C-Fam’s Top 5 Moments for Life and Family Internationally
NEW YORK, December 25 (C-Fam) This year has been possibly the most momentous year in U.S. pro-life diplomacy, and therefore for the pro-life cause overall. These are the highlights of the year 2020.
1. Unprecedented Cooperation Among UN Members on Pro-Life
The Geneva Consensus Declaration was signed on October 22, 2020, with the co-sponsorship of the governments of the United States, Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, and Uganda. The Declaration reaffirms long-established norms of international law on the family, the protection of life, and protection of motherhood. The declaration rejects an international right to abortion and the inclusion of abortion in international policy. U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft instructed the Secretary General to share the declaration with all UN member states and to include it on the official record of the General Assembly in December, so that it officially documents the pro-life posture of the 34 countries who co-signed the declaration. It was also presented at the World Health Assembly.
2. The Head of USAID Fights Back Against UN on Abortion
The Acting Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development sent two scathing letters to the UN Secretary General in May and October, for allowing UN agencies and UN experts to promote abortion, and exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to do so. In his first letter Barsa called UN activism on abortion during a global pandemic a “cynical” move. In his second letter, rebuffing the denials of the UN Secretary General, Barsa told the Secretary General to make “a course-correction for the greater good of the UN.”
3. U.S. Expands and Enforces Mexico City Policy Again
The Trump administration began its pro-life foreign policy in 2017 reinstating and expanding the Mexico City Policy, now known as the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy. The Republican policy prevents organizations that perform and promote abortion overseas from receiving U.S. taxpayer funds. Abortion groups have been exploiting loopholes in the policy for decades, and have been able to avoid any consequences for violating the policy. The Trump administration moved to close loopholes in the policy this year by extending it to foreign contractors, and demanded compliance with the policy from U.S. foreign aid recipients to close out the year.
4. U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft Blocks Agreement Making Abortion “Essential” to COVID-19 Aid
The U.S. Mission to the United Nations rejected a draft agreement on humanitarian assistance for emergencies, including the COVID-19 pandemic, that would have given cover for UN agencies to promote abortion. The draft agreement would have labelled “sexual and reproductive health” as essential to international humanitarian aid and cited a UN agency guideline that says health providers who object to performing abortions must refer for abortions against their conscience. Consistent with the Helms Amendment, which prohibits U.S. funds from being used for abortion or to force others to perform abortions, U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft told UN member states that “there is no international right to abortion, nor is there any duty on the part of States to finance or facilitate abortion.”
5. U.S. Ambassador Andrew Bremberg Rebukes UN Experts for Promoting Abortion in U.S.
U.S. Ambassador to Geneva, Andrew Bremberg, sent a blistering letter to UN human rights experts because of their abortion advocacy. They accused U.S. States who did not label abortion an “essential” service during the COVID-19 pandemic of violating women’s reproductive rights. Bremberg’s letter, dated August 11, called the interference of the experts in U.S. politics “bizarre,” “absurd,” and “inexplicable.” He said their work was a “perversion of the human rights system and the founding principles of the United Nations.”