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Hillary Clinton Defend's Women's Reproductive Rights


Bucharest, July 2 (RFE/RL) -- The first lady of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton, spoke out in defense of women's reproductive rights during a visit to Romania today.

Mrs. Clinton told a forum of non-governmental organizations in Bucharest that women's "intimate decisions should not be determined by governments." She mentioned forced abortions in China and forced births in Romania before 1989 as examples of attempts to interfere in women's reproductive choice.

Abortion and contraception were virtually outlawed in Romania under the rule of Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.

Mrs. Clinton is on the second day of her 11-day tour to promote democracy in Eastern Europe. Yesterday she spoke to crowds in Bucharest's revolution square and praised Romania's "courageous efforts" to shift away from communism.

Mrs. Clinton later arrived in the southern Polish city of Krakow, where she was greeted by Jolanta Kwasniewska, the wife of the Polish president. During her stay to Poland, she is scheduled to visit the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz and the capital Warsaw.

After Poland, Mrs. Clinton will travel to the Czech Republic, where she will give a special address at the headquarters of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on U.S. Independence Day.
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