July 10, 2019 Press Release



Contact: Alexa Barrett, Communications Assistant
Email: alexa@equityfwd.org
Phone: (914) 602 - 3147

Members of Trump’s New Commission on Unalienable Rights Have Extremist Views

Watchdog group releases research highlighting members’ history of anti-women, anti-reproductive health and anti-LGBTQ work

New York, NY – This week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo formally launched the Commission on Unalienable Rights after announcing its formation May 30. In response, Equity Forward, a reproductive rights watchdog organization, released new research highlighting that the majority of the commissioners — including the new chair — and those who shaped the commission’s creation have histories of restricting the rights of women and LGBTQ individuals.

“Appointing these ideologues to a commission purporting to safeguard human rights will have the opposite effect and will endanger the health and well-being of countless women,” said Michelle Kuppersmith, Director of Equity Forward. “This is a clear extension of the Trump administration’s anti-women, anti-reproductive health campaign, and a blatant attempt to restrict the rights of vulnerable populations around the globe.”

Extremist anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ members of the Commission include:

  • Mary Ann Glendon, Chair to the Commission – Glendon is known for taking inflammatory and extreme positions against abortion and the rights of LGBTQ individuals. In one instance, she attributed the “coarsening of the social fabric” to the prevalence of abortion. She further warned that abortion “promotes a certain callousness which sends ‘frightening messages’ about helplessness and inconvenient life” to children. 

  • Paolo Carozza, Commissioner – Carroza’s anti-reproductive rights, anti-women track record includes co-signing a letter to President Obama calling the inclusion of sterilization, birth control and abortion in health insurance plans “a grave violation of religious freedom [that] cannot stand,” and espousing his anti-abortion views while serving on the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR).

  • Shaykh Hamza Yusuf Hanson, Commissioner – Yusuf holds extreme anti-abortion views, including his stated belief that “abortion, with rare exception, must be seen for what it is: an assault on a sanctified life, in a sacred space, by a profane hand.”

Additional research can be found HERE.


Equity Forward is a watchdog organization that runs research-driven campaigns to ensure transparency and accountability among anti-reproductive health groups and individuals.