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State Department

The U.S. Department of State (also known as the State Department or State) is the American agency charged with leading U.S. foreign policy through “diplomacy, advocacy, and assistance.” Reproductive rights and human rights writ large did not fare well at the State Department under Trump. Each year, the State Department’s annual human rights report has cut analysis on women’s rights and discriminations, such as passages on access to contraceptives and abortion. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expanded the extreme Global Gag Rule and introduced multiple avenues at State—including the new CUR and the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom—through which anti-LGBTQ, anti–reproductive rights officials can export their views globally under the guise of religious freedom. As the U.S. looks to restore its diplomatic place on the world stage under Biden, a recommitment to ensuring that internationally agreed upon rights are restored, protected and advanced by the State Department is critically important.