Communications Department

NRLC letter urges U.S. House to reject State Department bill

Jun 5, 2009 | International

What appears below is the text of a letter that was sent by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) to members of the U.S. House of Representatives on June 5, 2009. 

Dear Member of Congress:

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), representing Right to Life affiliates nationwide, is opposed to the State Department authorization bill (H.R. 2410), which is scheduled to come to the floor of the House of Representatives during the week of June 8. NRLC urges you to vote against H.R. 2410, and intends to include the roll call on passage in our scorecard of key pro-life roll calls for the 111th Congress.

H.R. 2410 (Section 334) would establish an Office for Global Women’s Issues, headed by an official with the rank of ambassador-at-large, charged with promoting “women’s empowerment internationally.” Questioned by Foreign Affairs Committee members on April 22, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared, “We are now an administration that will protect the rights of women, including their rights to reproductive health care,” and that “reproductive health includes access to abortion.” As Secretary Clinton put it during her exchange with Congressman Chris Smith, “you are entitled to advocate . . . anywhere in the world, and so are we.”

At the May 20 markup, the Foreign Affairs Committee rejected, on a party-line vote, an amendment offered by Mr. Smith to prevent the proposed new office from engaging in efforts to alter the laws of foreign nations governing abortion. Mr. Smith intends to submit a similar amendment to the Rules Committee, and NRLC supports this amendment. If the Smith amendment is made in order and adopted by the House, NRLC will withdraw its opposition to H.R. 2410 and will be neutral on the question of final passage.

But if the Smith amendment is not adopted, NRLC must oppose passage of H.R. 2410, because the bill will further empower the Obama Administration to pursue its agenda of undermining the pro-life laws of sovereign nations. To the extent that the Administration succeeds in such efforts, it will greatly increase the number of abortions. As Stanley K. Henshaw, deputy director of research for the Alan Guttmacher Institute, wrote in 1994, “In most countries, it is common after abortion is legalized for abortion rates to rise sharply for several years, then stabilize, just as we have seen in the United States.”

Thank you for your consideration of NRLC’s position on this important issue.


Douglas Johnson
NRLC Legislative Director

Categories: International