April 30, 2018 (C-Fam) – In presenting the annual U.S. report on global human rights, Ambassador Michael Kozak told reporters that abortion is not a human right and therefore “reproductive rights” was no longer included in the report.
“Reproductive rights” was a rather recent addition to the report, included by the Obama administration that, Kozak claims, never intended the term to include abortion. He said it only acquired that meaning in recent years through its use by partisans on both sides of the abortion debate. If this were true, the question arises as to why the term abortion is used under the “reproductive rights” section in the 2013 report on Ireland. Pro-lifers would point out that at least in general usage, the term has always included abortion. Kozak did correctly describe abortion as a largely unsettled question of national policy around the world.
Kozak said that forced abortions and involuntary sterilization would be considered violations of human rights. He said, “it is internationally recognized that somebody should force you to have an abortion or coerce you to be sterilized.”
Kozak said, “We’ve really gotten at it by flipping back to the original U.S. statutory language. It’s in places like China where in order to enforce their – now – two-child policy that there are reports of coerced abortion and involuntary sterilization [or] in North Korea, where the government also coerces [or] forces abortion – although sometimes that’s for political punishment rather than family planning.”
The U.S. report and Kozak’s statements on abortion certainly run afoul of the political left. The report has already been blasted by Amnesty International which says this is further proof the United States under President Trump is moving farther away from human rights globally. The pro-abortion Center for Human Rights maintains that abortion is a human right through customary international law.
Kozak said the report, which is mandated by an act of Congress, includes only rights recognized in human rights law and only those that are “most egregious.” Among those he included torture, extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, criminalization of libel, and then he added “criminalization of LGBT consensual sexual activity…”
Given that Kozak says the report is based on established and accepted international law, the question arises: where in accepted international law is legalization of “LGBT consensual sexual activity”? There is no human rights treaty that mentions homosexuality, let alone genital activity between homosexuals. Moreover, there is no human rights treaty that mentions “sexual orientation and gender identity.”
But the new U.S. report goes much farther than condemning anti-sodomy laws. It dings Albania, for instance, because government officials have made “homophobic” remarks. “Homophobia” appears in no human rights treaty and it has never been defined in international law.
One reason the LGBT criteria likely appear in the document is due to internal bureaucratic pressure from employees in the State Department, as well as that of wealthy outside groups like the anti-Christian Human Rights Campaign.
The human rights report is used by Congress and the executive branch in considering funding of foreign governments and as an encouragement to other governments to do better. It is said to be the most widely read U.S. report overseas.
Published with permission from C-Fam.