Ellen Sauerbrey

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Ellen R. Sauerbrey, of Maryland, "is a former minority leader of the Maryland House of Delegates and a former radio and television talk show host and commentator."


GWBush nominations and appointments

Sauerbrey was nominated February 10, 2006, by President George W. Bush to be Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration, a "key office at the State Department that coordinates the delivery of life-sustaining emergency aid to refugees of foreign wars, persecution and natural disasters." [3]

Sauerbrey was appointed to the position on January 4, 2006, by President Bush in a recess appointment. Sauerbrey replaces Arthur E. Dewey, who resigned.

At the time of her nomination by President Bush in September 2005, Sauerbrey was serving as the U.S. Representative to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), with the rank of ambassador.

Bush's Pro-Life Advocate at the UN
"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," Steven Ertelt, editor of Life News wrote September 1, 2005.

"Jeers and catcalls greeted" Sauerbrey at a UN global women's conference -- "which included some of the 6,000 activists who came from around the world" -- on March 4, 2005, when "she stressed Washington's opposition to abortion and support for sexual abstinence and fidelity," Reuters reported. "The loudest catcalls, unusual at the world body, came when she articulated U.S. policy on AIDS prevention for adolescents: 'We emphasize the value of the ABC -- abstinence, be faithful, and correct and consistent condom use where appropriate -- approach in comprehensive strategies to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS and the promotion of abstinence as the healthiest and most responsible choice for adolescents.'"

"This extraordinary attempt to limit reproductive freedom for women worldwide reveals yet again the anti-women bias of the Bush administration and its minions," said a Madison, Wisconsin, editorial in The Capital Times on March 5, 2005.

Qualifications in Question

"Sauerbrey has led U.S. efforts to rewrite international consensus agreements that promote women's reproductive health and freedom. Demonstrating a clear priority of politics over the needs and rights of women, she has championed President Bush's scientifically unproven 'abstinence-only' policies in place of successful and comprehensive HIV-prevention and family planning programs," Population Action International wrote October 3, 2005.

Sauerbrey "is not well prepared to take the job, having little experience working with refugees and a long record of opposing reproductive rights," Betsy Illingworth of Planned Parenthood wrote October 5, 2005. "Along with opposing reproductive health and rights, Sauerbrey has taken extremist positions on other women's rights issues in the context of the United Nations.

"In her role at the U.N. she has opposed ratification of the Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), a United Nations treaty agreed to by more than 180 countries (excluding the United States), and has also objected to language in U.N. documents that requires countries to 'condemn violence against women and refrain from invoking any custom, tradition or religious consideration to avoid their obligations with respect to its elimination as set out in the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women.' ... Her record shows that Sauerbrey clearly values ideology over effective and responsible policy. Unfortunately, so does President Bush," Illingworth wrote.

According to an October 9, 2005, New York Times Op-Ed, "Sauerbrey has no experience responding to major crises calling for international relief. As assistant secretary of state for population, refugees and migration, she would oversee a vital $700 million a year bureau that coordinates with private relief groups and other international players like the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees to set up refugee camps and arrange for adequate food, protection and other crucial assistance. She also would oversee the admissions of refugees for permanent resettlement in the United States. This is a post for an established expert in the field." [4]

First Nomination

Sauerbrey, a "former Maryland state legislator and twice-defeated Republican candidate for governor who was state chairman" of President Bush's 2000 campaign, was nominated by him "as the American representative to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women" June 17, 2002, and she was confirmed by the Senate November 14, 2002.

"Previously, she served on the U.S. delegations to the July 2002 Economic and Social Council substantive session (ECOSOC) and in fall 2002, UN General Assembly (UNGA). President Bush also appointed her to represent the United States to the March – April 2001 of the UN Commission on Human Rights (CHR)." [5]

In her position at the UN, according to the Times Op-Ed, "she has relentlessly pressed an antiabortion and anti-family-planning agenda at international conferences meant to focus on urgent problems like sexual trafficking and the spread of AIDS."


1998: "Ellen Sauerbrey, a Republican candidate for governor in Maryland. ... Sauerbrey ran for the same office in 1994 and came within less than a percentage point of winning. She is challenging the man who defeated her, incumbent Democratic Gov. Parris Glendening.

"Sauerbrey is running on many of the same issues she emphasized in 1994 -- controlling the size and cost of state government, encouraging economic growth and protecting the rights of crime victims. She is a former minority leader of the Maryland House of Delegates and a former radio and television talk show host and commentator." [6]

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