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Current Page: Politics | Tuesday, October 08, 2019
Pro-life groups demand Trump admin oppose pro-choice OAS head’s reelection

Pro-life groups demand Trump admin oppose pro-choice OAS head’s reelection

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a press conference on Tuesday, March 26, 2019. | Twitter/Department of State

A coalition of pro-life groups have sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging him to remove support for the current head of the Organization of American States due to his abortion advocacy.

Sent to Pompeo last week, the letter asked that the United States government withdraw their support for the reelection of current OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro.

“Mr. Almagro’s pro-abortion activism is gravely inappropriate for the Secretary General of the OAS, especially if we consider ... that it is contrary to treaty law. Nor have member states authorized him to advance abortion throughout the hemisphere,” stated the letter.

“His irresponsible behavior puts at risk the legitimacy and authority of the OAS at a time when we need it to be strong and credible to effectively denounce the egregious violations of human rights in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.”

The letter cited as examples of this activism Almagro granting a consulting contract to a pro-choice socialist gynecologist and holding meetings with the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the Center for Reproductive Rights for advancing abortion legalization in Latin America.

“We believe that this record of abortion advocacy warrants a change in leadership at the OAS, and respectfully ask that the U.S. support an alternative candidate for the position,” concluded the letter.

Signatories of the letter included Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List; Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life; Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life Action; Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission; Cheryl Sullenger, senior vice president of Operation Rescue; and Terry Schilling, executive director of the American Principles Project, among others.

Last December, Almagro announced that he was going to seek a second five-year term as head of OAS, with the former Foreign Affairs Minister of Uruguay having been elected in 2015.

“Colombia and U.S. ambassadors have informed me of a joint proposal from a group of countries expressing support for my candidacy for re-election as Secretary General of the OAS,” he announced on Twitter. “I have decided to accept this responsibility.”

In 2015, Almagro was elected by the OAS with 33 votes in favor and one abstention. To be reelected, he must secure at least 18 votes, according to Bloomberg.

In March, Pompeo announced that the Trump administration was going to more strictly enforce a federal prohibition on using funds to lobby for or against abortion, known as the Siljander Amendment, in response to activism in OAS.

“In light of recent evidence of abortion-related advocacy by an organ of the Organization of American States, I directed my team to include a provision in foreign assistance agreements with the OAS that explicitly prohibits the use of funds to lobby for or against abortion,” stated Pompeo at the time.

“The institutions of the OAS should be focused on addressing crises in Cuba, in Nicaragua, and in Venezuela, not advancing the pro-abortion cause.”

As part of this decision, Pompeo also noted in March that they were reducing their contributions to the OAS to reflect the estimated cost of American money in the reported abortion advocacy.   

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