The Senate voted to begin debate on a UN treaty that pro-life groups are worried would be used to promote abortion on a worldwide scale.
Yesterday afternoon, the Senate took a preliminary vote on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The vote was on a “Motion to Proceed,” meaning the Senate gave permission to begin debate regarding the treaty.
The Senate voted 61-36 on the motion and three senators didn’t vote. Every Democratic senator voted for the treaty except one absent lawmaker while Republicans supplied several “Yes” votes for the Obama administration, including Ayotte (R-NH), Barrasso (R-WY), Brown (R-MA), Collins (R-ME), Lugar (R-IA), McCain (R-AZ), and Snowe (R-ME).
Michael Farris, a pro-life activist with HSLDA urged people to continue contacting their senators to oppose it.
“I urge you to call all of the other senators yet again and urge them to change their minds and support the principle that Americans should make the law for America,” he said. “Answering phone calls for a few more days is a small price to pay for their decision to vote for the UN position. But it is very important that you all send emails of thanks to the 36 senators who stood against the UN. The opposition will be urging their people to pour on the calls to these 36 hoping to move just three. If we can keep at least 34, the treaty will be defeated.”
“Senator Reid has not yet filed the motion needed to take this bill to the next vote which will be for cloture to end debate. Thus, there will be two more votes before the treaty can be ratified. We do not know the timetable yet. It could happen this week; it could be pushed later,” he added. “We absolutely have to keep the pressure on the Senate.”
“The other side needs to change three votes to win. We need to keep up our defense of freedom because no one else will,” he said.
Tony 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.
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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.
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.