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Planned Parenthood: “The Trump-Pence administration is taking its  anti-women’s agenda to the largest UN meeting on women’s issues.”

Washington, DC -- Today, upon the conclusion of the 62nd Commission on the Status of Women, Planned Parenthood expressed concern that U.S. delegates like Valerie Huber (HHS) and Bethany Kozma (USAID), under the leadership of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, outlined the Trump-Pence administration's anti-women’s agenda throughout negotiations. At a closed-door event, according to reports, Kozma said the “U.S. is a pro-life nation.” Despite the regressive positions of the U.S. delegation, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) — a global, intergovernmental body dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment —has adopted conclusions, reaffirming important commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights.

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

As a leading women’s health care provider and advocate in the U.S. and globally, Planned Parenthood is deeply troubled by the United States’ extreme positions laid out to the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

“The Trump-Pence administration is taking their anti-women’s health agenda to the largest UN meeting on women’s issues. The U.S. delegation has utterly misrepresented what the U.S. stands for, taking anti-reproductive health positions that fly in the face of the very purpose of the CSW. The administration has stacked the delegation with some of most extreme ideologues,  pushing dangerous policies that threaten the health and lives of women around the world. We are disappointed at the poor showing of the U.S. delegation, which has not only failed to lead, but also served as an active barrier for participation and progress at CSW. U.S. delegates like Ambassador Haley, Valerie Huber, and Bethany Kozma have imposed their regressive beliefs at the negotiation table, standing in the way of important resolutions to improve the status of women and girls in rural areas —a key focus of this year’s commission. And the U.S. failed to fulfill its obligation to issue visas to all persons invited to the UN, denying visas to — and effectively silencing — dozens of women and girls from various countries.

Here’s a rundown of what these extreme appointees on the U.S. delegation have done:

  • Bethany Kozma reportedly called the U.S. a “pro-life country” in a closed-door United Nations meeting, belying the fact that support for safe and legal abortion is at an all-time high in the U.S.  Roughly seven in 10 Americans do not want to see Roe v Wade overturned. These policies restrict the bodily autonomy of women worldwide in direct contradiction to the CSW’s goal of “the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women,” and set the tone for the U.S.’s participation in the program.

  • Valerie Huber, the abstinence-only-until-marriage proponent in charge of the nation’s family planning funding and now a U.S. delegate for CSW. Huber has personally spearheaded the efforts to terminate the evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program and led the charge to shift Title X family planning dollars to abstinence-only-until-marriage and “natural” family planning providers.

  • Ambassador Nikki Haley leads the delegation as the U.S. Ambassador to the UN. On the eve of International Women’s Day, just before the start of CSW, Haley quietly reconfirmed the Trump-Pence administration’s decision to withhold funding from UNFPA, the UN agency devoted to providing life-saving services for women and families often in the most dire humanitarian settings.

These anti-choice positions on the global stage should come as no surprise given the Trump-Pence administration’s obsession with curbing women’s health and rights. From expanding the harmful global gag rule on their first Monday in office, to issuing a rule allowing employers to deny their employees  birth control coverage and attempting to “defund” Planned Parenthood of Medicaid funds multiple times, the Trump-Pence administration has used every opportunity possible to undermine women’s access to preventive reproductive health care. The administration has even used the Office of Refugee Resettlement to control women’s bodies by supporting Scott Lloyd’s creepy crusade to block young, immigrant women in ORR’s custody from accessing safe, legal abortion.

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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 affiliates 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 100 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.