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Planned Parenthood Commends Senate Foreign Relations Committee for Defeating Anti-Family Planning, Anti-Abortion Amendment

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America applauds the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, under the leadership of Chairman John Kerry (D-MA), for defeating an extreme anti-abortion amendment to the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA), which aims to enhance U.S. efforts to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls. The defeated amendment would have significantly altered existing policy on abortion. During a markup session of IVAWA today, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 11 to 8 to reject an amendment offered by Senator Wicker (R-MS), that would have barred organizations that receive funding under the act from using their own funds to perform or advocate for abortions, a policy that is akin to the Mexico City Policy, also known as the global gag rule.

“This is a resounding victory for all who believe that the International Violence Against Women Act should focus on protecting and empowering women and their families to avoid and recover from violent situations,” said Mary-Jane Wagle, vice president for international programs of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “That’s why Planned Parenthood applauds the 11 senators on the committee for defeating this extreme anti-abortion amendment that would have significantly altered existing law on abortion and prohibited U.S. government officials from taking part in international policy conversations that touched on abortion as part of women’s health care. We especially commend Senator Gillibrand’s leadership in ensuring this important legislation moves forward without compromising women’s reproductive health and rights.”

In addition, the bill would have codified and dramatically expanded upon the Siljander amendment to the FY 2006 Appropriations Act, which currently restricts U.S. funds from being used to “lobby for or against abortion.” The Wicker amendment to IVAWA would have restricted “any activity or effort to alter the laws or policies” related to abortion. Such excessively vague language could have limited U.S. officials from taking part in international conferences hosted by the G-8, G-20 or United Nations if the agenda included abortion, and would have prohibited government officials in partner countries from taking part in discussions around abortion policy in their own countries if their positions were funded, even in part, by this program.


Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading sexual and reproductive health care provider and advocate. We believe that everyone has the right to choose when or whether to have a child, and that every child should be wanted and loved. Planned Parenthood affiliates operate more than 825 health centers nationwide, providing medical services and sexuality education for millions of women, men, and teenagers each year. We also work with allies worldwide to ensure that all women and men have the right and the means to meet their sexual and reproductive health care needs.



PPFA Media Office, 212-261-4433

Published: 12.15.10

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