United Nations Cmte Attacks Motherhood, Demands Abortion Rights for Women

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 29, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

United Nations Cmte Attacks Motherhood, Demands Abortion Rights for Women

by Terrence McKeegan, J.D.
July 29, 2010

LifeNews.com Note: Terrence McKeegan writes for the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. This article originally appeared in the pro-life group’s Friday Fax publication and is used with permission.

New York, NY (LifeNews.com/CFAM) — United Nations (UN) treaty committee notorious for its promotion of abortion and ideological positions not supported by UN treaties, concludes its session this week after launching attacks on motherhood and traditional gender roles, while calling for an ever-expanded array of new sexual and reproductive "rights."

The session was especially notable for the statement by the Russian Federation, which reported that decreasing abortion rates were helping to decrease the overall maternal mortality rates in that country.

The committee, which monitors the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), is composed of 23 “independent” experts and is reviewing eight nations during their 46th session.

Before the CEDAW committee, the Russian Federation delegation highlighted a new two-year program of the Ministry of Health that focused on the prevention of abortion and the protection of life. The delegation was pleased to report to the committee that for the first time in decades, the birth rate was now exceeding the abortion rate and that the “declining number of abortions was also decreasing women’s mortality rates after birth or abortion.”

Nevertheless, the committee expressed concern that the government was promoting motherhood and women being able to stay at home with their newborn children, instead of facilitating their quick return to the workforce. The Cuban expert warned of the negative sexual stereotypes that could result if women were only seen as “good mothers, good wives, and caretakers, while men were seen as the economic providers.”

The Netherlands expert questioned Russia about whether current legislation covered discrimination against lesbian, bisexual or transsexual women. The Brazilian expert lamented that access to “transgender medical services” were not available in many regions of Russia, and called on the nation to ensure that “women’s sexual and reproductive rights were based on scientific evidence and not on religion.”

In other country reviews, Fiji was taken to task for not making marriage and reproductive technologies available to same-sex couples. The Thailand expert inquired of Fiji if the decriminalization of prostitution for adult sex workers could be proposed. Albania was asked, “What was the government doing to fight homophobia and violence against gays, lesbians, and transsexuals?”

As the Friday Fax reported last year, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), the recent subject of unprecedented support from the Obama administration for special UN status, created a handbook for activists to promote the “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” ideologies through the CEDAW committee.

The CEDAW treaty does not mention abortion, nor do the words “gender,” “orientation,” “sexual,” or “reproductive” appear anywhere in the text. The observations and recommendations made by treaty bodies are non-binding, as only States Parties to a treaty have the authority collectively to interpret a treaty. Abortion activists have brought litigation throughout the world citing the interpretations of UN human rights treaty bodies, like the CEDAW Committee, in challenging national laws against abortion.

The CEDAW committee concludes its three-week session on Friday.


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