NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The Trump administration secured the removal of pro-abortion language from a United Nations resolution against rape in war zones Tuesday by threatening to veto the measure if the final version contained a notorious euphemism for abortion.
The UN Security Council had been debating updates a resolution first approved in 2013 to combat the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. The United States objected to a reference in the document calling for “comprehensive health services, including sexual and reproductive health” for “survivors of sexual violence,” on the grounds that “reproductive health” is a longstanding term of art for abortion and related services.
The Trump administration would not publicly discuss ongoing negotiations, but Foreign Policy reports that an internal State Department cable explains its position.
America remains “strongly committed to preventing conflict-related sexual violence and holding responsible persons accountable” and agrees “more needs to be done to deter the recurrence of such crimes and assist survivors,” the cable said, but “cannot accept unamended explicit, or implicit, references to ‘sexual and reproductive health’” because “we do not support or promote abortion.”
“If we let the Americans do this and take out this language, it will be watered down for a long time,” an unnamed European diplomat complained to The Guardian. “It is, at its heart, an attack on the progressive normative framework established over the past 25 years.”
The US threat to veto the resolution succeeded in getting the language removed from the final resolution Tuesday, US News reports. The finalized text “ended up in a place that is closer in line with the White House's priorities,” an administration aide said.
Complaining that the change was “intolerable and incomprehensible,” France’s UN Ambassador Francois Delattre admitted that the “reproductive health” language was all about abortion, by blasting the Security Council for failing to acknowledge that rape survivors “should have the right to terminate their pregnancy.”
The Trump administration has consistently worked to defend life and oppose abortion at the UN, from resisting pro-abortion agenda items and reducing foreign abortion funding to affirming that abortion isn’t a human right and promoting abstinence education.