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UN Abortion Discourse

United Nation's Building in New York city
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Penna Dexternever miss viewpoints

At the United Nations, the terminology used to describe certain rights has significant impact on international policy. Decades-long battles are waged over language because certain terms can be used to push ideas many countries reject into UN documents and agreements which are then used to bludgeon nations into compliance.

Take “reproductive health,” a stealth term that pro-abortion forces at the UN use to signify abortion rights. Twelve years ago, the George W. Bush administration allowed it into a treaty and, since that time, it has popped up in hundreds of non-binding UN documents. Who can oppose health, especially reproductive health?

But pro-abortion forces, pushing an international right to abortion, were normalizing the use of this term and using it to advance their agenda. US officials, and even some pro-life organizations working with the United Nations, went along with this. But other pro-life groups raised the issue with the incoming Trump administration.

One of those groups is C-FAM, the Center for Family and Human Rights. Its president, Austin Ruse, says the Trump team reversed tactics on the term “reproductive rights.” They decided “they would 1) reject the term, 2) replace the term, or 3) insist on defining the term as rejecting abortion.” There was a battle inside the administration, but Mr. Ruse says “Trump drew a bright line around that poisonous term.”

This is one of many ways in which the administration has pushed back against what was becoming an abortion regime at the United Nations. Mr. Ruse says, “President Trump has made abortion controversial at the UN like never before.” Joining the US in this effort are the governments of countries in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and even Europe.

Last year, the US got 33 countries to sign the Geneva Declaration, which reaffirms that “abortion is not an international right.” C-FAM now expects at least a ten-to-fifteen-year period in which efforts toward developing an international right to abortion are blocked.penna's vp small

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