The European Union supports the UN resolution to make abortion a human right

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NEW YORK (C-Fam) The European Union stealthily backs a UN resolution to declare a human right to “safe abortion”.

The countries are negotiating a resolution that calls on states to promote “the human rights of all women”, including through “safe abortion where such services are authorized by national law”.

While the language is ambiguous about the exact legal status of abortion under international law, it would place abortion squarely in the category of international human rights in a General Assembly resolution for the first time.

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Japan has been coordinating negotiations for the resolution for more than a month, but insiders told the Friday Fax that the European Union delegation is behind the initiative and not playing a leading role in being free to negotiate. more aggressively and let Japan play the role of moderator.

Until now, no UN resolution has ever considered abortion as a human rights issue. The only times abortion has been mentioned in non-binding UN resolutions is with a caveat that takes due account of national legislation or with reference to the International Conference on Population and Development.

These caveats ensured that abortion could not be considered a human rights issue and that each country should adopt its own abortion laws without international agencies interfering in their internal affairs, but they are increasingly challenged by new ambiguities introduced into UN resolutions by Western delegations.

European Union diplomats do not have a mandate to promote abortion in international organizations like the United Nations. By allowing Japan to be the sponsor of the resolution, EU diplomats have avoided the need to find consensus within the EU negotiating bloc and are able to negotiate the resolution more aggressively to push back against attempts to suppress pro-abortion language as well as gay and transgender issues. .

The twenty-seven EU Member States have a wide variety of abortion regimes. Before the EU’s diplomatic apparatus can seize on a problem, the twenty-seven member states must agree on a unified position on foreign policy. Malta, Poland, Hungary and other European countries have highly protective laws for the unborn child, including in their constitutions. They would likely veto any explicit attempt to promote abortion as a right.

EU diplomats nevertheless promote abortion under the pretext of promoting “sexual and reproductive health and rights”, which is a central element of EU foreign policy on human rights. Every year, European Union foreign ministers adopt agreements tasking EU diplomats to the United Nations to promote “sexual and reproductive health and rights” in their human rights commitments .

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The resolution, ostensibly on combating sexual violence, is also being used to mainstream “gender-based violence” policies into international and national policies to combat sexual violence. The term “gender-based violence” is a technical term that emphasizes the intent of the perpetrator rather than the sexual nature of the crime. Several United Nations agencies define “gender-based violence” policies as including social acceptance of homosexuality and affirmation of people who identify as transgender.

The United Nations refugee agency, for example, defines gender-based violence as “violence perpetrated against women, girls, men and boys of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities as well as against individuals who are not binary, because it is motivated by the desire to punish those who are seen”. as defying gender norms.

Editor’s note: Stefano Gennarini writes for C-Fam. This article first appeared in the Friday Fax, an Internet report published weekly by C-Fam (Center for Family & Human Rights), a research institute based in New York and Washington DC. This article appears with permission.


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