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April 26, 2018 / Press Releases

NARAL Condemns Anti-Choice Extremist Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State


For Immediate Release: April 26, 2018
Contact: media@prochoiceamerica.org

After the Senate voted to confirm Mike Pompeo as U.S. Secretary of State, NARAL Pro-Choice America Vice President Adrienne Kimmell issued the following statement in response:

“Today is a dark day for women and girls across the world with Mike Pompeo now at the helm of our nation’s foreign policy. His clear and consistent anti-choice record makes clear that he will use his new position to roll back the reproductive rights of women and girls across the world. Those who voted to confirm Pompeo demonstrate just how much work we still have to do when it comes to showing that women’s rights are human rights—and NARAL members will hold them accountable.

“Mike Pompeo shares Donald Trump’s obsession with chipping away at our fundamental rights, and holds the extreme view that there should be no exception for abortion even in cases of rape. This dangerous and extreme ideology, when put in the context of the real lived experiences of so many women and girls around the world, paints a dire picture. The fact of the matter is that rape is used as a weapon of war, wreaking havoc and devastation upon women, girls, families, and entire cultures. A Secretary of State who is unable to put their own ideology aside to understand this reality will never be able to create a world that is safe and equitable for everyone. It’s the women and girls around the globe who are most often the victims of war and conflict and now will be victims of Pompeo’s extremism.”

For more on Pompeo’s extreme anti-choice ideology, read NARAL’s Medium post here.

The Trump administration has routinely used the State Department to advance devastating attacks on reproductive freedom, such as expanding the Global Gag rule and taking every mention of reproductive rights from the annual human rights report, and Pompeo clearly shares their extreme ideology. During his six years in the U.S. House, Rep. Pompeo cast 32 votes on abortion and other reproductive-rights issues, all of which were anti-choice. A list of his key actions and public statements hostile towards reproductive freedom are below:

  • Pompeo repeatedly cosponsored legislation that would make abortion illegal nationwide in almost all cases and ban some of the most common forms of contraception, stem-cell research, and in vitro fertilization.
  • Pompeo repeatedly voted for a ban on abortion after 20 weeks without an adequate exception to protect a woman’s health.
  • Pompeo repeatedly voted to defund Planned Parenthood health centers.
  • Pompeo repeatedly voted in favor of the global gag rule, which bans overseas health clinics from receiving U.S. aid if they use their own funds to provide legal abortion services, give referrals, or even take a public pro-choice position.
  • Pompeo repeatedly voted for the Hyde amendment, which blocks coverage of abortion care for low-income women, military women, federal employees, and many more, in a bill establishing a new medical-research fund.
  • Pompeo repeatedly voted to allow hospitals to refuse to provide emergency abortion care, even when a woman’s life is in danger.
  • Pompeo repeatedly voted to allow employers to discriminate against employees based on their reproductive-health decisions.
  • Pompeo’s congressional campaign website stated, “Mike believes life begins at conception and ends at natural death. He has great respect for human life on all instances with no exceptions.”
  • In an interview, Pompeo said he did not support allowing rape survivors to access abortion care: “I believe that that child – however conceived – is a life and I want very much for that life to continue to exist.”
  • Pompeo gave a long speech on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade during which he repeatedly denigrated the decision itself and reproductive rights in general. He called Roe “one of the worst decisions of our United States Supreme Court,” spoke of the “enormous [cost]” of the decision, and stated his commitment to “protect every unborn life.”

Pompeo received a 100% score from the National Right to Life Committee every year he served in Congress. He also received endorsements and donations from far-right and anti-choice groups such as the National Right to Life, Kansas for Life and The Family Research Council’s ActionPAC, which is designated as a hate group. You can find a full list of his anti-choice record here.

NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all Americans. NARAL works to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”

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