Defending Life at the United Nations

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The Trump Administration is exhibiting unprecedented international leadership from the United States on behalf of life at the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

The U.S. delegation’s message is cohesive and consistent from President Trump’s address to the UN General Assembly to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Azar’s statements on behalf of the U.S. Government and the joint statement by 21 nations on Universal Health Coverage.

Below are some quotes from these momentous addresses. Never before has the U.S. used its sway to promote life so strongly.

President Trump’s Address to the 74th UNGA:

Americans will never tire of defending innocent life. We are aware that many United Nations projects have attempted to assert a global right to taxpayer-funded abortion on demand, right up until the moment of delivery. Global bureaucrats have absolutely no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that wish to protect innocent life. Like many nations here today, we in America believe that every child, born and unborn, is a sacred gift from God.

HHS Secretary Azar:

U.S. Government Statement at the UN High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage

Because we recognize that each nation has its own needs but shares the common goal of health, the United States deplores that some countries politicized the negotiation over this declaration by including language that has been used to promote abortion as healthcare and promote sex education that diminishes the protective role of the family in improving health.

This morning the United States was joined by 18 other nations, representing more than 1.3 billion of the world’s population, in issuing a joint statement respectfully calling on member states to join us in concentrating on topics that unite rather than divide on the critical issues surrounding access to healthcare.

We do not accept the terms “sexual and reproductive health” and “sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights” in this Declaration and note that only documents approved by the General Assembly may inform their understanding and implementation.

These terms must always include language, which some countries blocked, to remind U.N. agencies that each nation has the sovereign right to implement related programs and activities consistent with their laws and policies, and that these terms in no way imply that there is an international right to abortion.

Secretary Pompeo and Secretary Azar Joint Letter Results in 21 Countries Standing for Life:

The joint statement referenced above is the result of a joint letter by Secretary of State Pompeo and HHS Secretary Azar, the first of its kind, asking member nations to join with the United States in standing for life.

An excerpt of the July 2019 joint letter reads: The United States appreciates our longstanding partnership in many global health areas. As a key priority in global health promotion, we respectfully request that your government join the United States in ensuring that every sovereign state has the ability to determine the best way to protect the unborn and defend the family as the foundational unit of society vital to children thriving and leading healthy lives. We remain gravely concerned that aggressive efforts to reinterpret international instruments to create a new international right to abortion and to promote international policies that weaken the family have advanced through some United Nations fora…

Joint Statement on Universal Health Coverage at the UN:

Secretary Azar read the joint statement that resulted from the above letter. Thanks to the joint efforts of Secretary Pompeo and Secretary Azar, 18 nations joined the U.S. in a joint statement on Universal Health Coverage and a stance against abortion as an “international right”.

After hearing Sec. Azar, two more nations were moved to ask if they could join the joint statement, bringing the total number of countries to 21.

We are here before the opening of the High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage to present a joint statement, agreed to by 19 countries representing more than 1.3 billion people…

We believe that health of women, men, children and adolescents supports and improves the overall health of our families and communities, and that the family is the foundational institution of society and thus should be supported and strengthened…

We do not support references to ambiguous terms and expressions, such as sexual and reproductive health and rights in U.N. documents, because they can undermine the critical role of the family and promote practices, like abortion, in circumstances that do not enjoy international consensus and which can be misinterpreted by U.N. agencies.

Such terms do not adequately take into account the key role of the family in health and education, nor the sovereign right of nations to implement health policies according to their national context. There is no international right to an abortion and these terms should not be used to promote pro-abortion policies and measures.

Thank you, President Trump, Secretary Azar, and Secretary Pompeo for bringing life to the forefront of the U.S. UN delegation’s mission.

 

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