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Legislative Update for July 27, 2012

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United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:

This week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee marked up the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities treaty. This treaty is an attack on the fundamental rights of parents to educate, care, and raise their disabled children.Article 7 of the CRPD gives the government the power to override every decision of the parent of a disabled child by using the caveat “the best interest of the child.”

Further, the CRPD could include abortion.Article 25 requires signer countries to provide people with disabilities “free or affordable health care and programs … including in the area of ‘sexual and reproductive health.'”In fact, when Secretary of State Hilary Clinton testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, she said that family planning is an important part of women’s health, and reproductive health includes access to abortion.

Don’t miss the subtle irony of including this abortion language in the CRPD.Ninety percent of children identified as having “special needs” in utero wind up aborted.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) offered an amendment to clarify that “sexual and reproductive health” within the treaty does not include abortion. In 2006, the U.N General Assembly clarified that this term does not create a right to abortion and cannot be interpreted to constitute support, endorsement, or promotion of abortion. Unfortunately, Sen. Rubio’s amendment was gutted by Sen. John Kerry (D-Massachusetts).

The treaty passed with help from three Republicans: Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Indiana), and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia).

Click here to hear Shari Rendall, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee’s Director of Legislation, and Concerned Women for America Online Communications Strategist Chelsen Vicari discuss the CRPD with former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania).

Act now: Call your senators and urge them to vote against the CRPD if it comes to the Senate floor. Click here to find your senators.

HHS Mandate Enacted:

On August 1, the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate requiring insurance companies to include abortion-inducing drugs and sterilizations will go into effect for all but a select few who meet the narrow religious exemptions or receive a so-called one-year reprieve.

On Friday, a family-owned business won a court victory in their battle to live according to their faith.

It is not for the government to decide which businesses or individuals are “religious or moral enough” to get an exemption.This mandate creates a two-tiered system that protects the rights of some, but not all.

Act now: Call your representative and urge him/her to ask leadership to bring the Respect for the Rights of Conscience Act (H.R. 1179) to the floor for a vote. Also ask your representative to urge leadership to defund the HHS mandate in its spending bill to fund the government for FY2013.Click here to find your representatives.