Today, on Human Rights Day, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) joined the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) and its 49 other state affiliates to push back against efforts at the United Nations to infringe on the sovereignty of U.S. states to protect unborn children. In a letter to UN human rights officials, MCCL and NRLC noted that, far from requiring unlimited abortion, international treaties and declarations provide support for protecting the human rights of all human beings, including both human beings in utero and their mothers.
“Human Rights Day marks the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” said MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach. “The Declaration proclaims that human rights belong to all members of the human family. That’s the vision of equality and inclusion that we pursue at MCCL and NRLC. If you are a human, then you have human rights. Period. United Nations appointees are wrong to say that we’re not allowed to safeguard the rights of the most vulnerable.”
Recently, UN “human rights experts” aggressively condemned a Texas law protecting unborn children who have detectable heartbeats. They also filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, claiming that a Mississippi law protecting unborn children after 15 weeks of gestation—a measure still more permissive of abortion than the laws in most countries—violates binding international treaties.
“That is absolutely false,” the NRLC and MCCL letter responded. “No United Nations treaty can plausibly be interpreted to require the legality of elective abortion. … The so-called ‘experts’ from the UN are flagrantly trying to usurp … national legislative authority on the basis of false claims about international law. They have sought to do the same in many other countries as well. We will not stand for it.”
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The letter also explained that many international instruments protect the rights of human beings without any distinction. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states, “Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.” The Convention on the Rights of the Child affirms that “the child … needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth.”
The NRLC and MCCL letter concluded:
On this day and every day, we remember that human rights don’t depend on meeting some set of arbitrary criteria. They don’t depend on our age, or our size, or our ability, or the opinions of other people. They are not exclusive to the strong and the independent. Rather, each one of us has human rights simply because we are human. This is the message of the Universal Declaration. Human rights belong to everyone.
And that’s why they belong to unborn children. Human embryos and fetuses are living members of the species Homo sapiens at the earliest stages of their lives. They are human beings like us. This is a fact of biology. If all human beings have human rights, then unborn human beings have human rights. If everyone matters, then they matter too.
At the National Right to Life Committee and across all 50 states, our mission is to advocate for the human rights of these vulnerable members of the human family. We will not stop until they receive the respect and protection they deserve.
The full letter to the United Nations can be found here.