UN Actors Angry About Supreme Court Abortion Decision
NEW YORK, May 6 (C-Fam) The U.S. Supreme Court is on the verge of overturning the 50-year-old abortion regime in the United States, and some at the UN are not happy including the Secretary General.
A document was leaked from the Supreme Court this week that has been confirmed to be a draft decision that would completely overturn the Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey decisions that imposed abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy throughout the United States.
The Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions of 1973 gave the United States one of the most radical abortion regimes in the world, matched only by China, North Korea, and Canada.
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito wrote the draft decision that was leaked. It is unknown if four other justices, who are rumored to have voted to overturn Roe, have already joined the decision in whole or in part.
The leaked decision is a very strong document that strikes at the root and reasoning of Roe v. Wade. Alito writes that Roe was badly decided and had no basis in the laws or history of the United States. Alito points out that abortion was against the law in the English common law and in the laws of the early American republic. He points out that most states outlawed abortion when the 14th Amendment was debated and ratified. He says there were no calls for legal abortion in the United States until shortly before Roe was handed down.
There is little doubt that the Roe and Casey decisions influenced countries around the world that follow the example of the United States. Judges in Latin America and across English speaking countries and beyond have cited Roe and Casey to liberalize their laws on abortion, as have international human rights bodies. The question becomes what effect this expected new decision will have on laws overseas and the abortion debate at the United Nations. There is concern.
The spokesman for Secretary General Antonio Guterres said, “the Secretary General has long believed that sexual and reproductive health and rights are the foundation for lives of choice, empowerment and equality for the world’s women and girls.” Guterres presents himself as a faithful Catholic but repeatedly spoke out against attempts by the Trump administration to reign in the global abortion lobby as “pushback” against women’s rights.
When the oral arguments were heard on December 1 last year, a group of UN human rights “experts” intervened with a friend of the court brief arguing that abortion is a human right and that the Supreme Court could not overturn Roe and Casey without violating those rights. This was an unprecedented intervention into the American court system by a UN body. C-Fam [publisher of the Friday Fax] explained in its own amicus brief that international law is silent on abortion and that UN human rights documents should be interpreted as protecting the unborn from abortion.
Other UN actors complained. The leftwing Human Rights Watch said, “…the U.S. has reached a crisis moment for abortion access—and all human rights.” The group claims that legal abortion is “rooted in the rights to life; to nondiscrimination; to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment; and to privacy, among others. The rights are recognized in international human rights treaties that the United States has ratified.”
The interpretation of the UN human rights experts, Human Rights Watch and other international abortion groups rests not on existing treaty law but entirely on the non-binding statements and reports of UN treaty monitoring bodies that have no authority to create new obligations for sovereign states.
The Supreme Court decision is expected to be released sometime in June or July. If the leaked decision’s core ruling stands, the result will be that abortion now returns to the 50 states to be decided.