US insists that “There is no fundamental right to abortion”
Autor: ---- Fuente: LifeSite News

A US proposal to clarify that the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action do not call for abortion to be regarded as a human right is being fought by Canada and the European Union. The amendment would “reaffirm that they do not create any new international human rights and that they do not include the right to abortion.”

U.S. Ambassador Ellen Sauerbrey, head of the U.S. delegation, told the press that “There is no fundamental right to abortion.” She explained that nevertheless, abortion “keeps coming up, largely driven by NGOs (non-governmental organizations) trying to hijack the term to make it into a definition."

The clarification was made especially necessary after a 2001 UN child summit where Canadian representative Andras Vamos-Goldman contended that in UN parlance, the term “reproductive health services” included abortion. Dozens of countries registered their disagreements with the statement which contradicted international agreements.

Samantha Singson, Campaign Life Coalition's international affairs director, spoke with LifeSiteNews.com from the UN where she is lobbying delegates. “Over 20 countries made reservations on the original Beijing document definitively stating that it was not to be interpreted as abortion inclusive,” she noted.

However, pro-abortion NGOs pushing abortion as an international right found their usual allies in the delegations from Canada and several European Union countries who spoke against the US proposal yesterday. They all used the term "reproductive health" as necessarily including abortion.

Canada, following a pattern in recent years on many other issues, attacked the position of its US neighbour. Speaking for Canada, Liza Frulla, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women, opposed the US amendment saying, “Canada strongly urges all Members States to unanimously and unequivocally reaffirm the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.” Driving her point Frulla added, “we would emphasize that the advancement of sexual and reproductive health and rights is nothing less than intrinsic to the achievement of gender equality.”

Joan Theodora-Brewster, Minister of Health and Social Development of the Netherlands, echoed Canada saying, “gender equality could not be achieved without guaranteeing women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.” She added, “expanding access to sexual and reproductive health information and health services were essential for achieving the Beijing agreements and the Millennium Development Goals, as well as for combating HIV/AIDS.”

Jens Orback, Minister for Democracy, Metropolitan Affairs, Integration and Gender Equality of Sweden, chimed in saying it is “vital to fulfill the Beijing goals and those of the Millennium Declaration; women must be guaranteed economic independence, human rights enjoyment, and access to sexual and reproductive health care and services.”

Frank Fahey, Ireland’s Minister for Equality Issues said “In the fights against HIV/AIDS, Ireland adopted a multifaceted approach, which included funding for sexual and reproductive health information, services and research.”

Pascal Couchepin, Federal Councillor of Switzerland said, “The international community must redouble its efforts, notably in the areas that were still neglected, such as sexual health and reproductive rights”

The UK’s Emyr Jones Parry, speaking on behalf of Jacqui Smith, Minister of State for Industry and the Regions and Deputy Minister for Women and Equality, said it was important “to work for the implementation of the Cairo goal of universal sexual and reproductive health rights.”

Ruth Dyson, Minister for Women’s Affairs of New Zealand praised abortion-supporting NGOs and said “Beijing contained clear commitments on women’s sexual and reproductive health rights, and the right to control their own sexuality. Those commitments must be implemented.”
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