Longtime Abortion Advocate Appointed to Lead UNICEF

By | December 23, 2021

Catherine Russell, new UNICEF Executive Director

WASHINGTON DC, December 24 (C-Fam) UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of longtime Biden advisor Catherine Russell to lead UNICEF. Russell’s support for abortion and gender policy aligns with the controversial issues being promoted by UNICEF to children around the world.

Russell has been at the forefront of the promotion of the highly controversial term “sexual and reproductive health and rights” in international policy. The term is used to promote both abortion and LGBT policy internationally and was first used by the Obama administration under Russell’s leadership.

Her appointment came following the recommendation of U.S. President Joe Biden, who said Russell has been a collaborator and counselled the President “countless times.”

“Ambassador Cathy Russell has been a trusted and indispensable advisor to Jill and me for nearly 30 years”, Biden said.

Russell currently serves as an assistant to the president and leads the White House personnel office. She served as the Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues in the Obama-Biden Administration—an office known to collaborate with overseas abortion groups. Russell is credited as the chief architect of a global strategy for adolescent girls that was issued by Obama’s State Department, which included “sexual and reproductive health and rights” for the first time in a U.S. policy document.

The term more commonly referred to as “SRHR” is considered controversial in any context as a vehicle for promoting abortion, gender ideology and the LGBT agenda. It is even more problematic in the context of policies for children. The term has never been adopted by the General Assembly.  It is widely used by international agencies that have defined it to include abortion, homosexual and transgender issues, including by the Biden Administration in U.S. foreign policy.

The adolescent strategy on which Russell worked, known formally as the U.S. Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls, is a blueprint for U.S. foreign aid policies and programming. Despite calls to revise the problematic strategy, it remained in place even during the Trump administration.

Russell will assume the leadership of UNICEF just months after the agency released a new 3-year strategy that for the first time includes a reference to “sexual and reproductive health and rights.” The inclusion of the term provides UNICEF a tentative mandate to promote sexual autonomy and gender ideology in programming for children around the world.

UNICEF periodically finds itself in turmoil over the promotion of controversial issues. Most recently they had to withdraw a report on digital safety that concluded that pornography may not always be harmful to children.

UNICEF also coauthored a joint report on comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) with other UN agencies, including UNFPA and UN Women.  The report listed “access to safe abortion” and “sexual orientation and gender identity” as “key CSE topics.”

Russell was reported to be the frontrunner to take over as executive director of UNICEF after Henrietta Fore announced her resignation in July due to the illness of her husband.

In a statement following Guterres’ appointment, Fore said Russell “will bring a wealth of expertise to UNICEF’s work.”

As the single largest government donor to UNICEF, the United States traditionally selects the agency chief, who is officially appointed by the UN Secretary-General.  The agency has an annual budget of over $5 billion.