Pro-Abortion CEDAW Treaty Gets Senate Committee Hearing

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 18, 2010   |   8:13PM   |   Washington, DC

A Senate Committee held a hearing on the CEDAW treaty that the United Nations and pro-abortion groups have used to pressure countries around the world to legalize abortions.

The treaty was negotiated by Jimmy Carter 31 years ago and most countries have ratified it but the United States has not in part because of the abortion promotion.

But Sen. Dick Durbin made promoting the treaty a majority part of a hearing he held today featuring a who’s who of pro-abortion leaders and activists including representatives of the ACLU, Human Rights First and the National Women’s Law Center.

He also drew support from actor Geena Davis who complained the United State is one of just a handful of nations to not approve the document.

“Let us not stand with these countries another day,” she said at a press conference before the hearing at the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law.

Durbin said he would try to get pro-abortion Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to schedule a vote on the CEDAW treaty but admitted ratification by the Senate of the treaty is unlikely because 67 votes are needed and pro-life advocates have enough votes to stop it from moving forward. President Barack Obama supports the controversial treaty.

Steven Groves, a fellow from the conservative Heritage Foundation, testified against the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women document.

“Ratification of CDAW would neither advance U.S. national interests within the international community nor enhance the rights of women in the U.S.,” he said.

Groves added that he worried the United States would face pressure form the UN and other nations in the same manner as have other countries.

Before the hearing, 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.

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.”

In fact, the most recent CEDAW report lists a handful of nations that are pressured to promote abortions.