Sunday, March 18, 2007

UK and EU support sex-selective abortion at the UN

Action, please: please protest to the Government, especially the Prime Minister. So much for human rights! So much for feminism!

From the Friday Fax: Negotiations went down to the wire at the UN last week at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) as delegations struggled to come to consensus on the final outcome document. Despite assurances from delegations such as the EU,
the issue of sex-selection was largely ignored within the final text.

The United States initiated a formal resolution at the CSW that would
condemn the now widespread practice of aborting baby girls because of their
sex. The US took the position that the issue deserved to be highlighted in its
own resolution, like the other four stand-alone CSW resolutions on issues such
as female genital mutilation, HIV/AIDS, forced marriage and the plight of
Palestinian women. This was especially relevant since the theme of the CSW this
year was "discrimination and violence against the girl child."

When negotiations for the resolution on sex-selected abortion began, the US
delegation had expected other like-minded countries to speak up in support of
the initiative. Observers were not surprised by resistance to the resolution
from the delegations of China, India, EU, Canada and others, but they were
disappointed that many pro-life countries did not support the resolution, and
suggested that the issue, while important, be relegated to the main conference
document called the Agreed Conclusions.

Citing lack of support, the US chose to withdraw the resolution with the
understanding that the content of it would be included in the final conference
document called the Agreed Conclusions. The US submitted four paragraphs to be
inserted into the draft Agreed Conclusions calling on states to collect data on
prenatal sex selection and female infanticide and to develop information and
awareness campaigns to reinforce the “intrinsic value of girls to their
families and societies.”

Much to the surprise of delegates, on the final morning of the CSW, the
chairman of negotiations on the Agreed Conclusions, Tom Woodroffe of the United
Kingdom, had cut the draft text in half and omitted the US proposed paragraphs
on prenatal sex selection. In the final version of the Agreed Conclusions,
only one reference to prenatal sex-selection appears.

At the close of the conference, Ambassador Patricia Brister delivered the
US explanation of position. Commenting on the politicized nature of
negotiations and the resistance of some delegations to address prenatal
sex-selection, Ambassador Brister stated, “The United States is dismayed to see
that much of the language in the Agreed Conclusions is more attentive to the
political preoccupations of international conference goers than to the needs of
women and particularly of girls. For instance, the document mentions “sexual
and reproductive health” several times and life-saving immunizations only once.
Some delegations insisted that the document could not contain an explicit
reference to the violent and discriminatory practice of aborting unborn baby
girls for the sole reason that they are girls – and yet they insisted on
multiple references to programs and activities to help girls “understand their
sexuality”….However, we are happy that the document condemns female infanticide
and “harmful practices of prenatal sex selection,” which is universally
understood to include sex-selective abortion, even if some delegations insisted
that this practice not be called by its real name.”

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen