Biden Nominates Pro-Abortion Globalist to International Court

By | August 25, 2022

NEW YORK, August 26 (C-Fam) The Biden administration has nominated controversial Columbia Law School Professor Sarah Cleveland to the International Court of Justice despite being rejected for a top job by the U.S. Senate only months ago.

In her new job at the International Court of Justice Cleveland would be able to declare abortion as an international human right. And it is over her abortion extremism and her misunderstanding of international law that the Senate rejected her as the top legal advisor to the U.S. State Department.

In her previous role as a member of the UN Human Rights Committee from 2015 to 2018 Cleveland directly pressured countries to repeal protections for the unborn in their national laws. She was also a leading proponent of declaring access to abortion a part of the “right to life” in a comprehensive legal commentary known as General Comment 36. This notion has never been accepted by UN Member States.

Cleveland aggressively attacked members of the committee who did not think the UN body should declare unrestricted access to abortion as an international right during the debates about General Comment 36. She accused Egyptian Ambassador Ahmed Amin Fathalla, a well-known international legal expert and chairman of the committee at the time, saying that he had “egregiously abused the spirit of this conversation and the position of chair.”

Cleveland came under fire for her abortion activism during confirmation hearings in the U.S. Senate earlier this year. All eleven Republicans on the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations voted against Cleveland’s confirmation.

As chief legal officer at the State Department, Cleveland would not commit to consistently interpret and enforce U.S. pro-life restrictions on funding abortion, including the Helms Amendment. She evaded questions about abortion and implied that the U.S. government’s restrictions on funding abortion abroad are at odds with the interpretations of international human rights that she herself authored and supported as a member of United Nations bodies.

On the other hand, she emphasized that “the United States does not regard access to abortion services as an international human right.”

Now that Cleveland is no longer being considered for the top legal job at the State Department, she may not be able to change the long-held position of the U.S. government against an international right to abortion from within but will have the opportunity to apply pressure from above.

International agencies that receive U.S. funds are among those who may challenge U.S. funding restrictions on abortion before the International Court of Justice. The U.S. government may not be hauled before the International Court against its will by another country, but international agencies may nonetheless request the court to give an advisory opinion.

It is unclear whether the Biden administration would oppose a declaration by the world’s top court that abortion is an international right and that U.S. taxpayers must fund abortion. The Biden administration already promised the UN Human Rights Council that it would scrap or reinterpret U.S. law to allow funding for abortions abroad.

Cleveland’s nomination will be discussed by the Security Council on November 4 and the General Assembly at a time to be scheduled next year. A majority of the member states of both United Nations governing bodies must approve her nomination.

It is expected that her nomination will be opposed by pro-life and pro-family groups and by pro-life governments.