Today, the U.S. Department of State released a report from the Commission on Unalienable Rights. As outlined by Secretary Pompeo during his in-person address in Philadelphia, this report is the culmination of a year’s work to redefine human rights according to what he calls “America’s founding principles.”
Pompeo’s “founding principles” however are centered on discrimination. The commission itself is stacked with advisors, including Chair Mary Ann Glendon, who have long records arguing against reproductive rights — including access to safe, legal abortion — and against rights for LGBTQ+ communities. The report upholds these extreme ideologies by asserting the supremacy of religious liberty over other rights and brushing aside what the Commission terms “new rights,” including reproductive and LGBTQ+ rights, as contested and controversial.
Statement from Monica Kerrigan, executive director, Planned Parenthood Global:
“The administration’s new ‘report’ should be seen for what it really is: an attempt to narrowly redefine human rights in order to violate them. At a time when this administration is attacking reproductive rights, rolling back LGBTQ+ rights, perpetuating systemic racism, marginalizing immigrants, and demonizing the free press, this report is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to bolster neocolonialist ideals and intentionally exclude specific groups from legal protections.
“The report claims religious liberty comes first, a principle this administration has used to limit access to birth control and justify discrimination. Human rights are universal and indivisible; all people are entitled to the same rights and all people must respect the rights of others. The U.S. should be leading the charge to protect and defend human rights, not undermining them for political gain.”
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 Global has supported access to sexual and reproductive health care and advocated for reproductive rights around the world. In partnership with more than 100 organizations across 9 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 provided over 1.8 million people with sexual and reproductive health information and services. 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. Planned Parenthood Global is the international arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.