Katelyn Walls Shelton | The UN plays language games to advance its agenda
There’s a global threat to the pro-life cause, but the mainstream media does not report on it. While the United States has some of the world’s most liberal abortion laws, decisions made at the United Nations and the World Health Organization could still have bearing on how the United States crafts laws regarding abortion in the future—or even on how the U.S. Supreme Court considers cases regarding abortion, if it looks to international jurisprudence. The court has done this in the past. A brief for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, a case many believe could overturn Roe v. Wade, includes such consideration.
These decisions are already affecting smaller, often more conservative and highly religious nations around the globe, but most notably in Africa, the Caribbean, and South America. Officials at the UN and the WHO—with the assistance of wealthy, progressive, Western nations—are attempting to export abortion around the world. Conservative countries are being threatened: You either legalize and expand abortion access or forfeit your healthcare funding.
Negotiations around women’s health at the UN often stall on the abortion issue. Ideological negotiators undermine advances in women’s health if unlimited abortion rights language is not included. And the women who would serve to benefit from these resolutions are collateral damage in the fight for total abortion rights.
Sadly, these negotiators are gaining ground at the UN, and where they have been unable to pass abortion language by consensus, UN officials have retroactively redefined their terms. Perhaps the most obvious example is their inclusion of the term “sexual and reproductive health and rights,” or “SRHR,” which is known to include abortion services as part of its definition. This term does not appear in any consensus documents and is not agreed to by UN member states. But as usual, abortion advocates use the term, over and over, until it is widely recognized and generally accepted, desensitizing people to its use and its deadly meaning. Abortion advocates use the term, over and over, until it is widely recognized and generally accepted, desensitizing people to its use and its deadly meaning.
And now, the term is ubiquitous in UN documents. According to Valerie Huber, who participated in international negotiations under the Trump administration, SRHR is introduced in nearly every relevant UN resolution, and some not-so-relevant, such as the recent United Nations Population Fund climate document. SRHR is also a stated priority in U.S. foreign policy under the Biden administration, even though it is illegal to lobby for abortion internationally and that 76 percent of Americans have said they do not want their tax dollars funding abortion in other countries.
To curb these progressive efforts, the Geneva Consensus Declaration was negotiated and signed by 34 countries on Oct. 12, 2020. The declaration asserts that nations should be able to legislate on controversial issues, such as abortion, as they see fit, without risk of losing their much-needed healthcare funding.
At a one-year commemoration event for the declaration, Huber, now president of the Institute for Women’s Health and chief architect of the declaration, called out the UN for its part in this pro-abortion crusade: “The UN agency was (and continues to be) dishonest to the nations. The term ‘sexual and reproductive health and rights’ has no international consensus. Its only uniform definition comes from UN agencies, certain progressive nations, and advocacy groups that define it consistently: to assert abortion as a human right and that all manner of sexual activity is a human right, two assertions that are absent from … every consensus document.”
The coalition now boasts 36 nations—despite the Biden administration removing the United States from the signatory list on President Joe Biden’s eighth day in office. Though disappointing, this opposition is a sign that the declaration and its coalition are perhaps the most effective defense of life, women, the family, and national sovereignty that exist to date.
“There is no international right to abortion,” Huber stated at the commemoration, backed by flags from each coalition nation, representing every region of the world. And despite this coordinated, international campaign for total abortion rights, Huber is right: There is no such right. And yet, abortion’s eager activists will just keep using the language as if such a right exists. Our job is to prevent abortion’s eager activists from getting away with it.