Monday, May 28, 2007

UN continues to push abortion: appeal to US

Briefing. The US weilds considerable power over the UN, as a major financial contributor and the world's superpower. It has nevertheless failed to stop the UN's politicisation: going far beyond their mandates, UN agencies routinely demand that countries introduce anti-family and anti-life legislation. The example below involves Pakistan.

From CFNews: The Catholic Family Institute (C-Fam) reports from New York that, in a letter to the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, several US senators have argued that the US Senate must demand UN reform prior to US ratification of any UN treaties or conventions. Samantha Singson writes: 'Citing concern over the UN's vulnerability to 'corruption and mismanagement,' the letter to Senator Joseph Biden calls on Congress to ensure that the UN human rights treaty body authorities, which oversee state implementation of ratified treaties, will be 'impartial and will not attempt to exceed [the UN's] mandates.'

A week ago, a diverse coalition of more than 30 influential American NGOs sent a similar letter to US senators expressing their concern about an 'unreformed and politicized UN' which would exercise implementing authority regarding treaties such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Their concerns were validated recently when the text of the Colombian high court decision to legalize abortion was translated and widely distributed. According to the document, the court cited the non-binding recommendations of the CEDAW committee as part of its justification for liberalizing Colombia's abortion laws.

These two letters arrived in the US Senate as the CEDAW committee convened in New York. During its first review of Pakistan on Tuesday, treaty body experts questioned the country on its abortion laws and access to services and contraception. Abortion is illegal in Pakistan except to save the life of the mother. Three separate CEDAW Committee members pressed the Pakistani delegation about possibly liberalizing the country's abortion laws. In response to the questioning, the Pakistani representative said, 'Abortion is considered murder once a foetus is conceived.'

In what has become boilerplate during CEDAW reviews, the committee members linked maternal mortality to unsafe abortion and claimed that Pakistan's low contraceptive prevalence also led to increased instances of unsafe abortion. This line of reasoning contradicts findings the committee has made elsewhere. In their sixth periodic report of France, for example, CEDAW found that, 'despite the massive dissemination of information regarding contraceptive methods in the past thirty years, the number of undesired pregnancies is still high. According to the most recent data, almost one-third of all pregnancies are unexpected; of them, half end in voluntary termination.'

Some experts argue that the committees are not objective and selectively use data to promote a radical social agenda. They argue that the same NGOs that influence the committees to promote legalized abortion are now pressuring the US to ratify CEDAW and other UN treaties. Concerned Women for America president Wendy Wright told the Friday Fax, 'The need for UN reform is an irrefutable fact in the wake of the Oil for Food and Food for Sex scandals. Yet rather than mending their ways, UN officials abuse their authority and pressure countries to adopt immoral and life-threatening policies. The UN needs tough love, and the US is in the position to administer - but that won't happen if the US lends credibility and subjects itself to unrepentant UN officials by ratifying more UN treaties.' [C-Fam]

No comments:

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