Reproductive health advocates are praising the nomination of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to serve as the next U.S. secretary of state.
President-elect Barack Obama’s nomination on Monday of Clinton, a longtime champion of women’s rights around the globe, suggests that international reproductive health policies may be a high priority in the Obama administration, family planning leaders said.
“She’s been a strong advocate for sexual and reproductive health rights throughout all her years on the federal level, and I expect her to carry that through in her new job,” said Susan Cohen, government affairs director at the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-choice think tank.
Although Clinton’s agenda will likely be dominated by the diplomatic challenges of a global war on terror, she is expected to restore U.S. leadership on issues of population, human rights, and environmental enforcement if the Congress approves her nomination.
“She recognizes how important [reproductive rights] are to an overall foreign policy agenda,” said Brian Dixon, vice president of government relations at Population Connection. “Her commitment to this is undeniable. I don’t think she’s going to allow it to slide too far down the list of things to be worked on.”
Although Clinton’s leadership would have to remain consistent with the decisions of President Obama, as secretary of state she would be able to influence global reproductive health priorities through department policies and – assuming the department’s organizational structure is unchanged – through U.S. Agency for International Development funding. Read the full story here.