The United States signs an international declaration against abortion

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a press conference at the Department of State in Washington, DC on October 21, 2020.

The United States joined Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia and Uganda on Thursday as co-sponsors of an anti-abortion statement.

The Geneva Consensus Statement was signed by some 31 members of the United Nations to form a coalition around the issue of defending lives and the position of nations on women’s health.

The document reaffirms “that there is no international right to abortion, nor any international obligation on the part of states to fund or facilitate abortion, consistent with the long-standing international consensus that every nation has the sovereign right to implement programs and activities consistent with their laws and policies, the statement read.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex M. Azar participated in the declaration’s virtual signing ceremony.

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“Today we take the next step, signing the Geneva Consensus Statement. At its very heart, the declaration protects women’s health, defends the unborn child and reiterates the vital importance of the family. as the foundation of society,” Pompeo said. said at the press conference.

“We will unequivocally declare that there is no international right to abortion. We will proudly put women’s health first at every stage of life,” Sec. said Alex Azar. “Without apology, we affirm that governments have the sovereign right to make their own laws to protect innocent life and to write their own abortion regulations. The stakes are too high to allow radical and divisive agendas to hinder the ability of women in countries at all stages of development to achieve better health.

Azar said Thursday’s declaration will not be the last chance for nations to sign the document and invited other countries to join this effort in the months and years to come.

“I hope you will also join us next year for the Global Women’s Health Summit, where we will blaze a new trail to improve the lives of women around the world,” Azar said.

Pompeo called the event historic, as the first multilateral coalition built around the issue of defending life.

“Perhaps most importantly, the declaration reaffirms the ‘inherent dignity and worth’ of every human being by emphasizing that every human being has the fundamental right to human life. Indeed, that is what the American Founders knew so clearly. That’s what we’re upholding here today that legacy,” Pompeo said.

On Thursday, Amnesty International called on the Department of Health and Human Services not to enforce the declaration’s provisions.

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“Today’s news marks another giant step back for the United States as it joins a list of countries willfully endangering people’s health and lives. The United States’ position goes to against human rights and decades of health research,” said Tarah Demant, Director. of Amnesty International USA’s Gender, Sexuality and Identity program. “Every woman, girl, or person who can get pregnant has the human right to an abortion. Period. These are people living a full life that belongs to them – not the life that the government has prescribed for them.

The statement comes as the United States prepares to endorse Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court, a federal appeals court judge with deeply held religious beliefs. Barrett has come under fire from Democrats, Planned Parenthood and women’s groups who argue her nomination is a threat to women’s reproductive rights.

During Senate confirmation hearings earlier this month, Barrett promised to approach each case with an “open mind” and said she would not bring any personal agenda to the High Court.

She remained neutral on many issues, saying it is against the judicial code at this point to say how she would vote on politically tense issues, including abortion.

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