This week the U.S. Senate rejected the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a treaty that could have resulted in U.S. involvement in promoting abortion internationally and setting up a fallback abortion-guarantee for the day Roe v. Wade is reversed. During the various stages of debate, Americans United for Life argued against ratification of the treaty. The Senate declined to ratify a treaty, despite a 61 to 38 vote. Under the Constitution, the Senate must “concur” to a treaty by a two-thirds positive vote.
Writing at LifeNews, AUL counsel William Saunders and Stephanie Maloney noted that the inclusion of the term “reproductive health” in the treaty is a Trojan horse through which the anti-life movement wishes to advance abortion.
The inclusion of the phrase “reproductive health” affords an opportunity for abortion advocates to interpret the terms as a euphemism for “abortion rights” and push for nations to legalize abortion based on the treaty. Indeed, this interpretation of “reproductive health” is the position of the Obama Administration. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee to this effect, stating “We happen to think that family planning is an important part of women’s health, and reproductive health includes access to abortion.” Treaties are binding law in the U.S. A treaty protecting “reproductive health” could easily be interpreted by a court in the U.S. to cover abortion, precisely as the anti-life lawyers urge courts around the world to interpret that very term.
“The failure of the Senate to ratify is good news,” said Saunders, “But because the treaty can be brought back for another vote, we must remain vigilant.”