Saturday, October 24, 2020

US Signs Multinational Women's Health Declaration That Rejects Abortion

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that on Oct. 22, the United States co-sponsored a virtual signing ceremony for the Geneva Consensus Declaration on Promoting Women's Health and Strengthening the Family. The Declaration (full text) which calls for universal health care and supporting the role of the family was signed by 32 countries. It reads in part:

[We] Emphasize that “in no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning” and that “any measures or changes related to abortion within the health system can only be determined at the national or local level according to the national legislative process”;

... Reaffirm that “the child… needs special safeguards and care… before as well as after birth”....

The signatories agreed to work together to:

Improve and secure access to health and development gains for women, including sexual and reproductive health, which must always promote optimal health, the highest attainable standard of health, without including abortion;

Reaffirm that there is no international right to abortion, nor any international obligation on the part of States to finance or facilitate abortion, consistent with the long-standing international consensus that each nation has the sovereign right to implement programs and activities consistent with their laws and policies...

The primary co-sponsors of the Declaration are Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, Uganda and the United States. The signatories are mostly nations from Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. 

[Thanks to Scott Mange for the lead.]