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April 12, 2018 / Press Releases

NARAL Opposes the Nomination of Mike Pompeo to Secretary of State

For Immediate Release: April 12, 2018
Contact: [email protected]

After the Senate held a hearing to advance the nomination of Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State, NARAL Pro-Choice America Vice President of Communications and Strategic Research Adrienne Kimmell issued the following statement in response:

“The Secretary of State has a responsibility to ensure that the rights of women and girls are protected in the United States and across the world, so it’s alarming that Mike Pompeo may be the person to fill this highly consequential role. Pompeo’s long history of extreme anti-choice views leaves no doubt that he’ll use his platform to roll back reproductive freedom and human rights across the globe. From supporting legislation to make abortion illegal nationwide to opposing abortion access for women who are survivors of rape—a weapon of war—we have no doubt that Pompeo will stand in the way of advancing the rights of women and girls around the world.

“As Republicans push for Pompeo’s confirmation, we must make sure it isn’t done with votes by elected officials who call themselves advocates and champions for women. Anyone who believes in advancing reproductive freedom simply cannot vote for him and his anti-choice agenda. NARAL members will hold anyone who throws women’s rights and lives under the bus accountable.”

Mike Pompeo’s Extensive Anti-Choice Record

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:


  • 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.1
  • Repeatedly voted for a ban on abortion after 20 weeks without an adequate exception to protect a woman’s health.2
  • Repeatedly voted to defund Planned Parenthood health centers.3
  • 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.4
  • 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.5
  • Repeatedly voted to allow hospitals to refuse to provide emergency abortion care, even when a woman’s life is in danger.6
  • Repeatedly voted to allow employers to discriminate against employees based on their reproductive-health decisions.7

Pompeo made the following public statements on reproductive-health issues:

  • Pompeo’s congressional campaign websitestated, “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.”8

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 LifeKansas 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.

[1] H.R.374, 112th Cong. (2011); H.R.23, 113th Cong. (2013); H.R.1091, 113th Cong. (2013); H.R.426, 114th Cong. (2015); H.R.816, 114th Cong. (2015).

[2] “Pain-Capable” Unborn Child Protection Act, H.R.3808, 7/31/12; “Pain-Capable” Unborn Child Protection Act, H.R.1797, 6/18/13; Motion to recommit the “Pain-Capable” Unborn Child Protection Act, H.R.36, 5/13/15; “Pain-Capable” Unborn Child Protection Act, H.R.36, 5/13/15.

[3] Pence amendment to FY’11 Continuing Resolution, H.R.1, 2/18/11; FY’11 Continuing Resolution, H.R.1, 2/19/11; Enrollment resolution to FY’11 Continuing Resolution, H.Con.Res.36, 4/14/11; Defund Planned Parenthood Act, H.R.3134, 9/18/15; Women’s Public Health and Safety Act, H.R.3495, 9/29/15; FY’16 Continuing Resolution, H.Con.79, 9/30/15; Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act, H.R.3762, 10/23/15; FY’16 Budget Reconciliation, H.R.3762, 1/6/16; Veto override of H.R.3762, 2/2/16.

[4] FY’11 Continuing Resolution, H.R.1, 2/19/11.

[5] No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, H.R.3, 5/4/11; Protect Life Act, H.R.358, 10/13/11; No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, H.R.7, 1/28/14; No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, H.R.7, 1/22/15.

[6] Capps motion to recommit H.R.358, 10/13/11; Protect Life Act, H.R.358, 10/13/11.

[7] H.J.Res.43, 4/30/15; Byrne amendment to Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, H.R.5055, 5/25/16; Palmer amendment to Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, H.R.5485, 7/7/16.

[8] 159 Cong. Rec. H210-H211 (daily ed. Jan. 22, 2013) (statement of Rep. Pompeo).

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.”


Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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