UN Committee Says America is Racist

By | September 15, 2022

Ms. Verene Shepherd, Chair of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 16 (C-Fam) The UN expert committee on eliminating racial discrimination criticized the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Dobbs decision and urged the U.S. to expand access to abortion, especially for women belonging to racial minorities.

The committee urged the U.S. to “provide safe, legal and effective access to abortion in line with the international human rights obligations of the State party” and cited the World Health Organization’s recent—and extremely radical—“abortion care” guidelines.

The committee monitors compliance with the UN’s human rights treaty on eliminating racism, which is one of the relatively few UN human rights treaties ratified by the U.S.  Many of the other UN treaty bodies, including those dealing with the rights of women, children, and persons with disabilities, have become increasingly aggressive in promoting abortion in their country reviews.

None of the UN’s nine core human rights treaties mention abortion or could be reasonably interpreted as including a right to abortion.  Attempts to create such a right have repeatedly failed in other UN consensus-based bodies, including the General Assembly.

The committee concerned with race has been one of the few that has largely left the issue of abortion alone, although that may be about to change.  In August, the committee held a meeting about issuing a general comment on the intersection of racial discrimination and health, which was attended by representatives of many pro-abortion groups, including the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Global Justice Center, and Amnesty International.

The UN’s official summary of the meeting summarized their position: “Abortion access was an integral component of public health care, and legal barriers to abortion should be removed.”

The committee’s recommendations to the U.S. suggest its willingness to join with its fellow treaty bodies in heaping pressure on countries with pro-life laws or high levels of conscientious objection to abortion among health care providers.

Many of the same abortion advocacy groups pressuring the committee to include abortion as a right in its general comment on health were also goading the committee to rebuke the U.S. in its review, particularly in the wake of the Dobbs decision.  The Supreme Court issued the decision in June, overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision making abortion legal across the entire country.  Dobbs returns the issue to individual state governments.

Civil society organizations can submit their own reports on a country being reviewed by treaty bodies, and abortion groups took advantage of the opportunity to attempt to link pro-life laws with racial discrimination, as well as the relatively rare chance for the U.S. to face a treaty body review.

Reporting on the committee’s interactions with the U.S., news outlets like the New York Times and the Washington Post focused their headlines and stories on the abortion issue.

Unlike the text of the treaty itself, the treaty body’s opinions and recommendations are not legally binding, although they are frequently cited by abortion advocacy groups when they falsely claim abortion is an international human right.

The increasingly aggressive manner in which treaty bodies exceed their mandates by promoting abortion has been raised in the U.S. Senate on those occasions when the U.S. is considering ratifying a UN human rights treaty.