Pro-abortion groups recently sent a letter calling on United Nations (UN) officials to take action in response to America’s “violation of its obligations under international human rights law” for not having a constitutional right to abortion. Protections for the unborn, according to signatories, are a “human rights crisis.” This letter is a reminder that defense of national sovereignty is vital in a landscape where international bodies are being lobbied and used to push a pro-abortion agenda. No international organization should have authority over our country in any area, much less in mandating policies that destroy lives.
Unfortunately, there is already a bias within the UN against protections for the unborn. UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet called the outcome in the U.S. Supreme Court decision Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which returned the question of abortion policy to the people, “a huge blow to women’s human rights and gender equality.” At that time, the UN women’s rights committee “reiterated its call for States parties to remove punitive measures for women who undergo abortion and to legalize abortion – at least in cases of rape, incest, threats to the life or health of the pregnant woman, and in the case of severe [fetal] impairment.”
The UN touts Bachelet and the committee as “rights experts.” Yet the so-called “experts” seem to have their heads in the sand about what both sides are really saying about the abortion debate.
There are no punitive measures—certainly not criminal measures—against women who obtain an abortion in the United States. Our President and CEO, Penny Nance, has only spoken with truth and love about women who have suffered abortion, most recently in front of a nationally broadcast audience at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC). And pro-life groups, including Concerned Women for America, universally call for protections for the unborn who fall outside of the listed exceptions. Those unborn lives are the vast majority of children killed in abortions.
On the other hand, as the letter evidences, many on the pro-abortion side want abortion under any circumstance. The dignity and worth of the unborn child is totally irrelevant. Girls and women indisputably suffer from criminal attacks and maladies like post-partum depression. But abortion access is demanded in every circumstance, and the suffering that results from abortion is unacknowledged.
One might wonder why the UN takes the positions it does when America foots most of the bill. In 2020, America contributed over 11 billion dollars to the UN. It seems like the UN’s priorities and America’s priorities are so often at odds. Bizarrely, most if not all of the signatories are from America. It seems to boil down to a desire to take the easy route of appealing to an unaccountable international body rather than do the hard work of changing fellow Americans’ hearts and minds. It is a call for policy by fiat and no consent from the governed.
Sadly, the U.S. is responsible for its own pressure on foreign governments to support anti-life, anti-family, and anti-woman policies. At a Summit for Democracy, the Biden Administration explicitly linked so-called LGBTQI+ “rights” to democracy, and President Biden called for the elimination of the filibuster in order to pass a law to practically undo the outcome in Dobbs. The U.S. Department of State’s annual human rights report includes sections on sexual orientation/gender identity mandates and abortion access. The U.S. Agency for International Development has recommended training for educators funded to teach in foreign countries “to model the use of inclusive language (i.e., names, pronouns, descriptors)” with information about “diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.” The U.S. State Department awarded one of its “International Women for Courage Awards” to a male.
At a panel event this week for International Women’s Day, German Ambassador Emily Haber was asked to speak about differences in pay between men and women of Germany. She was asked if she observed any policies in Germany that America should apply. She explained,
“There’s a conversation to be had about [fair pay]. But I wouldn’t give any advice or wouldn’t, as I said before, lecture anyone. We all come from our specific vantage points, experiences, societal and political traditions. Whatever we do will have to fit into it. As we pursue the same objectives . . . we’ll have to have the conversation on how best to do it. There is not one single panacea to move ahead.”
This is a refreshing perspective for issues that are debatable, like economic policy. How much more must we forbear on exporting to other countries ideas that undebatably lead to harm and destruction. But as the letter shows, and as we have seen from the Biden Administration, not everyone is on the same page.