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Media Advisory: US delegation to CSW includes groups bent on dismantling UN reproductive health institutions

March 15, 2017

To: Reporters
From: Catholics for Choice
Date: 15 March 2017
Re: US delegation to CSW includes groups bent on dismantling UN development and reproductive health institutions

The Trump administration’s agenda to “deconstruct the administrative state,” as stated by White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was made evident to global allies at this week’s sixty-first session of the United Nations (UN) Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).  The official government delegation to CSW, headed by newly minted US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, was accompanied by two public delegates from the Center for Family & Human Rights (C-FAM) and The Heritage Foundation— two ultraconservative organizations with a long history of tearing down the CSW and its “feminist agenda” in support of reproductive rights.

“In the midst of potential deep cuts to US contributions to the UN, the inclusion of these antichoice and anti-UN voices was clearly meant to send a signal of hostility by the new administration to the CSW,” said Catholics for Choice president Jon O’Brien.  “These representatives from radical right have railed against the work of the CSW and UN agencies, like the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), that have until now relied on US support to provide essential reproductive health services for the most vulnerable women around the world.”

C-FAM has called for the defunding of UNFPA, opposed the landmark Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), opposed anti-discrimination efforts for LGBTI persons, promoted the “Global Gag Rule,” and criticized UNICEF’s educational efforts.  C-FAM’s President Austin Ruse has also stated publicly that his organizations’ objective has been to break “every single rule of UN lobby,” and create chaos within the organization.  Their inclusion in the U.S. delegation to CSW leaves clear that the US position on women’s issues at the UN will be dictated by the religious right and those bent on dismantling and discrediting critical UN development and reproductive health institutions.

For more information, check out these Catholics for Choice reports:

Bad Faith Makes Politics: The Culture of Life Foundation on Capitol Hill

Bad Faith at the UN

For interviews and comment, please contact Cynthia Romero at 202-986-6093 or