by Connor Semelsberger, MPP , Joseph Norris
January 28, 2021
This is Part 1 of a blog series examining the records of President Biden’s Cabinet picks on abortion and family issues.
Many senators think newly-confirmed Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s decades of experience and foreign policy credentials make him a good fit to lead the State Department. Unfortunately, based on Blinken’s past statements and President Joe Biden’s stated foreign policy objectives, it seems likely that Secretary Blinken would support and promote abortion internationally through an aggressive pro-abortion agenda.
The Trump administration went to great lengths to advocate for pro-life policies abroad. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that abortion is not a human right and condemned any attempt to make a “new international right to abortion.” He and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar wrote a letter pushing back against the United Nations effort to expand abortions internationally. The Trump administration reinstated the Mexico City Policy and expanded it as the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy (PLGHA). PLGHA ensured that abortion providers and their subgrantees were unable to access taxpayer dollars abroad. These actions protected the world’s most vulnerable citizens, the unborn. Unfortunately, the Biden administration is expected to undo many of these policies and set a new bar for abortion advocacy abroad.
The Biden administration will differ drastically from the pro-life attitude of the Trump administration, especially in the international arena, where Biden has made several promises and commitments. Throughout his campaign, Biden pledged to expand abortion access and contraceptives and to fully rescind PLGHA. As secretary of state, Blinken will help Biden achieve this goal internationally. Planned Parenthood applauded Blinken’s nomination, writing that he will help achieve the goal of “[ending] the reproductive rights abuses … around the world.” The nominee himself has stated on Twitter that he believes Biden needs to protect women’s “reproductive rights” worldwide.
With the World Health Organization, United Nations, and other international organizations pushing to make abortion an international right, pro-life leadership in top government positions is needed now more than ever. Unfortunately, judging by Blinken’s past comments and actions, he will not be providing that leadership. While he was deputy secretary of state under President Obama, the Office of Global Women’s Issues was used to push for a radical sexual and reproductive health agenda under his leadership.
Although Blinken has not been a torchbearer for the abortion industry, his statements and past actions show that he will advocate for expanding the cruel practice of abortion internationally. His confirmation means the current secretary of state is no longer a champion for the unborn. Instead, Blinken will surely fall in line with President Biden’s agenda to expand abortion.
Connor Semelsberger, MPP is the Director of Federal Affairs for Life and Human Dignity at Family Research Council.
Joseph Norris is a Policy and Government Affairs intern focusing on pro-life federal affairs.