NEW U.N. TREATY TARGETS THE DISABLED UNBORN
By Cliff Kincaid
July 29, 2009
President Barack Obama’s much-anticipated pro-United Nations treaty campaign has been launched with a White House ceremony declaring support for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. But despite the title and language of the treaty, including the affirmation of a “right to life,” it is doubtful whether the treaty would protect the rights of unborn children with disabilities, such as those with Down syndrome.
Through its affirmation of “sexual and reproductive health”—a phrase that clearly means access to abortion and abortion rights—the treaty also supports abortion, even though it has been estimated that over 90 percent of pregnancies in the United States with a diagnosis of Down syndrome are terminated through abortion.
This controversial aspect of the seemingly non-controversial treaty has been completely ignored in the many stories hailing Obama’s endorsement of the “legally binding” measure. However, it explains why a pro-abortion administration would support such a measure. This treaty, for the first time in history, establishes an international right to abortion.
On the left, the George Soros-funded Human Rights Watch called it “the first international human rights treaty signed by the United States in nearly a decade” and identified “several other important outstanding treaties” that should be signed and/or ratified, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
But the disability rights treaty also has implications for the debate over Obama’s plan to create a government-sponsored health care plan that could ration health care to the elderly.
Veteran journalist Patricia E. Bauer, who writes a blog on disability issues, says that more than 50 million people in the U.S. have disabilities, “a number that is growing rapidly as the population ages,” and that “Experts say disability will soon affect the lives of most Americans.”
Rather than have U.S. officials continue to decide how to deal with these matters, this treaty sets up an international committee to decide whether the U.S. complies with its provisions and whether the U.S. needs to pass more laws to protect the rights of the disabled. It takes decisions away from the U.S. federal and state governments, even though the U.S. passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 19 years ago.
This U.N.-sponsored “Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)” describes itself as “the body of independent experts which monitors implementation of the Convention by the States Parties.”
One of the members of this committee is Jia Yang, Vice President of the China Association of the Blind. Her government, to say the least, has a perverted notion of “human rights” and has even interpreted the women’s rights or CEDAW treaty as allowing forced abortions.
At a White House ceremony last Friday, Obama said that the ADA “showed the world our full commitment to the rights of people with disabilities—and now we have an opportunity to live up to that commitment…Disability rights aren’t just civil rights to be enforced here at home; they’re universal rights to be recognized and promoted around the world.” He called it “the first new human rights convention of the 21st century.”
“This extraordinary treaty calls on all nations to guarantee rights like those afforded under the ADA,” Obama added. He did not explain, however, how Senate ratification of this controversial measure would affect other nations such as China, especially when some of its provisions are so controversial and subject to different interpretations. His silence indicates that the Obama Administration, like China, will use the document to push abortion rights on the rest of the world.
Obama went on to say that he had instructed his U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to formally sign the treaty at the United Nations in New York “and I hope that the Senate can give swift consideration and approval to the Convention once I submit it for their advice and consent.”
But some of the apparent worthwhile provisions, such as the right to life, food, water, and health care without discrimination, may conflict with the “end-of-life” provisions in the Democrats’ health care plan, officially titled the “America’s Health Choices Act,” which is currently stalled in Congress. The growing fear under “Obamacare” is that seniors, as well as people with disabilities, will be encouraged to forgo medical care to save money.
The treaty’s “right to life” Article 10 provision would seem to outlaw not only abortion but using abortion to terminate unborn children with disabilities. The treaty affirms that “every human being has the inherent right to life.” However, Communist China insists that the right to life applies only to those people “who have been born and are now living on this earth” in order to justify its population control and forced abortion programs. This view is shared by the Obama Administration and most European socialist nations.
The treaty’s endorsement in Article 25 of “sexual and reproductive health” has been the subject of much controversy over the years. Jeanne Head, the U.N. representative of the National Right to Life Committee, says this is the first time that pro-abortion language has been included in any “hard law U.N. document” which is binding on those nations which sign and ratify it. As such, ratification would help establish abortion as a fundamental human right not only globally but in the U.S.
At the time of adoption of the document by the U.N. General Assembly, the Vatican declared that “…we opposed the inclusion of such a phrase in this article, because in some countries reproductive health services include abortion, thus denying the inherent right to life of every human being, affirmed by Article 10 of the Convention. It is surely tragic that, wherever fetal defect is a precondition for offering or employing abortion, the same Convention created to protect persons with disabilities from all discrimination in the exercise of their rights, may be used to deny the very basic right to life of disabled unborn persons.”
Hence, in the name of protecting people with disabilities, the treaty would in fact authorize their destruction.
It is only because of the pro-abortion provision that Obama’s support for the disability rights treaty can be reconciled with his advocacy of abortion on demand. Some people with disabilities, such as the innocent unborn, won’t qualify for protection under the Obama Administration’s interpretation of this treaty.
Going beyond the pro-abortion language, the treaty establishes many new “rights” for the disabled. As outlined in a “Convention in Brief” PowerPoint presentation on the treaty website, these include:
Right to respect physical and mental integrity (article 17)
• Freedom of movement and nationality (article 18)
• Right to live in the community (article 19)
• Right to education (article 24)
• Right to health (article 25)
• Right to work (article 27)
• Right to adequate standard of living (article 28)
• Right to participate in political and public life (article 29)
• Right to participation in cultural life (article 30)
It is clear that support for this treaty is the first volley in the Obama campaign to get other treaties ratified and expand the “rights” that Obama has said that he believes are not guaranteed by U.S. law and the U.S. Constitution.
The preamble of the disabilities treaty has a specific provision making reference to CEDAW and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In other words, all of these global “human rights” treaties are viewed as being consistent with one another and part of a package. Ratification of one is supposed to lead to ratification of the others.
In a document submitted in May to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Obama declared support for ratification of 17 treaties, including CEDAW and the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
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U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice has stated publicly that the administration is examining how to get the children’s rights treaty ratified as well. This treaty guarantees a child’s right to play and outlaws spanking as a form of discipline. A group called Parentalrights.org is so fearful of the treaty that it has launched a campaign for a parental rights amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The proposed amendment says that “The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental right” and that no treaty or “any source of international law” shall be used to deny parental rights.
© 2009 Cliff Kincaid - All Rights Reserved
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Cliff Kincaid, a veteran journalist and media critic, Cliff concentrated in journalism and communications at the University of Toledo, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Cliff has written or co-authored nine books on media and cultural affairs and foreign policy issues. One of Cliff's books, "Global Bondage: The UN Plan to Rule the World" is still awailable.
Cliff has appeared on Hannity & Colmes, The O’Reilly Factor, Crossfire and has been published in the Washington Post, Washington Times, Chronicles, Human Events and Insight.