U.S. Signs Declaration Asserting No International Right To Abortion; LGBT Advocates Voice Concerns About Language Addressing Family

The Guardian: U.S. signs anti-abortion declaration with group of largely authoritarian governments
“The U.S. has today signed an anti-abortion declaration with a group of about 30 largely illiberal or authoritarian governments, after the failure of an effort to expand the conservative coalition. The ‘Geneva Consensus Declaration’ calls on states to promote women’s rights and health — but without access to abortion — and is part of a campaign by Trump administration, led by secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to reorient U.S. foreign policy in a more socially conservative direction, even at the expense of alienating traditional western allies. The ‘core supporters’ of the declaration are Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, and Uganda, and the 27 other signatories include Belarus (where security forces are currently trying to suppress a women-led protest movement), Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Sudan, South Sudan, Libya. Most of the signatories are among the 20 worst countries to be a woman according to the Women, Peace and Security Index established by Georgetown University…” (Borger, 10/22).

Washington Post: U.S. signs international declaration challenging right to abortion and upholding ‘role of the family’
“…Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar participated in the virtual signing ceremony. The Geneva Consensus Declaration aims to promote women’s health, ‘defends the unborn and reiterates the vital importance of the family,’ Pompeo said at the ceremony. Access to abortion is widely restricted in the other countries to co-sponsor the declaration. ‘There is no international right to abortion,’ Pompeo said. Though the document does not directly address same-sex marriage, the only co-sponsors to have legalized it are Brazil and the United States, while the text’s language affirming the family as ‘the natural and fundamental group unit of society’ has clear meaning for countries that restrict LGBT rights. Among the co-sponsors, the Egyptian government targets LGBT people in a ‘systemic fashion,’ according to a recent Human Rights Watch report, and in Uganda, gay sex is punishable by death…” (Berger, 10/22).

Additional coverage of the declaration is available from Axios and The Hill.

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