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Power, Rice Should Use New Roles To Support Reproductive Health Rights In Post-2015 Agenda

Highlighting the recent appointments of Samantha Power as the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and Susan Rice as the White House national security adviser, Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, writes in the Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog, “These women assume their new roles at a pivotal time for U.S. engagement at the U.N. and in international development.” She notes the approaching 2015 deadline to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and states, “On May 30, a high-level panel appointed by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon released a report setting the new global agenda on international development … highlighting the need for support of reproductive health.” She adds, “[T]he high-level panel report lays out five ‘transformative shifts’ for the new global agenda,” including “a specific target to ensure universal access to reproductive health care and rights under Goal #4 Ensure Healthy Lives, which focuses on several interrelated health issues, including maternal health and HIV/AIDS.”

“Ensuring universal reproductive health rights and access to care is no mere abstract goal but a promise that young women do not have to drop out of school because they are pregnant, that all young people receive accurate, age-appropriate sex education, that no woman suffers or dies from unsafe abortion, and that rape in conflict will be acknowledged, addressed and — as we strive for peace and security in so many ways — ended,” Laguens continues. “Both Samantha Power and Susan Rice have demonstrated their commitment to the health and rights of women and young people,” she states. “As a provider and advocate of women’s health care, Planned Parenthood knows well the importance of equity in health care in the realization of human rights,” she writes, concluding, “Both Power and Rice will need to continue to exert strong leadership on behalf of the U.S. to ensure that the global community sets an agenda that achieves both” (8/2).