U.S. Opposition to Abortion Embroils United Nations in Fierce Debate

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 28, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

U.S. Opposition to Abortion Embroils United Nations in Fierce Debate

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 28, 2005

New York, NY (LifeNews.com) — The United States opposes declaring a right to abortion in a new United Nation’s document about the rights of women. That stand by the Bush administration has nations at a convention on advancing the cause of women bogged down in a fierce debate.

Nations from around the world are meeting on Monday to ratify a declaration that states what progress has been made in helping women since a 1995 women’s conference in Beijing.

The U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, which organized Monday’s discussion, hopes to produce a document which articulates the progress made and goals left to fulfill in helping women in areas such as health, education and employment.

The Bush administration strongly supports those goals, but does not want to see the document promote abortion as a worldwide right.

The Commission drafted a short document in advance of the upcoming two weeks of negotiations on the final statement, but the United States says it will oppose it because of concerns about abortion.

According to an Associated Press report, the U.S. drafted an amendment Friday that would promote the advancement of women while affirming that any UN documents coming out of the conference "do not include the right to abortion."

"These amendments are consistent with U.S. government views," Richard Grenell, spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, told AP. "We believe wholeheartedly that the Beijing document does not establish or guarantee a right for an abortion."

"What we have been advocating is not new," Grenell added. "It’s the message that we always send, to state what US policy is."

The U.S. position has drawn support from the Vatican, some Islamic countries and many Catholic countries in South America and Europe.