The Trump administration intervened this week to stop the United Nations from supporting abortion in a resolution to protect victims of rape. This is the latest time the Trump administration has stood strong against abortion activists against the UN.
The resolution passed the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday after being amended to remove the pro-abortion language; it addresses sexual violence during times of conflict, Deutsche Welle reports. Germany introduced the measure.
Earlier this week, U.S. officials threatened to veto the measure because of concerns about the abortion language. According to Foreign Policy, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s office sent a cable to the U.S. Embassy in Berlin and U.S. Mission to the UN outlining their concerns.
A key problem was the measure’s references to “sexual and reproductive health,” umbrella terms that typically include unrestricted abortion on demand.
“We cannot accept unamended explicit, or implicit, references to ‘sexual and reproductive health’” because “we do not support or promote abortion,” Pompeo’s office wrote.
It also emphasized that the Trump administration does believe more should be done to end sexual violence and increase support for victims.
“We understand and agree that more needs to be done to deter the recurrence of such crimes and assist survivors. The United States plans to be supportive in shaping future action on this important issue,” the cable states.
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Soon afterward, abortion activists with Amnesty International lashed out against the United States for pushing for the changes.
“The U.S. is turning its back fully and completely on human rights and … it’s not hiding it,” Amensty’s Tarah Demant said. “It’s forcefully displaying its absolute disregard for human rights, particularly for women. And it will go to extreme measures to do so.”
Ambassador Francois Delattre of France also said he was “appalled” by the changes.
It is “inexplicable that access to sexual and reproductive health is not explicitly recognized for victims of sexual violence, who are often the targets of atrocious acts of violence and barbaric mutilation,” he said.
The Trump administration has been changing national and international policies to prioritize real human rights issues, including protections for unborn babies. In 2018, the State Department removed references to the so-called “right” to abort an unborn baby from a global human rights report.
Trump also reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits taxpayer funding to groups that promote or provide abortions overseas. The change defunded Planned Parenthood’s international arm of about $100 million in U.S. tax dollars.
This spring, the administration also finalized a new Title X rule that requires health care entities to completely separate abortion from their taxpayer-funded services. Planned Parenthood, which already has said it will not comply, could lose about $60 million annually through the policy change.