WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — Ambassadors, members of Congress, foreign government officials and women’s health advocates from around the world gathered on Capitol Hill this week to recommit to protecting the rights of women and unborn children.
The occasion was the third anniversary of the Geneva Consensus Declaration (GCD), a coalition of 36 nations — and growing — committed to the sovereign right of nations to adopt policies that align with their values without foreign interference and to advance women’s optimal health, strengthen families, and declare there is no international right to abortion.
Together, they stand as a growing bulwark against the western world’s relentless attempts to export abortion to every corner of the world. While several Republican members of Congress and former Trump administration Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar were present, the United States no longer actively supports this effort. Shortly after taking office, the virulently pro-abortion Biden administration withdrew the U.S. from the GCD.
“The Geneva Consensus Declaration represents a shared commitment to the universal principles of life, family and national sovereignty — ideals that the American people hold dear. On its third anniversary, it is incredible to see 36 countries remain steadfast in this fight,” Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines of Montana told the roomful of pro-life dignitaries. “While President Biden sadly withdrew the United States from the Declaration, the American people’s commitment to protecting the most vulnerable and strengthening families remains strong, and I will continue to represent that viewpoint in the U.S. Senate.”
“The Geneva Consensus Declaration recognized the critical role of the family as the building block of society, honored the basic human rights of all women and reaffirmed the inherent right to life for all people,” Republican U.S. Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma noted.
“President Biden remains the most pro-abortion president in our nation’s history,” Lankford continued. “He removed the United States from the Declaration, which was supported by more than a billion people worldwide and is instead actively promoting abortion here and abroad. Now, more than ever, we should stand in unity and make it known that all lives are precious — whether born or unborn — and should be honored and protected. I am committed to defending the family, standing for life and fighting for the health needs of women around the world.”
“Conservatives in Congress need to defend America’s reputation and fight for religious freedom and a pro-family, pro-life agenda around the globe,” Congressman Jim Banks said. “I’d like to thank Senator Daines for partnering with me on this initiative and the Institute for Women’s Health for working to bring attention to an important issue.”
The sovereign right of every nation to defend their values
Valerie Huber, president and founder of the Institute for Women’s Health (IWH), architected the Geneva Consensus Declaration in 2020 while serving as U.S. Special Representative for Global Women’s Health.
“The Geneva Consensus is an effective catalyst to foster meaningful progress in women’s health on a global scale — a rare safe haven for nations that deeply value health, life, and family. This growing coalition of nations stands together against the false narratives that conflate ideology with genuine health gains for women,” Huber said. “Authentic gains for women, girls and the family should be a unifying priority of everyone, everywhere — regardless of cultural, economic, religious, or governmental differences.”
“Without question, this coalition is more important than ever before,” Huber said. “Today, we stand in solidarity around shared priorities … to see the health of women and girls improve around the world, to affirm the family as foundational to every healthy society, to glare there is no international right to abortion — it’s up to the country to decide for themself — and to defend the sovereign right of every nation to defend those values.”
The GCD reaffirms “the inherent dignity and worth of the human person” and that “every human being has the inherent right to life.”
Governments that sign on to the GCD commit to “enable women to go safely through pregnancy and childbirth and provide couples with the best chance of having a healthy infant” and emphasize that “in no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning.”
The 36 co-signing countries:
- Kingdom of Bahrain
- Republic of Belarus
- Republic of Benin
- Burkina Faso
- Republic of Cameroon
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Republic of the Congo
- Republic of Djibouti
- Arab Republic of Egypt
- Kingdom of Eswatini
- Republic of Gambia
- Republic of Guatemala
- Republic of Haiti
- Republic of Indonesia
- Republic of Iraq
- Republic of Kazakhstan
- Republic of Kenya
- State of Kuwait
- State of Libya
- Republic of Nauru
- Republic of Niger
- Sultanate of Oman
- Islamic Republic of Pakistan
- Republic of Paraguay
- Republic of Poland
- Republic of Qatar
- Russian Federation
- Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- Republic of Senegal
- Republic of South Sudan
- Republic of Sudan
- Republic of Uganda
- United Arab Emirates
- Republic of Zambia
During the third anniversary gathering, Valerie Huber announced that the Republic of Chad would be joining the GCD coalition.
In addition to the United States, the newly elected leaders of Columbia and Brazil removed their countries from the Declaration.
The commemoration was co-hosted by the H.E. Szabolcs Takács, ambassador of Hungary; H.E. Alfonso Quiñónez, ambassador of Guatemala; H.E. Rosan Roeslani, ambassador of Indonesia, and the Republic of Uganda.