pledged Thursday the Obama administration's "deep commitment" to a U.N. blueprint aimed at slowing the world's population explosion and empowering women.
At the heart of the action plan adopted at a U.N. population conference in Cairo 15 years ago is a demand for women's equality through education, economic development, access to modern birth control and the right to choose if and when to become pregnant. . .
. . .Verveer, said President Barack Obama's decision to contribute $50 million to the U.N. Population Fund for family planning, an increase of more than 100 percent over the last U.S. contribution, in 2001, "will send an unambiguous signal to the world that the U.S. supports the Cairo Platform for Action."
Verveer spoke at a luncheon honoring Dr. Nafis Sadik, the former UNFPA head who has advocated using the UN to mandate the abortion license across the globe and force medical personnel to learn and perform abortions even against their conscience. Continuing from AP:
Verveer praised the Pakistani obstetrician-gynecologist for framing "the vision" of the Cairo plan that linked development, human rights, women's rights and reproductive health for the first time.
Verveer said she wanted to "clearly reiterate the renewed and deep commitment of the United States government to the ... Program of Action, and the Obama administration's steadfast determination to continue to work with other governments and NGOs to meet the goals we have set."
Clinton, now secretary of state, told a conference of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in Houston last month "that reproductive rights and the umbrella issue of women's rights and empowerment is going to be a key to the foreign policy of this administration."
For her part, Sadik who was celebrating her 80th birthday,
decried "the distortions of religion" that deny women their human rights and "bigots" who fall back on cultural values to deny rights to girls and women, especially on matters of reproductive and sexual health.
At Verveer's confirmation hearing, only two Senators questioned the nominee - Barbara Boxer of California and Roger Wicker of Mississippi. Verveer was lumped in with nominees for two other posts.
Senator Wicker did raise concerns that Verveer's position might be used to advocate abortion around the world to which Senator Boxer snipped, "I don't see foreign relations through the lens of abortion."
It is a testimony to the genteel nature of the Senator from Mississippi that he did not laugh out loud. Senator Boxer sees her morning breakfast cereal through the lens of abortion. Abortion is the hallmark of her entire political career.
But Wicker pressed on asking about Verveer's abortion advocacy as a former exec with People for the American Way and her financial support of Emily's list, to which Boxer expressed "shock" and said, "It is unfair to ask people what organizations they contribute money to or their personal views." She then went on a tirade about "anti-choice" people and basically shut the whole thing down by making it clear that any questioning along the lines of what has turned out to be the most pertinent responsibility of the new Ambassador wouldn't be tolerated.
For some more background on Verveer, see our older post - Obama Ambassador Tied to Catholics in Alliance, USCCB, NCR.