Washington, DC - At his confirmation hearing with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Andrew Bremberg unequivocally professed the belief that survivors of sexual assault do not have the right to access abortion. Bremberg is the nominee for the Representative of the U.S. to the Office of the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva, a critical diplomatic post.
In a sharp exchange between Bremberg and Ranking Member Bob Menendez, the senator asked Bremberg if survivors of sexual violence should be able to terminate pregnancy where legal. Bremberg replied that he did not believe abortion should ever be permitted. Senator Menendez explained his question was in reference to the U.S. veto threat over the inclusion of language on sexual and reproductive health in a United Nations Security Council resolution aimed at supporting survivors of sexual assault and preventing rape as a weapon of war two months ago.
The full exchange can be viewed here.
Statement from Dr. Leana Wen, President, Planned Parenthood Global:
I’ve treated people who were raped and infected with HIV as a weapon of war. I’ve tended to women who survived brutal sexual violence, who were tortured with clubs and bayonets and barely survived, only to develop fistulas and an inability to bear children. Denying sexual and reproductive health care puts survivors’ mental and physical health and well-being at risk. Survivors of any form of sexual violence have already undergone incredible trauma, and they need and deserve access to all health care services, including abortion.
Andrew Bremberg’s extreme position on abortion care is at odds with that of the vast majority of Americans, who support abortion care access. Bremberg is unfit for this important diplomatic post, and his nomination must be rejected.
In an earlier back-and-forth with Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Bremberg also admitted to helping with the development and the implementation of the expanded global gag rule. When asked if he was aware of the impact the policy, he repeated the State Department’s disingenuous claim that only 3-5 organizations had been affected. According to Planned Parenthood Global’s report from earlier this year, the expanded global gag rule has weakened civil society, disrupted service delivery, and bolstered anti-human rights agendas. And several reports by International Women’s Health Coalition, Human Rights Watch, and other organizations and journalists confirm similar findings.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
For more than 45 years, Planned Parenthood Federation of America has supported access to sexual and reproductive health care and advocated for reproductive rights around the world through our international arm, Planned Parenthood Global. In partnership with more than 120 organizations across 12 focus countries in Africa and Latin America, we advance the health and rights of young people, women and families, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable and underserved. Last year, our partners reached over a million people with sexual and reproductive health information and services provided by our partners. Our unique sustainability model sets us apart, as we empower partners to stand on their own. We help grassroots organizations develop solid reproductive health programs, identify other sources of funding, build their communications and advocacy skills, and develop strategic plans.