Then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also spoke at the signing ceremony, calling the declaration a “deep and personal commitment to protect human dignity” and “the culmination of lots of hard work.”
The declaration states “that there is no international right to abortion, nor any international obligation on the part of states to finance or facilitate abortion, consistent with the long-standing international consensus that each nation has the sovereign right to implement programs and activities consistent with their laws and policies.”
In a letter dated Feb. 12, 2021, the United States Mission to the United Nations announced that the U.S. had “rescinded its co-sponsorship and endorsement” of the declaration.
The letter said: “Upon reviewing the declaration, we have reservations that aspects of the document are not consistent with our current administration’s policies, including those relating to women’s health, LGBTQI equality, and gender equality.”
“On Jan. 28, President Biden signed a presidential memorandum which, inter alia, directs the relevant heads of U.S. agencies to ‘withdraw co-sponsorship and signature from the declaration and notify other co-sponsors and signatories to the declaration and other appropriate parties of the United States’ withdrawal.’ Accordingly, the United States hereby discontinues our participation in the Geneva Consensus Declaration.”
Elyssa Koren, director of United Nations advocacy for the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a Christian legal group, said: “The anniversary, and recent addition of new signatories, demonstrates that this initiative is alive and well even without the support of the U.S.”
“While U.S. withdrawal was undoubtedly a blow, the coalition of governments surrounding the declaration remains united and vibrant under the leadership of Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, and Uganda, its founding cosponsors.”
Koren went on: “Now, more than ever, governments, and in particular those of the developing world, are subject to a deluge of coercive funding and other pressure tactics relating to abortion.”
“For instance, as stated in the newly released strategy for gender equality and gender equity, one of the main priorities of the Biden administration is to ‘defend the constitutional right to safe and legal abortion in the United States, established in Roe v. Wade, and promote access to sexual and reproductive health and rights both at home and abroad.’”
“The exportation of the abortion agenda is a prime concern for the administration, supported by billions in highly coercive development assistance dollars.”
She concluded: “As a clear repudiation of incursions on national sovereignty relating to abortion, the declaration enables signatory governments to stand together in resisting all too frequent pressure to change their laws on abortion.”
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“Also, governments should be able to make use of this platform to take practical action in international fora — for instance, they can band together to resist the illicit promotion of abortion in United Nations resolutions relating to development and human rights at the upcoming conclusion of the General Assembly’s Third Committee session.”
“Fueled by the momentum of the anniversary celebrations, the hope is that the Geneva Consensus signatories will be able to carry forward the pro-life initiatives previously undertaken by the Trump administration at this session.”