U.S. Redlines Humanitarian Abortion at UN

Jun 29, 2018 by

By Stefano Gennarini, J.D. and Lisa Correnti , C-Fam:

A disagreement over abortion between the Trump administration and European governments has set the stage for a showdown in the UN General Assembly this fall.

At issue is the inclusion of various phrases used to support abortion in an annual UN resolution on humanitarian assistance.

In a prepared statement at the end of the debate on Friday, U.S. Ambassador Kelly Currie said, “The United States cannot accept the inclusion of ‘sexual and reproductive health services’ and ‘sexual and reproductive health’ in the resolution.” She said, “the terms have been used to promote abortion, and the right to abortion.”

While the U.S. did not call for a vote to delete the terms, the U.S. position against abortion on the floor of recent UN meetings sets up the possibility that such a vote may happen this fall and next spring when the UN is again expected to adopt humanitarian agreements to guide UN agencies and programs in areas affected by war and natural disasters.

While the United States joined the agreement, it withdrew support from two paragraphs in the resolution that mention “sexual and reproductive health.” The European backers of UN humanitarian efforts refused to delete this term despite insistent requests from U.S. diplomats and others. Nigeria, Sudan, and the Holy See made similar reservations.

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