The president of a leading international pro-life organization applauded the Trump administration Wednesday for inviting other world leaders to join the United States in standing against continued efforts within the U.N. to establish a global right to abortion on demand.
Bradley Mattes, president of Life Issues Institute and the International Right to Life Federation, commended United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar for their recent “unprecedented letter” inviting other world leaders to stand with the U.S. in defending life at the U.N.
The secretaries’ letter followed a joint statement at the 2019 World Health Assembly by the U.S., Brazil, Egypt, Ghana, Haiti, Indonesia, Iraq, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia, in which the countries condemned the use of the phrase “sexual and reproductive health and rights” to force a pro-abortion agenda.
“This unprecedented letter from two high-ranking United States Cabinet members is welcome news to the international pro-life community,” Mattes said, adding:
Abortion advocates are trying to do an end run around official United Nations agreements by insisting on using ambiguous terms like “sexual and reproductive health” and “comprehensive sexuality education” – code phrases for imposing abortion on demand on countries where unborn babies are protected by law. The Trump administration is reaching out to governments worldwide, asking for their support at the U.N. to stand up to pro-abortion government entities including the European Union and keep pro-abortion language out of documents. We thank Secretary Pompeo, Secretary Azar, and especially President Trump for their extraordinary leadership and commitment to promoting a culture of life around the globe.
In their letter, Pompeo and Azar asked other governments to join with the U.S. “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.”
The secretaries said they were “gravely concerned” about the “aggressive efforts to reinterpret international instruments to create a new international right to abortion and to promote international policies that weaken the family have advanced through some United Nations fora.”
“These approaches undermine our shared commitment to sustainable development and to achieving health for all, leaving no one behind,” the leaders wrote.
In April, the U.N. removed the euphemisms and ambiguous statements of the abortion industry from a resolution concerning rape in war zones after the Trump administration threatened a veto.
Trump administration officials threatened to veto the resolution, an initiative of the German government, that sought to address the problem of rape in war zones, unless, the phrase “sexual and reproductive health” — an ambiguous term that refers to abortion — was removed from the document’s language.
As Foreign Policy reported, an internal State Department cable, sent by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s office to the U.S. Embassy in Berlin and U.S. Mission to the U.N., instructed U.S. diplomats to inform the German government of the U.S.’s intention to veto the resolution if the references to abortion were not removed.
The Trump administration has made clear its commitment to ensure American taxpayers are not funding or promoting abortion overseas.
In March, Pompeo announced the State Department would be expanding the Mexico City policy to include the blocking of subcontractors from using American taxpayer dollars to perform or promote abortions abroad.
“[P]lease encourage other countries in your region to join this growing coalition to push back against harmful efforts to interpret long-standing international instruments as requiring anti-family and pro-abortion policies,” Pompeo and Azar wrote to the other world leaders, “and to promote proactively positions that will protect families and strengthen the health of all people.”