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Despite Bremberg’s extreme anti-abortion beliefs, Senate advances nomination

WASHINGTON — Today, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to advance the nomination of Andrew Bremberg, who opposes access to abortion and is hostile to the LGBTQ community as well as to immigrants, for Representative of the U.S. to the Office of the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva. In this position, Bremberg would represent the U.S. in critical global decisions on a range of issues including: health, human rights, and humanitarian crises.

Statement from Caitlin Horrigan, Director of Advocacy, Planned Parenthood Global:

“Andrew Bremberg would not only obstruct, but actively work to take away and undermine the rights of women, the LGBTQ community, and immigrants–the very communities that face the greatest barriers to sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice. The world needs an ambassador who will champion and defend the human rights of all people. All people deserve to live healthy lives and have their human rights respected, protected, and fulfilled—no matter who they are or where they live—yet based on his record Bremberg would do the opposite. We urge all Senators to vote to oppose Bremberg’s confirmation.”

At his confirmation hearing in June, Andrew Bremberg unequivocally professed his belief that survivors of sexual assault do not have the right to access abortion. Thirty eight organizations oppose his nomination on the basis of his record on reproductive health, as well as hostile anti-LGBTQ and anti-immigrant views.

In a sharp exchange between Bremberg and Ranking Member Bob Menendez, the senator asked Bremberg if survivors of sexual violence should be able to access abortion where it is 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 — just one instance in a long line of attempts by the Trump-Pence administration to use the UN to push its extreme anti-reproductive health and rights agenda. The full exchange can be viewed here.

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 policy’s impact, he dismissed concerns about the rule’s serious effect.

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. Several reports by International Women’s Health Coalition, Human Rights Watch, and other organizations and journalists confirm similar findings. In addition to this, a new study published by the Lancet found that when the policy was in effect between 2001-2008, abortion rates increased about 40% among women in countries most affected by this rule. It also found a symmetric reduction in the use of modern contraception while the policy was enacted, coinciding with an increase in pregnancies — warning of significant, wide-spread impact of the expanded version of the policy under the Trump-Pence administration.  

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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 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.