Five Best Moments for Life and Family at the UN in 2017
NEW YORK, December 29 (C-Fam) The pro-life and pro-family fight at the UN is always difficult. But even with our political and financial disadvantage our team has been able to consistently deliver victories for life and family. Here are the most significant pro-life developments of the past 12 months.
1. Pro-life U.S. President Donald Trump Transforms Global Abortion Debate.
Though pro-life supporters of Donald Trump were mocked last year, Trump is proving to be the most pro-life president in U.S. history. He not only reinstated the Mexico City Policy, which forbids U.S. family planning money from going to pro-abortion groups overseas, an important but relatively small amount of money, he expanded it to include all of roughly $9 billion of U.S. global health aid. Trump also defunded the UN Population Fund for its complicity in forced abortion. And the U.S. took a stand to qualify “reproductive health” to exclude abortion in UN agreements, as well as G7, and G20 negotiations. Some who are weary of the fight say “reproductive health” is a lost cause. This shows it is not and that we can do even more.
2. Nations Speak Up for Family and Parental Rights.
The Human Rights Council in Geneva adopted the resolution on protection of the family for the third year in a row. Sadly, the U.S. did not support it. In the Spring, the Commission on Population and Development could not adopt a resolution because of European insistence on sexual rights, comprehensive sexuality education, and overemphasis on sexual and reproductive issues. In the Fall, the small island State of Saint Lucia and African delegations outmaneuvered the Europeans in negotiations to make sure parental rights made it into three General Assembly resolutions about children. They proved that defying European donors is not only possible but that it pays dividends.
3. Governments use Universal Periodic Review to Defend Unborn Children and the Family.
What if governments began to use UN mechanisms to protect life and the family instead of attacking them? Improbably, Kenya, Egypt, and a handful of African and Arab states are beginning to do precisely this. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a little-known process where governments get to criticize and encourage one another on human rights. Surprising all, in December, Kenya urged Benin to resist calls to liberalize their abortion laws and to keep protecting children in the womb. Egypt has begun to systematically call on states around the world, even countries that attack marriage and the natural family, to protect the natural family, as required by international law.
4. Human Trafficking Victims Find Champions at UN and Washington D.C.
C-Fam has long been advocating for life and family at the UN. Recognizing the many synergies between the pro-life and pro-family cause and anti-trafficking efforts we have worked with UN Member States to organize high-level events against trafficking at UN headquarters. We brought experts working to combat child pornography and human trafficking, along with victims, into the halls of the UN to tell their story, and highlight the importance of protecting life and family in the fight against trafficking. In Washington C-Fam worked with a coalition to end impunity for internet service providers who don’t do enough to stop traffickers from using their websites. Tech giant Google fought vociferously to block a U.S. law that would allow victims of human trafficking from using the courts to sue websites that knowingly permitted their sexual exploitation. Congresswoman Ann Wagner and Senator Rob Portman are leading the charge to push their bills through the House and Senate. Eventually Google and others came around.
5. C-Fam turns Twenty.
The twentieth anniversary of C-Fam [publisher of the Friday Fax] fell within the year commemorating the 100th anniversary of Our Lady’s appearance to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. In gratitude to Our Lady and to celebrate this happy coincidence, C-Fam hosted the UN Pilgrim Statue of the World Apostolate of Fatima for two days of prayer and intellectual discourse at the St. John Paul II Shrine in Washington, D.C. The event brought together Friday Fax readers and C-Fam supporters from all over the country.