WASHINGTON — As the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women concluded late Friday, Planned Parenthood condemned U.S. delegates, such as Valerie Huber (HHS), Bethany Kozma (USAID), and Pam Pryor (State Dept.), who pushed forward the Trump-Pence administration's anti-reproductive health agenda. Despite the regressive positioning of the U.S. delegation and others, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) — a global, intergovernmental body dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment — has bucked the Trump-Pence administration’s backwards agenda, and instead adopted conclusions reaffirming many important commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Statement from Dr. Leana Wen, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
The Trump-Pence administration is creating a ripple effect that will hurt communities worldwide. We are deeply troubled by the United States’ extreme positions, laid out to the Commission on the Status of Women. By attempting to erase sexual and reproductive health from U.N. agreements and censor reproductive rights violations in the State Department human rights report, the administration aims to dismantle access to care, censor doctors, and erase entire communities of people from global conversations. We know the administration’s efforts will have the worst impact on the people who already face barriers to care – including women and girls, people with low incomes, youth, and LGBTQ communities.
In spite of the actions of the U.S. delegates’ and other governments hostile to sexual and reproductive health and rights, countries agreed to new international standards on women’s human rights, social protection systems, access to public services, and sustainable infrastructure. The CSW built upon prior agreements on sexual and reproductive health and rights, education, and gender-based violence, and pledged to improve health care infrastructure with a specific focus on addressing maternal mortality. However, the CSW failed to protect sexual and reproductive health services for survivors of violence, which will impact survivors of sexual violence. The commission also was not able to integrate protections for sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression into the design of social protection and public service systems. Planned Parenthood will continue to hold the U.S. government accountable for undermining progress as the organization stands with human rights defenders around the world to ensure CSW and other forums at the UN remain committed to upholding and advancing the health and rights of all.
These anti-reproductive health 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 as one of Trump’s first actions in office, to issuing a rule allowing employers to deny their employees birth control coverage, attempting to “defund” Planned Parenthood of Medicaid funds multiple times, and releasing a final gag rule that makes it illegal for health care providers in the Title X program to refer patients for an abortion — the administration has used every opportunity possible to undermine access to reproductive health care.
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 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.