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U.S Senate Defeats CRPD Treaty That Would Promote Abortion

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 12/4/12 1:29 PM

International

Members of the U.S. Senate voted today against the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities treaty that could open the door to promoting abortion on an international scale.

The treaty needed a two-thirds vote for approval and the Senate voted 61-38 to approve, which fell short of that requirement. Democrats voted for the treaty while most Republicans voted against it.

Heritage Action released the following statement from CEO Michael A. Needham, “We congratulate the Senators who stood for American sovereignty by refusing to ratify this treaty.  While today’s vote is important, it does not mark the end of the fight.  Bad treaties never die in Washington and Heritage Action will remain vigilant.”

Rick Santorum, the former presidential candidate who led much of the fight against the treaty, also praised the vote that defeated it.

“If it weren’t for you, the U.S. Senate wouldn’t have defeated the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ,” he told his supporters by email. “Your petition signatures (over 20,000!), phone calls, emails and tweets about CRPD’s flaws made the difference.”

“Now, that CRPD is defeated, we know that United Nations won’t have oversight of how we care for our special needs kids. This treaty would have given the U.N. oversight of the healthcare and education choices parents with special needs kids make. Had it passed, CRPD would have become the law of the land under the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, and would have trumped state laws, and could have been used as precedent by state and federal judges,” he said.

The International Right to Life Federation says pro-life groups oppose this legislation because it leaves open the potential for the international community to permit sterilization or abortion for the disabled. The  terminology, found in Article 25, requires, “free or affordable health care including the area of sexual and reproductive health and population-based health programs.”

Bradley Mattes, president of the International Right to Life Federation, stated, “This is a misleading measure in that it does nothing to protect life. It is disguised as a way to ‘help’ the disabled. Instead it intentionally sacrifices the most vulnerable – the disabled and the unborn – all in the name of population control.”

He continued, “Many don’t realize that this international treaty could potentially supersede future attempts to overturn Roe v. Wade.”

The pro-life group Eagle Forum was encouraged by the vote on the motion to move ahead with debate — because it shows the pro-life side potentially winning.

“Your calls urging Senators to oppose the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) are working,” the group informed LifeNews. “Earlier this week, the Senate held a vote on a Motion to Proceed to discussion on the Treaty.  The Motion passed by a vote of 61-34, with three Senators not voting.  This is good news, because 67 votes are needed to pass the Treaty if all 100 Senators are present.”

“Still, Majority Leader Harry Reid announced he will bring the Treaty to the floor for a ratification vote next Tuesday, December 4th.  So we need to keep the calls coming,” the group added. “We are hearing that those in favor of this Treaty are waging a full-scale effort to secure votes, so even if you have called before, your Senators need to hear from you again.”

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.

The following is the vote tally, with a No vote a pro-life vote against the treaty.

Alphabetical by Senator Name

Akaka (D-HI), Yea
Alexander (R-TN), Nay
Ayotte (R-NH), Yea
Barrasso (R-WY), Yea
Baucus (D-MT), Yea
Begich (D-AK), Yea
Bennet (D-CO), Yea
Bingaman (D-NM), Yea
Blumenthal (D-CT), Yea
Blunt (R-MO), Nay
Boozman (R-AR), Nay
Boxer (D-CA), Yea
Brown (D-OH), Yea
Brown (R-MA), Yea
Burr (R-NC), Nay
Cantwell (D-WA), Yea
Cardin (D-MD), Yea
Carper (D-DE), Yea
Casey (D-PA), Yea
Chambliss (R-GA), Nay
Coats (R-IN), Nay
Coburn (R-OK), Nay
Cochran (R-MS), Nay
Collins (R-ME), Yea
Conrad (D-ND), Yea
Coons (D-DE), Yea
Corker (R-TN), Nay
Cornyn (R-TX), Nay
Crapo (R-ID), Nay
DeMint (R-SC), Nay
Durbin (D-IL), Yea
Enzi (R-WY), Nay
Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
Franken (D-MN), Yea
Gillibrand (D-NY), Yea
Graham (R-SC), Nay
Grassley (R-IA), Nay
Hagan (D-NC), Yea
Harkin (D-IA), Yea
Hatch (R-UT), Nay
Heller (R-NV), Nay
Hoeven (R-ND), Nay
Hutchison (R-TX), Nay
Inhofe (R-OK), Nay
Inouye (D-HI), Yea
Isakson (R-GA), Nay
Johanns (R-NE), Nay
Johnson (D-SD), Yea
Johnson (R-WI), Nay
Kerry (D-MA), Yea
Kirk (R-IL), Not Voting
Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea
Kohl (D-WI), Yea
Kyl (R-AZ), Nay
Landrieu (D-LA), Yea
Lautenberg (D-NJ), Yea
Leahy (D-VT), Yea
Lee (R-UT), Nay
Levin (D-MI), Yea
Lieberman (ID-CT), Yea
Lugar (R-IN), Yea
Manchin (D-WV), Yea
McCain (R-AZ), Yea
McCaskill (D-MO), Yea
McConnell (R-KY), Nay
Menendez (D-NJ), Yea
Merkley (D-OR), Yea
Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
Moran (R-KS), Nay
Murkowski (R-AK), Yea
Murray (D-WA), Yea
Nelson (D-FL), Yea
Nelson (D-NE), Yea
Paul (R-KY), Nay
Portman (R-OH), Nay
Pryor (D-AR), Yea
Reed (D-RI), Yea
Reid (D-NV), Yea
Risch (R-ID), Nay
Roberts (R-KS), Nay
Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea
Rubio (R-FL), Nay
Sanders (I-VT), Yea
Schumer (D-NY), Yea
Sessions (R-AL), Nay
Shaheen (D-NH), Yea
Shelby (R-AL), Nay
Snowe (R-ME), Yea
Stabenow (D-MI), Yea
Tester (D-MT), Yea
Thune (R-SD), Nay
Toomey (R-PA), Nay
Udall (D-CO), Yea
Udall (D-NM), Yea
Vitter (R-LA), Nay
Warner (D-VA), Yea
Webb (D-VA), Yea
Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea
Wicker (R-MS), Nay
Wyden (D-OR), Yea

Grouped By Vote Position

YEAs —61
Akaka (D-HI)
Ayotte (R-NH)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Baucus (D-MT)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Brown (R-MA)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Collins (R-ME)
Conrad (D-ND)
Coons (D-DE)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Hagan (D-NC)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kerry (D-MA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lugar (R-IN)
Manchin (D-WV)
McCain (R-AZ)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Snowe (R-ME)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Warner (D-VA)
Webb (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)
NAYs —38
Alexander (R-TN)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coats (R-IN)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lee (R-UT)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Paul (R-KY)
Portman (R-OH)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rubio (R-FL)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Toomey (R-PA)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)
Not Voting – 1
Kirk (R-IL)