by Steven Ertelt
September 1, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — President Bush has named a pro-life woman to a key population post within the State Department. The president appointed Ellen Sauerbrey, a former Maryland state lawmaker and gubernatorial candidate, to become assistant secretary of state for population.
Sauerbrey, whose nomination must be approved by the Senate, has been a strong pro-life advocate as the U.S. representative to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women. She has been instrumental in ensuring important United Nations documents do not promote abortion.
In her new position, Sauerbrey would oversee more than $700 million worth of programs for refugee protection, resettlement and humanitarian assistance, according to an Associated Press report.
This year, Sauerbrey lobbied other nations to include language in a document reaffirming a declaration on women and population developed at the 1995 Cairo population conference to ensure that it did not back abortion.
The U.S. eventually agreed to drop the request for the language when other nations agreed that they would not use the document to promote overturning laws against abortion in dozens of countries. Sauerbrey told reporters in March that nations agreed abortion decisions should be made at the national and not the international level.
"I think one of the things that has been very clearly established that should give a lot of comfort to concerned Americans is that virtually every country said we interpret it the same as you — we interpret that these are issues of national sovereignty," Sauerbrey said.
Darla St. Martin, associate executive director of National Right to Life, told LifeNews.com that "Ellen Sauerbrey had worked very hard carrying out the president’s pro-life policies."
"This new job will give her another excellent opportunity to help make sure that the President’s pro-life policies are represented at the UN," St. Martin added.
Jennifer Kidwell, a spokeswoman for the International Women’s Health Coalition, a pro-abortion group, told AP she wasn’t ready to comment on Sauerbrey’s nomination.
Bush named her to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights shortly after taking office and promoted her to the post at the United Nations a year later.
Sauerbrey served in the Maryland state House for 18 years, including eight as the Republican leader. In 1994 and 1998 she challenged pro-abortion Governor Parris Glendening, and lost by fewer than 6,000 votes in her first bid.