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Power will Help Lead Charge to Rebuild Global Partnerships; Advance Sexual & Reproductive Health Abroad

WASHINGTON — Today, President-elect Biden announced his intent to nominate Ambassador Samantha Power as administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This position is critical to our global work to combat COVID-19, reduce poverty, empower women and girls, advance gender equality, and expand access to critical and lifesaving health care, including sexual and reproductive health services. 

After years of anti-abortion, homophobic, transphobic, mysogynistic, and isolationist global policies implemented by Trump officials — and after the lack of coordinated global action from the outgoing administration to address the COVID-19 pandemic — Power must hit the ground running to protect and improve health care and human rights for everyone. 

Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were elected by the people of the United States, but their work and support will be felt by people around the world. By radically expanding the global gag rule and implementing countless other anti-reproductive health actions over the past four years, the United States didn’t just fail to support global reproductive health care access — it actively blocked it. We must end these harmful policies and advance care for all people. That means access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information and services — including abortion, equitable services for transgender and LGBTQ+ people, comprehensive sex education, and so much more. Ambassador Power and the Biden-Harris administration have the opportunity to make this a reality.

With this global-facing position, the Biden-Harris administration has the opportunity to right the wrongs of the Trump administration and advance sexual and reproductive health and human rights, beginning with: 

  • rescinding the global gag rule and supporting efforts to permanently repeal it and the Helms Amendment

  • championing sexual and reproductive health and rights throughout U.S. foreign policy 

  • rebuilding our relationship with the global community

  • developing a new COVID-19 relief package that prioritizes the needs of women and families around the world — particularly marginalized groups, who are bearing the brunt of the pandemic’s health and economic effects

  • and so much more. 

Ambassador Power has a long history of advancing human rights, championing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to tackle major global challenges — including health care access and gender equality — and more. Her work will be critical to these first steps — and the many steps that must follow. Power served for four years under the Obama administration as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, where she led the effort to negotiate and implement the ambitious SDGs and reach international agreements on care for refugees. Prior to her U.N. role, Ambassador Power served for four years on President Obama’s National Security Council staff as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, where she advised the administration on UN reform, LGBTQ+ and women’s rights, and the fight against human trafficking. 

Planned Parenthood Action Fund is ready to work with Ambassador Power and the entire Biden-Harris team — throughout this transition, on day one, and in the days, weeks, and years ahead — to advance the health and rights of all communities.

A bold coalition of more than 90 progressive organizations developed “First Priorities for the Blueprint for Sexual and Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice,” a detailed list of executive and agency actions on global and domestic issues that Planned Parenthood Action Fund expects the Biden-Harris administration to get to work on immediately. 

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Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy and electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.

For 50 years, Planned Parenthood Global has supported access to sexual and reproductive health care and advocated for reproductive rights around the world. In partnership with 96 organizations across nine 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.

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