by Steven Ertelt
November 15, 2007
New York, NY (LifeNews.com) — The United Nations defeated two pro-life amendments proposed during a debate over a measure calling for an end to the death penalty worldwide. Bush administration officials representing the United States voted in favor of one of the amendments, touting legal protection for unborn children.
The U.S. backed an amendment urging members of the United Nations "to take all necessary measures to protect the lives of unborn children."
Iran, Egypt, Syria, Zimbabwe and several smaller countries in the Middle East joined with the United States in endorsing the proposal.
However, a committee of the UN General Assembly ultimately defeated it on an 83-28 vote with 47 member nations abstaining.
According to a Reuters report, U.S. representative Joseph Rees said the nation abstained on a vote for a stronger amendment saying abortion was only advisable in rare cases, "In particular where the life of the mother and/or the child is at serious risk."
"We are in agreement with the view expressed in this (first) amendment that the lives of the unborn deserve the strongest protection," he said. "And we agree that countries that advocate for the abolition of the death penalty should be at least equally scrupulous in showing concern for innocent life."
More nations that oppose abortion may have joined the amendments but they view the efforts as an attack on the death penalty moratorium itself, which a number of pro-life nations are supporting.