Senate Committee to Hold Hearing on Pro-Abortion CEDAW Treaty

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 15, 2010   |   2:52PM   |   Washington, DC

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday on the CEDAW treaty that has been used to pressure nations to legalize abortions.

While the treaty is meant to promote women’s rights, United Nation’s agencies have used it to promote abortion.

The treaty has been ratified by 186 nations worldwide but not by the United States in part because of its ties to abortion promotion. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, who strongly supports abortion, is heading up the hearing in the Human Rights and the Law subcommittee that will take place in the afternoon.

Recently, the United Nations human rights panel lectured the United States for not having adopted the document.

But Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, told CEDAW is “a rabid anti-life treaty that claims abortion is a universal right” and he expects a “regurgitation” of the debate that took place in the Senate in 2002 — the last time a hearing was held on the treaty.

“Among other things, the administration would use its ratification to strong-arm other countries into overturning their pro-life laws. Conservatives will have to be on guard,” he said.

During the 2002 hearing on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) pro-abortion Sen. Joe Biden, then a senator from Delaware, organized the hearing in an effort to build support for the treaty and to goad the Bush administration into approving its ratification.

Biden stated that he was “concerned by the casual attitude of the Executive Branch toward the treaty process and the legitimate requests of this Committee for testimony on a significant treaty pending before it.”

He and pro-abortion Sen. Barbara Boxer asserted that the current failure to ratify CEDAW damaged US credibility worldwide and other abortion advocates called the United State an “embarrassment” within the world community. There was also an effort to minimize the influence of the CEDAW compliance committee, which has frequently told states to legalize abortion.

In fact, earlier this year, the pro-abortion group Human Rights watched accused the pro-life nation of Argentina of violating the CEDAW document on abortion.

According to the pro-life group CFAM, Boxer admitted that the committee “says some controversial things,” but assured the hearing that it “cannot force governments to do anything.”

Speaking against CEDAW, former UN ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick stated that “it is silly to pretend that ratifying a UN treaty will help women.” Instead, “we should share the experiences of American women worldwide.”

Congresswoman Jo Ann Davis of Virginia also testified against the treaty and asserted that CEDAW committee recommendations were far from “benign,” since they “exert a great deal of informal pressure upon countries that depend upon United Nations funding of human aid programs.”

Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas and Kathryn Balmforth, former director of the World Family Policy Center at Brigham Young University also testified against the treaty.

CFAM’s Friday Fax publication indicated the 2002 hearing ended on an odd note:  “The hearing ended on a strange note, with Biden asserting that those opposed to CEDAW would not have signed the Declaration of Independence. Biden allowed no response to this charge. “I have the gavel,” he said as he brought the hearing to a close.”