The Trump administration Monday declared to U.N member nations that there is no "international right" to abortion, and called on other countries to fight efforts promoting abortions, drawing criticism from reproductive rights groups and other world nations.
"We do not support references to ambiguous terms and expressions such as 'sexual and reproductive health and rights' in U.N. documents, because they can undermine the critical role of the family and promote practices like abortion in circumstances that do not enjoy international consensus and which can be misinterpreted by U.N. agencies," Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said during a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, reports NPR.
The United States is one of 19 countries, including Brazil, Poland, and Iraq to agree on the statement.
"There is no international right to an abortion, and these terms should not be used to promote pro-abortion policies and measures," Azar also said. "Further, we only support sex education that appreciates the protective role of the family in this education."
Conservative groups widely praised the statement.
"We're very pleased that the United States and these 18 countries are refocusing universal health coverage on the real needs of women and children," Susan Yoshihara, research director for the Center for Family and Human Rights, told NPR. She said the statement comes after decades of debate about how the U.N. should address abortion, contraception, and sexuality.
However, Shannon Kowalski, director of advocacy and policy at the International Women's Health Coalition, said several other countries plan to present a competing statement calling for international investment in sexual and reproductive health care.
"The United States is isolated," Sigrid Kaag, the Netherlands' minister of foreign trade, told NPR. "They read their statement in conjunction with countries like Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain — which are hardly champions of women's rights. And if they're the countries that the U.S. is aligning themselves with, then I think we're right to dismiss that they have any moral stake in this battle."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.