WASHINGTON, D.C., July 17, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Home School Legal Defense Association is warning about what it says is a grave threat to parental rights if the U.S. Senate moves ahead with plans to ratify the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities this month.
“Article 7 of the UNCRPD gives government the ability to override every decision of a parent of disabled children if the government thinks that its views are in ‘the best interest of the child,’” said Michael Farris, HSLDA’s Chairman. “This is a radical attempt to take away parental rights.”
President Obama’s ambassador at the UN signed the Convention in 2009, and Sen. John Kerry announced plans last week to have the Senate ratify it by July 26. A committee vote is expected Thursday.
Unlike most UN documents, conventions such as this one are binding on countries that ratify them and governments are required to amend their domestic laws accordingly.
“This is an unprecedented attempt to jam a binding international treaty through the Senate without proper time for debate or consideration,” said Farris.
The Holy See refused to sign the convention when it passed the UN General Assembly in 2006 because, for the first time in a binding UN treaty, it included a right to “sexual and reproductive health,” which has often been taking to include a right to abortion.
Though numerous countries included statements specifically interpreting the phrase to exclude the right to abortion, the Holy See said the risk that it would deemed to include the right to abortion in some countries mitigates against the same convention’s guarantee of the right to life.
Farris warned that if the U.S. ratifies this convention, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child would be next on the agenda. That convention has been strongly opposed by pro-family groups because the UN committee that oversees its implementation has attempted to undermine parental rights in various nations that have signed onto it.
“This is not a battle just for parents with disabled and special needs children. This is a battle for every parent,” he said.
Farris is urgently calling on parents and concerned citizens to call their representatives in the U.S.Senate.
Find contact information for your U.S. Senator here.