Pro-life advocates score a major victory at the Organization of American States
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 30, 2105 (LifeSiteNews) – A loose alliance of pro-family, pro-life “civil society organizations” (CSOs) took over their portion of the Organization of American States annual general assembly, held in Washington D.C., this June, usurping for the first time in a decade the forces of radical feminism and sexual liberation.
“The OAS General Assembly in Washington D.C. was a smashing success!” CitizenGO, one of the D.C.-based conservative groups that helped coordinate the victory, told supporters. “Your help made it possible to shut down the radical sexual agenda, abortion lobby, and euthanasia campaign at the OAS.”
In the next breath CitizenGO called for a similar effort at the meeting of heads of Caribbean government in Barbados July 2-4.
The CSOs met in a ballroom attached to the OAS’s permanent headquarters in Washington, D.C., Steve Phelan of Human Life International told LifeSiteNews. There they divided into four roundtables, each of which addressed one of the OAS’ “pillars”: economic development, human rights, democracy and security. Each roundtable produced from its discussion a statement read to the OAS ambassadors meeting the next day.
“Over the past 10 years or so, until now,” said Phelan, “these meetings were controlled by feminist groups seeking expanded access to feminist or LGBT groups.” They insisted, he added, in filling each group’s statement with calls for so-called “reproductive” or sexual rights.
This time pro-life and pro-family CSOs came in force, and ensured that the economic table talked development for all people, the democracy table talked about elections, the security table talked about policing, “and we told the LGBT people we weren’t against them, but the human rights table was the place for their issues to be brought up,” one CSO delegate told LifeSiteNews.
A dramatic moment came when Secretary-General Luis Almagro from Uruguay addressed the CSOs, telling them how proud he was of his country’s “three major achievements” — gay “marriage”, abortion, and marijuana legalization.
Josh Craddock, heading CitizenGO’s delegation, was the first among 10 CSO delegates picked to respond.
“I made a statement to the Secretary General, telling him about the 25,000 signatures collected by CitizenGO, and telling him that the vast majority of people in OAS member states want the OAS to stop focusing on promoting abortion (contrary to the American Convention on Human Rights) and an agenda promoted by a group of radical sexual activists,” he said.
“Instead, we want the OAS to focus on the real issues: clean drinking water, food, and democratic governance. The OAS is ignoring political abuse in Venezuela and Cuba. They need to focus on these things instead of the controversial issues promoted by a minority of radical sexual activists.”
Craddock reported that the applause from the CSO delegates was “thunderous.”
The main target of social radicals in Washington, D.C., was a declaration by the OAS general assembly of ambassadors on elder rights. It contained clauses that could be interpreted as supporting assisted suicide and euthanasia and promoting the LGBT political agenda.
According to Craddock, this is the second victory for the pro-family forces: the first came at the Summit of the Americas in Panama in April. There too, motions promoting abortion and radical sexual activities never made it out of discussions.
“We won all the roundtables in Panama just like here,” Craddock told LifeSiteNews. After Panama, “We received internal communications from the other side indicating they planned to get their revenge in Washington.” But they were outnumbered again.
He credited two developments on the surge of strength: U.S. and Canadian pro-family groups becoming “more aware of the OAS for the first time” and “greater co-ordination among these groups across the Americas.”
CitizenGO is an example: it was set up in 2012 to serve as a “petition platform” for family and life groups around the world and is currently mounting petitions in 11 languages, Craddock said.
Another group, the International Human Rights Group, active behind the scenes in Washington D.C. and Panama, is focused on OAS. “We’ve ignored the OAS for too long,” said Craddock. “We’ve let them become a nest of vipers.”
He said advocates for abortion, assisted suicide and sexual deviance lobby at all international gatherings for the insertion of clauses addressing their agendas in general declarations of rights (like this year’s declaration on the elderly), or seemingly innocuous clauses that “unelected experts” later interpret. Then the OAS’s human rights tribunal instructs member countries they are in violation of a treaty or declaration because they do not allow, for example, abortions.
One of the victories in Washington was that 10 countries exempted themselves from clauses in the elderly declaration which suggested support for euthanasia and assisted suicide.
Craddock predicted that Caribbean pro-life groups were expected to assemble in strength for the CSO event in Barbados. If they do, this too will be a first.