Pro-Lifers Optimistic They Can Defeat Pro-Abortion CRPD Treaty

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 3, 2012   |   5:15PM   |   Washington, DC

Pro-life advocates are optimistic they can defeat the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities treaty that could open the door to promoting abortion on an international scale.

“The final vote on whether or not to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is scheduled for noon on Tuesday, December 4,” says J. Michael Smith of HSLDA.

“We are optimistic that we will have the votes—34 or more—to defeat the treaty. But there is too much at stake to trust to speculation,” he tells LifeNews via email. “So please remember to call your senators today, and then call them again tomorrow morning (before noon). If Senator Toomey (PA), DeMint (SC), Lee (UT), or Paul (KY) are one of your senators please give them a special thanks for leading the charge on this issue.”

ACTION: Contact the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 or go to to find more specific contact information.

Former presidential candidate Rick Santorum has been one of the leading pro-life voices against the treaty and he emailed his supporters today urging them to contact members of the Senate to ask for a no vote.

“Tomorrow, Tuesday December 4, the United States Senate will vote on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD),” he said. “In my first weekly column on WorldNetDaily , I explain why this treaty is so flawed. CRPD would give the U.N. oversight of the healthcare and education choices parents with special needs kids make. If this were to pass, CRPD would become the law of the land under the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, trumping state laws, and potentially being used as precedent by state and federal judges. This treaty would give the government, acting under U.N. instructions, the ability to determine for all children with disabilities what is best for them.”

The U.S. Senate is poised to vote on ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities, after members voted 61-36 to move the treaty to the floor for debate.

The International Right to Life Federation says pro-life groups oppose this legislation because it leaves open the potential for the international community to permit sterilization or abortion for the disabled. The  terminology, found in Article 25, requires, “free or affordable health care including the area of sexual and reproductive health and population-based health programs.”

Bradley Mattes, president of the International Right to Life Federation, stated, “This is a misleading measure in that it does nothing to protect life. It is disguised as a way to ‘help’ the disabled. Instead it intentionally sacrifices the most vulnerable – the disabled and the unborn – all in the name of population control.”

He continued, “Many don’t realize that this international treaty could potentially supersede future attempts to overturn Roe v. Wade.”

The pro-life group Eagle Forum was encouraged by the vote on the motion to move ahead with debate — because it shows the pro-life side potentially winning.

“Your calls urging Senators to oppose the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) are working,” the group informed LifeNews. “Earlier this week, the Senate held a vote on a Motion to Proceed to discussion on the Treaty.  The Motion passed by a vote of 61-34, with three Senators not voting.  This is good news, because 67 votes are needed to pass the Treaty if all 100 Senators are present.”

“Still, Majority Leader Harry Reid announced he will bring the Treaty to the floor for a ratification vote next Tuesday, December 4th.  So we need to keep the calls coming,” the group added. “We are hearing that those in favor of this Treaty are waging a full-scale effort to secure votes, so even if you have called before, your Senators need to hear from you again.”

The Senate voted 61-36 on the motion and three senators didn’t vote. Every Democratic senator voted for the treaty except one absent lawmaker while Republicans supplied several “Yes” votes for the Obama administration, including Ayotte (R-NH), Barrasso (R-WY), Brown (R-MA), Collins (R-ME), Lugar (R-IA), McCain (R-AZ), and Snowe (R-ME). Senator Hatch of Utah also voted to proceed with debate but he has announced he will vote against the treaty on final passage.

Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, has previously noted the pro-life concerns, saying abortion advocates put language in the treaty in Article 25 that requires signatories to ‘provide persons with disabilities… free or affordable health care including in the area of sexual and reproductive health and population-based health programs.’”

“Translation: the global community could force America to sanction sterilization or abortion for the disabled–at taxpayer expense” he said. “Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) tried to neutralize the threat during the mark-up in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Unfortunately, his amendment (which would have stopped the treaty from forcing abortion policy on countries that sign) was thwarted by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) after a debate.”

Several pro-life groups are on record opposing the treaty, including Eagle Forum, Family Research Council Action, CitizenLink, Concerned Women for America, Liberty Counsel, and others.



Bill Saunders and Stephanie Maloney have also written about the abortion concerns in the treaty at LifeNews.

The inclusion of the phrase “reproductive health” affords an opportunity for abortion advocates to interpret the terms as a euphemism for “abortion rights” and push for nations to legalize abortion based on the treaty. Indeed, this interpretation of “reproductive health” is the position of the Obama Administration. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee to this effect, stating “We happen to think that family planning is an important part of women’s health, and reproductive health includes access to abortion.”

Unwilling to be explicit and clear about its objectives, the pro-abortion faction within the UN has used the realm of disability rights to provide cover for an attempt to interject the right to abortion into an international treaty. If the US ratifies it, the treaty becomes the law of the land, providing a potential abortion back-up for the day the Supreme Court finally overturns Roe v. Wade.

Human dignity is not something to be “awarded” on the basis of one’s capacities and abilities. Rather it is inherent and inviolable, part of the very nature of the human person, whatever his or her state of physical and mental development. The dignity of the person is universal, and must be upheld, equally, for all. It is sadly ironic that a treaty aimed at securing recognition of the dignity of some (the disabled) would be written so as to put at jeopardy the dignity of others (the unborn).

The inclusion of Article 25 within the CRPD should prevent the United States Senate from ratifying the treaty. Americans United for Life urges all pro-life supporters to contact their United States Senators and ask them to oppose the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.