Tonight, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to advance Mike Pompeo’s nomination by Donald Trump to serve as U.S. Secretary of State. With all committee Democrats voting “no” and Republican Senator Rand Paul switching his “no” vote to a “yes” at the last minute, Pompeo will now advance to consideration by the full Senate. In response, NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue issued the following statement:
“Mike Pompeo squeaked by the committee at the last minute thanks to Rand Paul, and now we are one step closer to a dangerous scenario in which Pompeo will be at the helm of our nation’s foreign policy. He is a Trump loyalist grounded firmly in his extreme ideology, which includes the belief that there should be no exception for abortion even in cases of rape. Rape is a weapon of war. We need a Secretary of State who understands the physical and psychological damage that this wreaks on women and girls, families, and entire cultures, and who is able to put aside personal ideology and understand that reproductive healthcare has to be part of our collective pursuit of a world that values women and girls as equals.
“Any Senator who calls themself an advocate for women cannot vote to confirm Pompeo because greenlighting him to serve as Secretary of State is actively enabling Donald Trump’s brutal vendetta against women’s rights to expand across the world.
“The Trump administration is already doing extraordinary harm to women every day both at home and abroad, from expanding the global gag rule to eliminating funding for the United Nations’ family planning fund. Make no mistake, the lives of women and girls around the world are at stake.”
For more on Pompeo’s extreme anti-choice ideology, read NARAL’s Medium post here.
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.
Repeatedly voted for a ban on abortion after 20 weeks without an adequate exception to protect a woman’s health.
Repeatedly voted to defund Planned Parenthood health centers.
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.
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.
Repeatedly voted to allow hospitals to refuse to provide emergency abortion care, even when a woman’s life is in danger.
Repeatedly voted to allow employers to discriminate against employees based on their reproductive-health decisions.
Pompeo made the following public statements on reproductive-health issues:
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.”