U.S. and 31 other nations declare ‘no international right to abortion’ at UN

By Paul Smeaton

U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo
Photo: Gage Skidmore

On Thursday, the United States, in a coalition of 32 countries representing more than 1.6 billion people  issued a declaration at the United Nations that there is “no international right to abortion.” 

“On Thursday, October 22, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and HHS Secretary Alex Azar participated in the virtual signing of the Geneva Consensus Declaration, a historic document that further strengthens an ongoing coalition to achieve better health for women, the preservation of human life, support for the family as foundational to a healthy society, and the protection of national sovereignty in global politics,” a press release from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reads. 

Along with the United States the document was co-sponsored and signed by 32 countries including Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, and Uganda.  

The opening words of the declaration explain its purpose as including expressing “the essential priority of protecting the right to life” and promoting “strength of the family and of a successful and flourishing society.” 

Point 3 of the declaration states that the ministers and high representatives of Governments “[r]eaffirm the inherent ‘dignity and worth of the human person,’ that ‘every human being has the inherent right to life,’ and the commitment ‘to enable women to go safely through pregnancy and childbirth and provide couples with the best chance of having a healthy infant.’” 

Point 4 of the declaration states that the signatories “[e]mphasize that ‘in no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning’ and that ‘any measures or changes related to abortion within the health system can only be determined at the national or local level according to the national legislative process.’” 

The declaration further reaffirms that “‘the child … needs special safeguards and care … before as well as after birth’ and ‘special measures of protection and assistance should be taken on behalf of all children,’ based on the principle of the best interest of the child.” 

“Under President Trump’s leadership, the United States has defended the dignity of human life everywhere and always. He’s done it like no other President in history,” Secretary Pompeo said.  

“We’ve also mounted an unprecedented defense of the unborn abroad … Today, we’re taking the next step, as we sign the Geneva Consensus Declaration. At its very core, the Declaration protects women’s health, defends the unborn, and reiterates the vital importance of the family as the foundation of society.”  

Austin Ruse, president of the U.N. human rights watchdog organization C-Fam, had high praise for the Trump administration and the U.S.’s s co-signers:

C-Fam has worked for 24 years toward the declaration made by the Trump administration today together with a coalition of 32 UN Member States. There is no international right to abortion. There is no international obligation to fund abortion. The United Nations has no business interfering in sovereign decisions when it comes to protecting life in the womb. 

C-Fam heartily congratulates the Trump administration and the 32 sovereign states around the world who signed on to the Geneva Consensus Declaration for defending life, family, and sovereignty. We salute President Trump, Secretary Mike Pompeo, and Secretary Alex Azar. We thank Garrett Grigsby and Valerie Huber of HHS for their hard work to deliver this result.

The Trump administration has consistently worked to defend life and oppose abortion at the United Nations, from resisting pro-abortion agenda items and resolution language to affirming that abortion isn’t a human right and promoting abstinence education. Earlier this year, Trump announced that the U.S. would cut ties with the pro-abortion World Health Organization (WHO) due to its handling of the coronavirus crisis. 

Secretary Azar said that the declaration is the administration putting down “a clear marker” in opposition to “a radical agenda” often pursued by U.N. agencies. 

“The Declaration is much more than a statement of beliefs — it is a critical and useful tool to defend these principles across all United Nations bodies and at every multilateral setting, using language previously agreed to by member states of those bodies,” the HHS Secretary said. 

“Without apology, we affirm that governments have the sovereign right to make their own laws to protect innocent life and write their regulations on abortion,” Azar continued. 

“The stakes are too high to permit radical, divisive agendas to hinder the ability of women in countries at all stages of development to attain better health.” 

Azar said that the coalition of signatories to the declaration will denounce “organizations when they overstep their mandates by promoting positions that can never gain consensus” and that they will “unequivocally declare that there is no international right to abortion.”

Editor’s note. This appeared at LifeSiteNews and is reposted with permission.