October 22, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The United States, in a coalition of 32 countries representing more than 1.6 billion people, today issued a declaration at the United Nations that there is “no international right to abortion.”
“On Thursday, October 22, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and HHS Secretary Alex Azar participated in the virtual signing of the Geneva Consensus Declaration, a historic document that further strengthens an ongoing coalition to achieve better health for women, the preservation of human life, support for the family as foundational to a healthy society, and the protection of national sovereignty in global politics,” a press release from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reads.
Along with the United States the document was co-sponsored and signed by 32 countries including Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, and Uganda.
The opening words of the declaration explain its purpose as including expressing “the essential priority of protecting the right to life” and promoting “strength of the family and of a successful and flourishing society.”
Point 3 of the declaration states that the ministers and high representatives of Governments “[r]eaffirm the inherent ‘dignity and worth of the human person,’ that ‘every human being has the inherent right to life,’ and the commitment ‘to enable women to go safely through pregnancy and childbirth and provide couples with the best chance of having a healthy infant.’”
Point 4 of the declaration states that the signatories “[e]mphasize that ‘in no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning’ and that ‘any measures or changes related to abortion within the health system can only be determined at the national or local level according to the national legislative process.’”
Judge Amy Coney Barrett Graeme Jennings-Pool/Getty Images
PETITION UPDATE (10/26//2020)
In a resounding victory for supporters of life, family and freedom, the U.S. Senate has just confirmed Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court of the United States!
Justice Barrett was sworn-in by Justice Clarence Thomas and will swiftly fill the vacant seat and immediately begin participating in Supreme Court hearings.
The petitions signed by many of you - there are now over 40,000 signatures - supporting Judge Amy Coney Barrett were sent to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, as well as to the Officers of the USCCB.
Thank you for signing these petitions. As you can see, your signature really does make a difference!
We also know that many of you also made calls to your U.S. senators to encourage them to vote for Judge Barrett. Thank you!
PETITION UPDATE (10/22/2020)
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee just voted to advance Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination to the full Senate, leaving only one hurdle to go next week.
Every Republican on the committee voted for Barrett, President Donald Trump’s selection to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, while every committee Democrat boycotted the vote, CNBC reports.
Please READ the latest LifeSite article about the Senate Committee's vote here.
As you read above, Judge Barrett has one more hurdle next Monday. Of course, it's the BIGGEST hurdle.
So, if you haven't already, could we ask you to please call your U.S. senators to politely voice your support for Judge Barrett?
After SIGNING this petition, please scroll down the page, where you will find the list of all U.S. senators' contact details.
Let's keep working and praying so that we can see a pro-life judge sit on the Supreme Court.
PETITION UPDATE (10/15/20)
The fourth day of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Senate confirmation hearing for the open seat on the U.S. Supreme Court is going on now.
Please CLICK HERE to go to the livestream of the hearings.
Please watch and read EXCLUSIVE LifeSite videos and articles about Judge Amy Coney Barrett's hearings:
Conservatives and Christians asked President Trump to deliver a proven constitutional originalist with a solid pro-life background, and he did.
Now, let's not be outdone by Leftist organizations which will be mobilizing their forces to write, call and visit their senators' constituency offices.
Please SIGN this urgent petition - to Senate Leadership - asking them to quickly confirm Barrett as the next Supreme Court justice.
Then, please take a couple of minutes to CALL YOUR U.S. SENATORS using their numbers below, and politely urge them to confirm Barrett.
When Amy Coney Barrett's senate confirmation hearing begins on Monday, October 12th, the mother of seven and devout Catholic is expected to face fierce opposition.
Of course, the anticipated attacks have nothing to do with Barrett's legal credentials, which are uniformly top-notch.
Instead, they have to do with her faith in Jesus and with her belief that life begins at conception.
This is nothing short of anti-Christian bigotry which cannot be tolerated.
The fact is, Amy Coney Barrett is the best candidate for the job, and she urgently needs our support.
By signing the petition, we can unite to powerfully speak with one voice. But, by calling your senators, you can ensure that they know their local constituents are concerned and interested enough to telephone their offices.
This is our time to get active! We must voice our support for Amy Coney Barrett at this crucial moment in our nation's history.
Please SIGN this petition, and then please use the contact details below to CALL YOUR U.S. SENATORS right-away! Thank you!
