the women of Iraq who have lost children would agree with either Albright or Planned Parenthood on these policies or choices for fundraising.
James M. Turpin
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