The number of countries expressing support for a document stating that “there is no international right to abortion” continues to expand as nations around the world work to implement policies consistent with its mandate to make the family the bedrock of society. Lawmakers, pro-life activists and representatives of governments worldwide gathered recently on Capitol Hill to commemorate the 2nd anniversary of the signing of the Geneva Consensus Declaration on Promoting Women’s Health and Strengthening the Family, which declares that “there is no international right to abortion.” The United States was one of the countries that first signed the document on Oct. 22, 2020, although it later withdrew support after President Joe Biden took office. The document’s name reflects that it was crafted at the 2020 World Health Assembly, which was slated to take place in Switzerland, until the coronavirus pandemic forced the event to be held virtually.

Signatories to the Geneva Consensus Declaration include: Bahrain, Belarus, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, DRC, Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eswatini, Gambia, Georgia, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Kuwait, Libya, Nauru, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Poland, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, UAE, Zambia. The Institute for Women’s Health (IWH) hosted the ceremony featuring U.S. lawmakers and diplomats from nations that have signed the Geneva Consensus Declaration discussing the efforts made by their countries to improve health outcomes for women and girls while rejecting the idea that abortion constitutes a form of women’s healthcare. The IWH is a non-profit organization that works to “advocate for the health of women throughout every phase of life.” IWH President Valerie Huber spoke in front of flags representing each of the countries that have signed the agreement.

One of the flagpoles behind Huber did not have a flag attached to it and Huber indicated that “We’ve just learned this morning that another country has already taken that particular flagpole.” She announced that Kazakhstan had become the 37th nation to sign onto the Geneva Consensus Declaration. As she introduced Kazakhstan as the newest signatory to the Geneva Consensus Declaration, Huber stressed that “countries and coalitions sometimes disagree on policies outside of those coalitions.” Huber added, “The Geneva Consensus Declaration intentionally creates alliances with both traditional and non-traditional allies in order to strengthen mutually agreed upon norms within the GCD.” Additionally, Huber presented the nation of Brazil and President Jair Bolsonaro with the Distinguished Award of International Honor for “defending life, family, women’s health and national sovereignty as a global leader of the Geneva Consensus Declaration.”

Huber noted that “Brazil has served as the Secretariat of the Geneva Consensus Declaration for the past two years,” assuming the role of welcoming new signatories to the coalition. Huber also informed attendees that Brazil was passing the role of Secretariat to Hungary. Huber said the proclamation that “there is no international right to abortion” is one of the four pillars of the Geneva Consensus Declaration. The other pillars seek the improvement of “the health of women and girls,” “affirm the family as foundational to every society” and “defend the sovereign right of every nation to protect those values.” The document explicitly asserts that “the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by the State.” It also state that motherhood and childhood are entitled to “special care and assistance,” and that “women play a critical role in the family contributing to the welfare of the family and the development of society.”

Ambassador Takacs of Hungary said “We invest 6% of our GDP to support families.” He added that mothers with at least 4 children have full exemptions from paying income tax for their entire lives,  suggesting that the results of his government’s policies “speak for themselves,” Takacs reported that “Since 2012, the number of marriages in Hungary has doubled.” Takacs was not the only foreign diplomat to tout his country’s efforts to advance the pillars of the Geneva Consensus Declaration. Ambassador Quinonez of Guatemala discussed his nation’s Public Policy for the Protection of Life and the Family, which seeks to assist “the needs of all Guatemalans and to improve the condition of women and girls, highlighting the importance of the participation and significant contribution to all areas of society.” He expressed gratitude that the Ibero-American Congress for Life and Family had previously declared Guatemala as the pro-life capital of Latin America.

The Geneva Consensus Declaration is a response to efforts by organizations to create an international human right to abortion. In 2019, the U.N. published a document calling for the establishment of “universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights” by 2030. The U.N.’s declaration did not directly use the word “abortion” but instead used the term “sexual and reproductive health,” often used as a euphemism for abortion. The Geneva Consensus Declaration regards abortion and “sexual and reproductive health” as two entirely different concepts. Earlier this year, the World Health Organization called for the decriminalization of abortion worldwide, describing it as “lifesaving care” and “a crucial part of health care.” Huber lamented the phenomenon where “nations, organizations, foundations, special interest groups and multinational businesses apply pressure to countries to adopt abortion policies that are contrary to their fundamental values.”

Source: Christian Post

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