Secretary of State Clinton’s Global Health Priorities?

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Hillary Clinton is our new Secretary of State. What kind of power can she wield in matters of global health and what will she do to fix some of our most pressing reproductive health challenges?

Hillary Clinton has been confirmed as Secretary of State under President Obama. It reads like a Democrat’s dream, doesn’t it?

Clinton has the support of the reproductive and women’s health communities at large. As Senator, Clinton was a strong, pro-active advocate – and sometime fighter – for reproductive health and rights. It was largely due to a long battle initiated by Clinton that the FDA, entangled in Bush’s political web, finally allowed emergency contraception to be offered behind the counter.

Now Hillary Clinton has an opportunity to wield enormous power on our foreign policy – including our global health policies and priorities. It is expected that Obama will repeal the Global Gag Rule tomorrow but Clinton will still have influence over the UNFPA funding for family planning abroad, our Global AIDS plan (PEPFAR) and more. With a Secretary of State like Clinton will we see greater movement on the path towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals? Lowering dismal maternal mortality rates around the globe? Some women’s health advocates seem to think so. 

The next question then is who will replace Clinton in her Senate position? Most notably the race includes Andrew Cuomo and Rep. Carolyn Maloney but there are others on the long list

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