Engel Speaks at Planned Parenthood Event Honoring Nita Lowey and Leads Congressional Hearing on Global Women's Health

Engel Speaks at Planned Parenthood Event Honoring Nita Lowey and Leads Congressional Hearing on Global Women’s Health

Congressman Eliot L. Engel gave remarks on Wednesday, February 5th at a Planned Parenthood reception on Capitol Hill honoring New York Congresswoman Nita Lowey’s longtime work to advance women’s sexual and reproductive health rights globally.

“I want to thank my dear friend Nita Lowey—she has been a tireless advocate and leader on this issue in Congress,” Engel said. “The fight to protect women’s health and reproductive rights needs our attention, not just at home but also abroad. Rep. Lowey and I have always championed this critical issue, and as Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee I have made it my priority to advance women’s health rights at a global level.”   

Engel, a Member of the House Pro Choice Caucus, also led a hearing in the Foreign Affairs Committee earlier in the day on challenges women across the globe face in accessing health care services.

“This is one of those topics where I think it’s helpful to take a step back and look at the big picture so we can understand why this issue—global women’s health—should be a foreign policy priority.We know that when women are able to live fuller, more productive lives, when they have access to education and economic opportunity, when they can be full participants in their communities and societies, it acts like a rising tide. Entire countries become more stable, more open, and more prosperous,”said Engel at the hearing.

The Foreign Affairs hearing included Congresswoman Lowey’s Global Health, Empowerment and Rights (HER) Act, H.R. 1055, which is cosponsored by Congressman Engel. This legislation would permanently repeal the global gag rule, also known as the Mexico City Policy, which bans federal funds for foreign non-governmental organizations that use non-U.S. funds to provide abortion services or provide information about abortion as part of comprehensive family planning services. The Trump Administration has implemented and expanded the harmful global gag rule.

On February 12, 2020, the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, which Engel serves on, will hold a hearing on the Women’s Health Protection Act, H.R. 2975. Congressman Engel helped introduce this legislation which bans states from enacting medically unnecessary restrictions that limit a woman’s access to comprehensive reproductive health services, including abortion services.