Pro-life leaders celebrated a historic moment Thursday when President Donald Trump’s administration declared to the United Nations that aborting unborn babies is not a human right.
The Geneva Consensus declaration, signed by the United States and 31 other countries such as Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, and Uganda, criticizes the UN for supporting the killing of unborn babies in abortions across the world, The Hill reports.
“We will unequivocally declare that there is no international right to abortion. We will proudly put women’s health first at every stage of life,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Thursday during the signing ceremony.
The declaration emphasizes the importance of human rights and medical care for women and children. It encourages countries to work to achieve “better health for women, the preservation of human life and the strengthening of family as the foundational unit of society.”
Austin Ruse, president of international pro-life group C-Fam, said the historic document was more than two decades in the making.
“C-Fam has worked for 24 years toward the declaration made by the Trump administration today together with a coalition of 32 UN Member States,” Ruse said in a statement. “The United Nations has no business interfering in sovereign decisions when it comes to protecting life in the womb.”
By signing the declaration, the United States and other countries sent a clear statement to the UN that they will not tolerate its abortion advocacy.
“Abortion rights advocacy by some governments, world health and other international bodies is detracting attention and resources from women’s health needs on which there is widespread agreement,” the declaration states.
Instead of advocating for abortion, global leaders should “focus energy, time and resources on meeting women’s health needs for which there is widespread agreement regarding strategies,” it continues.
Dr. Jeffrey Barrows, an OB/GYN and leader of the Christian Medical Association, said he was encouraged to see the declaration emphasize both mother and child. CMA is the largest faith-based medical organization in the U.S. with 20,000 members.
“The four pillars of the Geneva Consensus Declaration—improving women’s health, preserving human life, strengthening the family and protecting national sovereignty—provide a noble framework for consensus global engagement on women’s health issues,” Barrows said.
Pro-life leaders also praised Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and HHS Secretary Azar, as well as HHS leaders Garrett Grigsby and Valerie Huber for their hard work on the declaration.
The declaration comes after years of the Trump administration and other countries’ leaders urging the UN to stop promoting abortions.
In September, United States and Vatican representatives criticized the inclusion of language promoting “sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights,” including abortions, in a UN COVID-19 response resolution.
However, according to The Hill, “The UN has rejected those efforts, leading the U.S. to launch a coalition of 32 countries that have signed the declaration, including the five that co-sponsored it: Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, and Uganda.”
The Trump administration has been strong in its stance against abortion at the UN.
“My administration is advancing religious liberty, opportunity for women, the decriminalization of homosexuality, combating human trafficking, and protecting unborn children,” Trump told the UN General Assembly in September. “America will always be a leader in human rights.”
In August, U.S. Ambassador Andrew Bremberg also slammed the international agency for “perverting” human rights by advocating for the killing of unborn babies in abortions.
Bremberg criticized the UN for being “notably quiet” on the horrific reports of human rights abuses in China, including forced abortions through all nine months of pregnancy, infanticide and the placement of ethnic minorities in concentration camps.
Since 2017, Trump has defunded the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) of tens of millions of U.S. tax dollars because it pushes abortions on other countries and has worked with China for decades to implement its oppressive population control policies. Under the pro-abortion Obama administration, U.S. taxpayers gave more than $300 million to UNFPA.