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Senate May Vote Wednesday on Treaty Promoting Abortion

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 11/26/12 8:01 PM

National

The Senate may vote on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) this week, a measure that has had pro-life advocates concerned for months.

The U.S. already enacted the strongest piece of disabilities legislation in the world but international activists are pushing the measure anyway.

Ton Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, has previously noted the pro-life concerns, saying abortion advocates put language in the treaty in Article 25 that requires signatories to ‘provide persons with disabilities… free or affordable health care including in the area of sexual and reproductive health and population-based health programs.’”

“Translation: the global community could force America to sanction sterilization or abortion for the disabled–at taxpayer expense” he said. “Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) tried to neutralize the threat during the mark-up in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Unfortunately, his amendment (which would have stopped the treaty from forcing abortion policy on countries that sign) was thwarted by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) after a debate.”

Several pro-life groups are on record opposing the treaty, including Eagle Forum, Family Research Council Action, CitizenLink, Concerned Women for America, Liberty Counsel, and others.

Senate Majority Leader Reid said the Senate would take up the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities this week, with a cloture vote possible as early as Wednesday. Although there are enough Republican senators to thwart passage, three of its Republicans–Sens. John Barrasso (Wy.), Richard Lugar (Ind.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.)–voted to send the measure to the Senate floor.

By law, the Convention will need 67 votes to pass, which means pro-life advocates need to persuade at least 34 senators to defeat it.

Bill Saunders and Stephanie Maloney have also written about the abortion concerns in the treaty at LifeNews.

The inclusion of the phrase “reproductive health” affords an opportunity for abortion advocates to interpret the terms as a euphemism for “abortion rights” and push for nations to legalize abortion based on the treaty. Indeed, this interpretation of “reproductive health” is the position of the Obama Administration. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee to this effect, stating “We happen to think that family planning is an important part of women’s health, and reproductive health includes access to abortion.”

Unwilling to be explicit and clear about its objectives, the pro-abortion faction within the UN has used the realm of disability rights to provide cover for an attempt to interject the right to abortion into an international treaty. If the US ratifies it, the treaty becomes the law of the land, providing a potential abortion back-up for the day the Supreme Court finally overturns Roe v. Wade.

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Human dignity is not something to be “awarded” on the basis of one’s capacities and abilities. Rather it is inherent and inviolable, part of the very nature of the human person, whatever his or her state of physical and mental development. The dignity of the person is universal, and must be upheld, equally, for all. It is sadly ironic that a treaty aimed at securing recognition of the dignity of some (the disabled) would be written so as to put at jeopardy the dignity of others (the unborn).

The inclusion of Article 25 within the CRPD should prevent the United States Senate from ratifying the treaty. Americans United for Life urges all pro-life supporters to contact their United States Senators and ask them to oppose the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.