Washington D.C., Jan 26, 2021 / 01:15 pm (CNA).- Pro-abortion and pro-LGBT groups applauded the Senate’s confirmation of Secretary of State nominee Antony Blinken on Tuesday.
Blinken, nominated to be the next Secretary of State by President Joe Biden, was confirmed to the position by the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, by a vote of 67-22. He served as deputy secretary of state under President Obama, from 2015-2017.
In response to Blinken’s confirmation, the groups Planned Parenthood Global and the Human Rights Campaign stated their approval on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, Planned Parenthood Global stated its expectation that Blinken’s State Department would be “supporting SRHR [sexual and reproductive health and rights] across foreign policy.”
The term “sexual and reproductive health and rights” has been used by the United Nations’ human rights office to refer to a variety of issue areas that include abortion, contraception, and gender ideology.
“We are ready to work together to advance global health & human rights,” Planned Parenthood Global stated of Blinken.
Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, stated that the organization would work with Blinken “in the days, weeks, and years ahead to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights around the world!”
The Human Rights Campaign also gave its approval of Blinken’s confirmation on Tuesday.
“Antony Blinken will ensure the rights of all LGBTQ people, from every background, are once again a top priority in America’s foreign policy — and that when LGBTQ people abroad are under threat, they can count on the State Department as an ally,” the group stated.
During his confirmation hearings last week before members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Blinken said he would allow U.S. embassies to fly rainbow “Pride” flags and would appoint a Special Envoy for LGBTI issues at the agency.
Planned Parenthood Global said on Tuesday that it anticipates “strong leadership” under Blinken at the State Department, “including undoing the harm of the #GlobalGagRule.” The “Global Gag Rule” is a term used by pro-abortion groups to refer to the Mexico City Policy, which bars foreign NGOs that perform or promote abortions from receiving U.S. family planning funding.
Incoming presidents normally repeal or reinstate the policy among their first actions in office. President Biden will reportedly repeal the Mexico City Policy on Thursday in an executive action.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House chief medical advisor on COVID-19, told board members of the World Health Organization (WHO) last week that the administration would be reversing the policy in the “coming days,” and reiterated the administration’s commitment to upholding “reproductive health” abroad.
The Trump administration expanded upon the Mexico City Policy, which normally just applies to family planning funding. The administration extended the policy to include more than $8 billion in global health assistance, requiring partner groups not to promote abortion as a condition of receiving the assistance.
The International Planned Parenthood Federation was one of the groups outspoken against the reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy in 2017, claiming it could lose $100 million in annual funding for non-abortion services.
During his confirmation hearings last week, Blinken also affirmed his “judgement” that that China is committing “genocide” against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang province—in agreement with former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who made the genocide designation on Jan. 19.
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