Abortion has erupted into a world-wide issue. Recently, the United Nations has passed a non-binding resolution concerning the issue. According to Natural News, The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has passed a resolution claiming that abortion is a human right.
Titled “International Cooperation for Access to Justice, Remedies and Assistance for Survivors of Sexual Violence,” the resolution passed during the 99th plenary meeting of the UNGA on Sept. 2 includes language that promotes reproductive rights and abortion.
The resolution was co-sponsored by the ambassadors from Sierra Leone and Japan, and was adopted by consensus after votes were held on four amendments that attempted to water down the language of the non-binding resolution. Some UN ambassadors attempted to remove from the resolution the language calling on states to urgently ensure the promotion and protection of safe abortion. They criticized the language treating abortion as a human right.
The ambassadors pointed out that there is no international consensus on abortion and there is no other internationally binding document recognizing abortion as a human right. Furthermore, ambassadors who criticized the language of the resolution noted how it disregarded the findings of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo, which stated that abortion should not be promoted as a method of family planning, and that states should help women find ways to avoid abortions
The Human Defense Initiative reports the following;
The United Nations has decided abortion is a “right to life” issue. Unfortunately for the preborn, it is not their right. Late last year, the U.N. Human Rights Committee adopted General Comment No. 36, a document expounding on article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Article 6 posits that every human being “has the inherent right to life” and that this right “shall be protected by law.”
At first, the Human Rights Committee’s newest document appears to affirm this unambiguous message:
“It is the supreme right from which no derogation is permitted… It is most precious for its own sake as a right that inheres in every human being, but it also constitutes a fundamental right whose effective protection is the prerequisite for the enjoyment of all other human rights and whose content can be informed by other human rights.”
However, when it comes to the matter of preborn life, the document makes clear that this “supreme right” is not one afforded to them:
“Although States parties may adopt measures designed to regulate voluntary terminations… restrictions on the ability of women or girls to seek abortion must not, inter alia, jeopardize their lives, subject them to physical or mental pain or suffering…”
The document goes on to explain governments “must provide safe, legal and effective access to abortion” in the case that the pregnancy would potentially cause the woman “pain or suffering.” In addition, no laws or barriers may be placed that may push women towards “unsafe” abortions, including those caused by the “exercise of conscientious objection by individual medical providers.”
Beyond that, certain terminology used in the document is ambiguous. For instance, what constitutes “mental pain?” Does raising a child constitute mental pain? Does giving a baby up for adoption? And certainly, you would be hard pressed to find any mother who found the process of childbirth itself entirely devoid of “pain” and “suffering.” Given that, does this mean abortion is never actually restricted? In effect, does this mean any woman could claim exemption from abortion laws at any point?
Also reported from several news outlets, during the most recent plenary meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, held on 2 September 2022, the resolution 'International Cooperation in Access to Justice, Remedies and Assistance for Survivors of Sexual Violence' was debated and voted on, calling on States to urgently ensure the promotion and protection of 'sexual and reproductive rights' and 'safe abortion'. The language used in the resolution treats abortion as a human right, despite the fact that there is no international consensus on the subject and no internationally binding document recognizing it as such.
The resolution also disregards and reinterpreted the findings of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held in Cairo, which state (para. 8.25) that abortion cannot be promoted as a method of family planning and that governments should help women avoid abortion. Therefore the resolution must be blocked before it becomes abortion becomes accepted as commonplace.
This apparent contradiction raises an important question; Is the United Nations pitting one set of human rights against another? What makes the right of the human mother more important than the right of the human that is yet to be born?