The United States has joined Egypt, Uganda, Brazil, and other countries in co-sponsoring a declaration to “reaffirm that there is no international right to abortion,” NBC News reports.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar participated in the virtual ceremony on Thursday to sign the “Geneva Consensus Declaration” that the U.S. co-sponsored along with Egypt, Uganda, Brazil, Hungary, and Indonesia. The declaration was signed by 32 countries in total.
“We, the representatives of our sovereign nations do hereby declare in mutual friendship and respect, our commitment to work together to: Reaffirm that there is no international right to abortion,” it reads.
The declaration, which is nonbinding, says its purpose is “to uphold the right to the highest attainable standards of health for women; to promote women’s essential contribution to health, and strength of the family and of a successful and flourishing society; and to express the essential priority of protecting the right to life.”
“Under President [Donald] Trump’s leadership, the United States has defended the dignity of human life everywhere and always,” Pompeo said during the ceremony. “We’ve also mounted an unprecedented defense of the unborn abroad.”
Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, ripped the declaration in a statement Thursday.
“I’m disturbed by today’s announcement that the Trump administration has decided to sign a declaration which supports restricting abortion and same-sex marriage,” Cardin said. “The Geneva Consensus Declaration attempts to undermine bedrock human rights agreements and women’s health and reproductive rights here at home and around the world. Fortunately, same-sex marriage and abortion remain legal in the United States. Despite the White House’s efforts, LGBT rights and women’s rights will always be human rights.”
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