September 27, 2019 (C-Fam) — This week at the opening of the 74th United Nations General Assembly, President Donald Trump delivered what may be the most pro-life statement any president has ever delivered to the world body.
To a standing-room-only General Assembly hall, President Trump said, “Americans will also never tire of defending innocent life. We are aware that many United Nations projects have attempted to assert a global right to tax-payer funded abortion on demand, right up until the moment of delivery. Global bureaucrats have no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that wish to project innocent life. Like many nations here today, we in America believe that every child, born and unborn, is a sacred gift from God.”
This comes on the heels of a letter initiated by the United States that makes clear the U.S. and allies will oppose efforts to impose a global right to abortion in international law. The letter, first reported by the Friday Fax on August 22, specifically mentioned the use of certain terms to advance a right to abortion, including “sexual and reproductive health.”
The journey to this point has been difficult for pro-life advocates active at the United Nations. And the debate nearly caused a rift in the UN pro-life coalition. Two years ago, one major pro-life group at the UN argued that the phrase “reproductive health” was a “clean term” and should be accepted by UN Member States. Other groups pointed out that the term was defined in the outcome document of the 1994 Cairo conference as including abortion where it is not against the law and therefore should be avoided.
Even more daunting was stiff opposition to the President's pro-life foreign policy agenda from some among the permanent bureaucracy at the State Department who sought to continue the previous administration's policies by protecting the phrase.
Political appointees who worked to enact the President's pro-life policies were punished. One political appointee at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) was attacked by some in the permanent bureaucracy and by left-wing media for saying during a UN negotiation that “this is a pro-life administration.” Another political appointee at the State Department was hounded from her job for promoting the President's agenda at the UN.
One career diplomat leaked government emails to the left-wing media in order to sully pro-life groups, pro-life employees at the State Department, and to stop pro-life efforts.
The President's UN statement demonstrated his commitment to a pro-life foreign policy and the resolve of political appointees in the State Department, the Department of Health and Human Services, USAID, and the White House to enact his agenda throughout the federal government.
The reaction to the president's statement came fast and furious. Shannon Kowalski of International Women's Health Coalition told the Guardian, “This letter just shows how they are trying to erode international consensus and roll back the clock for women and girls. It's not just abortion that they care about, they care about women's ability to exercise autonomy over their bodies and about denying them critical access to the services they need.” In fact, the U.S. has remained the largest funder of family planning in the world under both pro-life and pro-abortion administrations.
Published with permission from C-Fam.