Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey sent a letter to his Republican colleagues in the Senate warning them of the problems associated with the CEDAW treaty slated for a Thursday hearing.
Smith is the leading pro-life member of Congress and he says the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law ought to know the way in which the United Nations, UN agencies and abortion advocates have misused the document before they hold a hearing on ratifying it.
The document is billed as supporting the rights of women, but it has been used to pressure nations to legalize abortions.
The letter points out the “disturbing series of statements and recommendations issued by the committee that oversees compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).”
Smith points out that, although the CEDAW treaty doesn’t specifically require the legalization of abortion, “A review of statements and recommendations over the past decade reveals that the CEDAW Committee has established a pattern of using the Convention to pressure countries to rescind pro-life laws.”
Under Article 12 of the treaty, Smith notes “The Committee has established a pattern of using this document to trample on the most fundamental right, the right to life, as well as freedom of conscience for men and women around the world.
“Dozens of countries have laws protecting women and their babies from the violence that is euphemistically referred to as abortion. These countries are routinely targeted by the CEDAW Committee,” his letter says. “The Committee has even gone so far as to pressure countries to impose provisions that would force pro-life health care professionals to do abortions in violation of their conscience — all this in the name of human rights.”
Although the CEDAW treaty contains worthy goals on other issues, he says approval by the United States will empower it to promote abortion further.
“If CEDAW is ratified by the Senate,” Rep. Smith warns, “the United States will not escape their overreaching efforts to impose abortion on our country as an international obligation.”
Dianne Edmondson, the director of the Republican National Coalition for Life, a group that presses pro-life issues within the GOP, is also asking Republican lawmakers to oppose the treaty during the hearing.
“President Jimmy Carter signed the treaty in 1980, but for two and a half decades, the Senate has refrained from ratifying it, and for good reason,” she said. “It has become clear that the oversight committee is intent on undermining the pro-life laws of those countries signing the treaty.”
She’s asking pro-life advocates to make their views known.
“Please contact your senator if he is on the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law and urge him to continue to block ratification of this dangerous treaty,” she said.
The Committee’s members include three pro-life Republicans: Ranking Member Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, John Cornyn of Texas, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. [related]
The pro-abortion Democrats include chairman Dick Durbin of Illinois, lame ducks Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, plus Benjamin Cardin of Maryland and Al Franken of Minnesota.