For immediate release
June 3, 2013

PAI Mourns the Loss of Women’s Rights Champion Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg

Statement by Population Action International President & CEO Suzanne Ehlers

“Today, Population Action International joins his Senate colleagues and countless others in mourning the loss of Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, a steadfast and outspoken champion for women’s health and rights.

Over his five terms in the Senate, Sen. Lautenberg consistently stood up for women’s rights both at home and abroad. He fought back against Republican attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, and resisted attacks on funding for international family planning. Most noteworthy, he led annual efforts in the Appropriations Committee to permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule, a policy that unfairly denies U.S. family planning funding to foreign organizations that provide abortion information and services with their own, non-U.S. funding.  Just last month, he spearheaded a bill designed to extend abortion coverage to Peace Corps volunteers under the same exceptions as those available to all other federal employees.

We are saddened by the passing of this great man, and awed by his commitment to women around the world. Sen. Lautenberg will be greatly missed.”