Trump’s Potential Envoy for Women’s Issues Raising Red Flags
President Trump continues to fill executive positions with nominees who spark backlash for holding values that contradict or conflict with the issues they’re appointed to oversee. On Friday, Politico reported that Trump is likely to pick Penny Young Nance, president and CEO of Concerned Women for America (CWA), as ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues. Nance has a vocal history of opposing abortion and LGBTQ rights.
Nance’s organization is a Christian non-profit whose online mission statement says it “protects and promotes Biblical values and Constitutional principles through prayer, education, and advocacy.”
Nance herself has been a strong opponent of abortion and gay rights. She has written a book titled “Feisty and Feminine: A Rallying Cry for Conservative Women.” She has also claimed the movie “Frozen” sends a harmful message about the role of men in society.
If appointed, Nance would oversee State Department programs to promote women and girls’ educational and economic opportunities and to fight gender-based violence. The CWA, however, has supported the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s attempt to prevent an undocumented immigrant teenager from obtaining an abortion, as well as the “global gag rule,” which prohibits overseas nongovernmental organizations that receive aid from the U.S. from providing abortion services or educating the public about abortion.
Trump may appoint anti-feminist Penny Nance to a key women’s rights position. Here’s where she and her org stand: https://t.co/EYwysjHyVO pic.twitter.com/fbrKlOa9CK
— Sejal Singh (@Sej_Singh) October 30, 2017
Under Nance’s leadership, the CWA opposed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act on the grounds that it “creates new protections for homosexuals” and “encourages the dissolution of marriages,” despite the fact that 12 million people are estimated to be abused by intimate partners in the United States each year. The CWA under Nance has also lobbied to defund Planned Parenthood, appoint anti-choice judges and pass state laws designed to cut off abortion access and impose a federal ban on abortion after 20 weeks. CWA also espouses the discredited theory that having an abortion is linked to increased breast cancer risk.
Nance once wrote in The Christian Post that rape victims should carry their pregnancies to term because “aborting her baby, which was the result of a crime, actually adds to the emotional and physical harm [of] the mother.”
When Uganda passed a bill criminalizing same-sex relations in 2014, exacerbating homophobia in that country, the CWA praised the “biblical and cultural stand against the radical homosexual agenda,” calling it “courageous.”
Politico notes that Democrats are leading the effort to prevent Nance from obtaining the post:
“We are aware of multiple concerns about Penny Nance’s possible nomination,” one of the congressional aides, a Senate Democratic staffer. “Extreme doesn’t begin to explain some of her policy positions, beliefs and past statements. The administration should think twice about nominating her. …”
“Her experience and her track record don’t demonstrate a commitment to gender equality,” said Heather Higginbottom, chief operating officer of CARE USA, an anti-poverty organization largely focused on women and girls. “She should not be the U.S. government’s ambassador on these issues to the world.”
Dawn Laguens, executive vice president for the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, added: “The millions of vulnerable women and girls across the globe deserve an ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues who will support and respect them, not an ideologue who is actively complicit in undermining their human rights. …”
Gay rights groups also are worried. “Her organization has attacked anti-bullying efforts, essentially giving bullies a green light to attack LGBTQ kids and other vulnerable children,” said JoDee Winterhof of the Human Rights Campaign.
Politico also notes that Nance’s advocacy for women largely “focuses on issues dear to women on the right,” such as working with Ivanka Trump to expand the child tax credit.
Wait, before you go…
Appointing @PYNance global women’s ambassador would be like putting an arsonist in charge of the fire department https://t.co/SKj0GGTYpq
— Erica Sackin (@ericajanes) October 30, 2017
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