Forced pregnancy returns

The Trump gang at the UN:

The Trump administration is calling on U.N. member nations to oppose efforts to promote access to abortion internationally, a move immediately criticized by reproductive rights groups seeking greater access to the services globally.

At a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Monday, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar spoke on behalf of the U.S. and more than a dozen other countries stating that abortion is not an international human right.

Well he’ll never need an abortion, will he.

Azar was joined by representatives from countries including Brazil, Poland and Iraq in making the statement, which was signed by a total of 19 countries including the United States.

“There is no international right to an abortion, and these terms should not be used to promote pro-abortion policies and measures,” Azar added. “Further, we only support sex education that appreciates the protective role of the family in this education.”

The comments follow a letter issued in July by Azar and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressing similar concerns and asking foreign leaders to “join the United States in ensuring that every sovereign state has the ability to determine the best way to protect the unborn and defend the family as the foundational unit of society vital to children thriving and leading healthy lives.”

Well you know forcing women to continue pregnancies they don’t want is not a particularly good way to encourage people to form healthy loving families that will help children thrive. People should want the children they have rather than being forced to have them when they don’t want to. Forced affection is kind of a contradiction in terms.

But also there’s the fact that women have a right to decide for themselves whether or not to have children, as opposed to being forced into it.

Shannon Kowalski, director of advocacy and policy at the International Women’s Health Coalition, was in New York for the meeting. She said dozens of other countries have signed on to a competing statement calling for international investment in sexual and reproductive health care.

The U.N. press office says it has not received that statement, but the Netherlands’ minister of foreign trade, Sigrid Kaag, tweeted and spoke in support of sexual and reproductive health care on behalf of several countries:

The Netherlands is speaking out, on behalf of 58 countries, for the importance of women’s rights, gender equality and #SRHR, especially now that these issues are under pressure. When women have the right to decide about their own bodies they have a more prosperous future.#UHC2030

We’re in the weeds on this one, not surprisingly.

“The United States is isolated. Their position is extreme,” Kowalski, of IWHC, said in an interview with 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.”

Caitlin Horrigan, director of advocacy at Planned Parenthood Global, released a statement saying, in part, “It should come as no surprise the Trump-Pence administration is lobbying other countries to join them in working to undermine sexual and reproductive rights on a global scale at the United Nations. From day one, the Trump-Pence administration has tried to take away access to birth control and safe, legal abortion.”

God I’m so sick of it all.

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