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WASHINGTON - Planned Parenthood Federation of America today issued a statement after President-elect Donald Trump announced he will nominate ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State.


Statement from Latanya Mapp Frett, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Global:


“As an advocate not just for women and girls in the U.S., but around the globe, Planned Parenthood sees firsthand the impact that the U.S. Secretary of State can have in advancing gender equality and human rights worldwide. This includes expanding access to health care like family planning, and reducing maternal mortality and unintended pregnancy.


“It is imperative our leaders champion human rights to continue global progress, which is why Planned Parenthood is alarmed to see the nomination of Rex Tillerson, who has an international track record of putting corporate profit over the fundamental rights of people.


“As a result of recent progress under President Obama, 27 million women and couples can now get contraceptive supplies and services, averting 6 million unintended pregnancies and saving 11,000 women’s lives. These women and families cannot afford to go backward.


Planned Parenthood believes that all people deserve to live healthy lives, no matter who they are or where they live. We expect the Senate to conduct a full and fair examination of Tillerson’s record and experience to serve in this critical role.  


“Should Tillerson be confirmed, Planned Parenthood hopes he will help continue America’s role as a leader for women’s rights internationally.”   


What is at stake:

The Obama Administration, under the leadership of Secretaries of State Clinton and Kerry, increased investments in international family planning and reproductive health programs as well as maternal health after a decade of stagnation.  Current programs and investments enable:

  • 27 million women and couples receive contraceptive supplies and services

  • That helps them avert 6 million unintended pregnancies

  • Which prevents 2.3 million abortions, the majority of which are unsafe.

  • And saves 11,000 women’s lives and prevents even more maternal injuries.


President Obama rescinded the so-called “global gag rule,” also known as the Mexico City Policy, in his first week in office.  When in place, that policy had enormous and harmful impacts on women’s lives.

  • In many communities, the most experienced providers of women’s health care were cut off — sometimes, the only provider of any essential health care in their community and clinics were shut down.

  • It also stifled the free speech of doctors and of advocates in the country and weakened civil society.

  • Multiple studies have come out looking at the impact of the global gag rule  and they have found that the primary impact is lost access to contraceptives, and in turn, increased rates of abortion –- again, which are primarily unsafe.


Read: The 2030 Agenda is A Win for Women and Girls by Dawn Laguens


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 approximately 700 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.


Planned Parenthood Federation of America


Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433


December 13, 2016