U.S. SENATORS' CONTACT DETAILS:
SENATORS AND PHONE NUMBERS - https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact
Doug Jones – (202) 224-4124
Richard C. Shelby – (202) 224-5744
Lisa Murkowski – (202) 224-6665
Dan Sullivan – (202) 224-3004
Martha McSally – (202) 224-2235
Kyrsten Sinema – (202) 224-4521
John Boozman – (202) 224-4843
Tom Cotton – (202) 224-2353
Dianne Feinstein – (202) 224-3841
Kamala D. Harris – (202) 224-3553
Michael F. Bennett – (202) 224-5852
Cory Gardner – (202) 224-5941
Richard Blumenthal – (202) 224-2823
Christopher Murphy – (202) 224-4041
Thomas R. Carper – (202) 224-2441
Christopher A. Coons – (202) 224-5042
Marco Rubio – (202) 224-3041
Rick Scott – (202) 224-5274
Kelly Loeffler – (202) 224-3643
David Perdue – (202) 224-3521
Mazie K. Hirono – (202) 224-6361
Brian Schatz – (202) 224-3934
Mike Crapo – (202) 224-6142
James E. Risch – (202) 224-2752
Dick Durbin – (202) 224-2152
Tammy Duckworth – (202) 224-2854
Mike Braun – (202) 224-4814
Todd Young – (202) 224-5623
Joni Ernst – (202) 224-3254
Chuck Grassley – (202) 224-3774
Jerry Moran – (202) 224-6521
Pat Roberts – (202) 224-4744
Mitch McConnell – (202) 224-2541
Rand Paul – (202) 224-4343
Bill Cassidy – (202) 224-5824
John Kennedy – (202) 224-4623
Susan M. Collins – (202) 224-2523
Angus S. King – (202) 224-5344
Benjamin L. Cardin – (202) 224-4524
Chris Van Hollen – (202) 224-4654
Edward J. Markey – (202) 224-2742
Elizabeth Warren – (202) 224-4543
Gary C. Peters – (202) 224-6221
Debbie Stabenow – (202) 224-4822
Amy Klobuchar – (202) 224-3244
Tina Smith – (202) 224-5641
Cindy Hyde-Smith – (202) 224-5054
Roger F. Wicker – (202) 224-6253
Roy Blunt – (202) 224-5721
Josh Hawley – (202) 224-6154
Steve Daines – (202) 224-2651
Jon Tester – (202) 224-2644
Deb Fischer – (202) 224-6551
Ben Sasse – (202) 224-4224
Catherine Cortez Masto – (202) 224-3542
Jacky Rosen – (202) 224-6244
Margaret Wood Hassan – (202) 224-3324
Jeanne Shaheen – (202) 224-2841
Cory A. Booker – (202) 224-3224
Robert Menendez – (202) 224-4744
Martin Heinrich – (202) 224-5521
Tom Udall – (202) 224-6621
Kirsten E. Gillibrand – (202) 224-4451
Charles E. Schumer – (202) 224-6542
Richard Burr – (202) 224-3154
Thom Tillis – (202) 224-6342
Kevin Cramer – (202) 224-2043
John Hoeven – (202) 224-2551
Sherrod Brown – (202) 224-2315
Rob Portman – (202) 224-3353
James M. Inhofe – (202) 224-4721
James Lankford – (202) 224-5754
Jeff Merkley – (202) 224-3753
Ron Wyden – (202) 224-5244
Robert P. Casey, Jr. – (202) 224-6324
Patrick J. Toomey, Jr. – (202) 224-4254
Jack Reed – (202) 224-4642
Sheldon Whitehouse – (202) 224-2921
Lindsey Graham – (202) 224-5972
Tim Scott – (202) 224-6121
Mike Rounds – (202) 224-5842
John Thune – (202) 224-2321
Lamar Alexander – (202) 224-4944
Marsha Blackburn – (202) 224-3344
John Cornyn – (202) 224-2934
Ted Cruz – (202) 224-5922
Mike Lee – (202) 224-5444
Mitt Romney – (202) 224-5251
Patrick J. Leahy – (202) 224-4242
Bernard Sanders – (202) 224-5141
Tim Kaine – (202) 224-4024
Mark R. Warner – (202) 224-2023
Maria Cantwell – (202) 224-3441
Patty Murray – (202) 224-2621
Shelley Moore Capito – (202) 224-6472
Joe Manchin III – (202) 224-3954
Tammy Baldwin – (202) 224-5653
Ron Johnson – (202) 224-5323
John Barrasso – (202) 224-6441
Michael B. Enzi – (202) 224-3424
The declaration further reaffirms that “‘the child … needs special safeguards and care … before as well as after birth’ and ‘special measures of protection and assistance should be taken on behalf of all children,’ based on the principle of the best interest of the child.”
“Under President Trump’s leadership, the United States has defended the dignity of human life everywhere and always. He’s done it like no other President in history,” Secretary Pompeo said.
“We’ve also mounted an unprecedented defense of the unborn abroad … Today, we’re taking the next step, as we sign the Geneva Consensus Declaration. At its very core, the Declaration protects women’s health, defends the unborn, and reiterates the vital importance of the family as the foundation of society.”
Austin Ruse, president of the U.N. human rights watchdog organization C-Fam, had high praise for the Trump administration and the U.S.’s s co-signers:
C-Fam has worked for 24 years toward the declaration made by the Trump administration today together with a coalition of 32 UN Member States. There is no international right to abortion. There is no international obligation to fund abortion. The United Nations has no business interfering in sovereign decisions when it comes to protecting life in the womb.
