Pro-Life Senator Warns Obama State Department Nominee Koh Backs Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 24, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Senator Warns Obama State Department Nominee Koh Backs Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 24
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — A pro-life advocate warned members of the Senate yesterday that, if confirmed, Harold Koh could use his position as the top attorney at the State Department to push for an international right to abortion. Sen. Jim DeMint also warned that Koh would allow international law to trump the Constitution.

"His nomination to this important position requires some scrutiny about what his philosophy is when it comes to the United States and our international agreements and the sovereignty of our country," DeMint said.

He worried Koh "will work to greatly undermine the principles of sovereignty that I believe all Americans expect of our federal government."

According to the State Department’s Web site, the legal adviser would furnish “advice on all legal issues, domestic and international, arising in the course of the department’s work and negotiate, draft, and interpret international agreements."

Koh’s supporters claim that the allegations that have been voiced against him, such as undermining the Constitution, are unjustified. However, Koh’s own writings suggest otherwise.

His writings have redefined sovereignty as “a nation’s capacity to participate in international affairs,” and have blurred any distinctive national identity.

That’s important because abortion advocates at the international level want to make abortion a right and use international documents to trump national laws of pro-life nations.

In 2002, Koh testified before the Senate in support of ratification of the United Nations Treaty on the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, making it so the treaty did not trump legal acts of Congress.

Abortion advocates at the United Nations have used the treaty to force other countries to promote abortion and overturn their pro-life laws, a fact DeMint noted.

"Koh also claims that allegations by those who opposed the treaty due to its promotion of abortion … are untrue," he said. "However, one only needs to look at the policies issued by the committee–the United Nations body charged with monitoring countries’ compliance with their legal obligations under the treaty–to know that Mr. Koh’s claims are untrue."

"For example, on May 14, 1998, the committee interpreted the treaty to require that ‘all states of Mexico should review their legislation so that, where necessary, women are granted access to rapid and easy abortion.”’

"This does not represent American values," DeMint told his Senate colleagues.

"I encourage my colleagues to look at the record. Mr. Koh has a very winsome personality, which I appreciate, but the record gives us many reasons for concern that the State Department may not be acting in the best interests of our country under his legal counsel," DeMint said.

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