C-Fam heartily congratulates the Trump administration and the 32 sovereign states around the world who signed on to the Geneva Consensus Declaration for defending life, family, and sovereignty. We salute President Trump, Secretary Mike Pompeo, and Secretary Alex Azar. We thank Garrett Grigsby and Valerie Huber of HHS for their hard work to deliver this result.
The Trump administration has consistently worked to defend life and oppose abortion at the United Nations, from resisting pro-abortion agenda items and resolution language to affirming that abortion isn’t a human right and promoting abstinence education. Earlier this year, Trump announced that the U.S. would cut ties with the pro-abortion World Health Organization (WHO) due to its handling of the coronavirus crisis.
Secretary Azar said that the declaration is the administration putting down “a clear marker” in opposition to “a radical agenda” often pursued by U.N. agencies.
“The Declaration is much more than a statement of beliefs — it is a critical and useful tool to defend these principles across all United Nations bodies and at every multilateral setting, using language previously agreed to by member states of those bodies,” the HHS Secretary said.
“Without apology, we affirm that governments have the sovereign right to make their own laws to protect innocent life and write their regulations on abortion,” Azar continued.
“The stakes are too high to permit radical, divisive agendas to hinder the ability of women in countries at all stages of development to attain better health.”
Azar said that the coalition of signatories to the declaration will denounce “organizations when they overstep their mandates by promoting positions that can never gain consensus” and that they will “unequivocally declare that there is no international right to abortion.”
On Promoting Women’s Health and Strengthening the Family:
We, ministers and high representatives of Governments,
Having intended to gather on the margins of the 2020 World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland to review progress made and challenges to uphold the right to the highest attainable standards of health for women; to promote women’s essential contribution to health, and strength of the family and of a successful and flourishing society; and to express the essential priority of protecting the right to life, committing to coordinated efforts in multilateral fora; despite our inability to meet in Geneva due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, in solidarity, we
1. Reaffirm “all are equal before the law,” and “human rights of women are an inalienable, integral, and indivisible part of all human rights and fundamental freedoms”;
2. Emphasize “the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all civil and political rights,” as well as economic, social, and cultural rights; and the “equal rights, opportunities and access to resources and equal sharing of responsibilities for the family by men and women and a harmonious partnership between them are critical to their well-being and that of their families”; and that “women and girls must enjoy equal access to quality education, economic resources, and political participation as well as equal opportunities with men and boys for employment, leadership and decision-making at all levels;”
3. Reaffirm the inherent “dignity and worth of the human person,” that “every human being has the inherent right to life,” and the commitment “to enable women to go safely through pregnancy and childbirth and provide couples with the best chance of having a healthy infant”;
4. Emphasize that “in no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning” and that “any measures or changes related to abortion within the health system can only be determined at the national or local level according to the national legislative process”; Reaffirm that “the child… needs special safeguards and care… before as well as after birth” and “special measures of protection and assistance should be taken on behalf of all children,” based on the principle of the best interest of the child;
5. Reaffirm that “the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State”; that “motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance,” that “women play a critical role in the family” and women’s “contribution to the welfare of the family and to the development of society”;
6. Recognize that “universal health coverage is fundamental for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals related not only to health and well-being,” with further recognition that “health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” that “the predominant focus of health-care systems on treating illness rather than maintaining optimal health also prevents a holistic approach”; and that there are “needs that exist at different stages in an individual’s lifespan” which together support optimal health across the life course, entailing the provision of the necessary information, skills, and care for achieving the best possible health outcomes and reaching full human potential; and
7. “Reaffirm the importance of national ownership and the primary role and responsibility of governments at all levels to determine their own path towards achieving universal health coverage, in accordance with national contexts and priorities,” preserving human dignity and all the rights and freedoms set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Furthermore, we, the representatives of our sovereign nations do hereby declare in mutual friendship and respect, our commitment to work together to:
Ensure the full enjoyment of all human rights and equal opportunity for women at all levels of political, economic, and public life;
Improve and secure access to health and development gains for women, including sexual and reproductive health, which must always promote optimal health, the highest attainable standard of health, without including abortion;
Reaffirm that there is no international right to abortion, nor any international obligation on the part of States to finance or facilitate abortion, consistent with the long-standing international consensus that each nation has the sovereign right to implement programs and activities consistent with their laws and policies;
Build our health system capacity and mobilize resources to implement health and development programs that address the needs of women and children in situations of vulnerability and advance universal health coverage;
Advance supportive public health policies for women and girls as well as families, including building our healthcare capacity and mobilizing resources within our own countries, bilaterally, and in multilateral fora;
Support the role of the family as foundational to society and as a source of health, support, and care; and
Engage across the UN system to realize these universal values, recognizing that individually we are strong, but together we are stronger.
Update 10-22-20 20:18 EDT: This article was updated to include remarks from Austin Ruse of C-Fam.