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A Closer Look with Sheila Liaugminas
March 21, 2013
Sometimes, it seems like we’re dwelling in Wonderland. But some of us who are aware are doing a lot of wondering. Especially about headlines and stories that are too bizarre to make up, but too extreme to be true. Except…they are.
Like this one. The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women just wrapped up over last weekend, and it was quitea fiasco, as usual.
“The sexual behavior of men can be a form of violence against women because it can result in pregnancy,” stated an official of the U.N. Secretariat earlier this week during negotiations at the annual U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), at which the U.N.’s typical loopiness has abounded.
The New York Times got into the game this week with an unsigned editorial claiming the Holy See, Iran and Russia are “trying to eliminate language in a draft communiqué asserting that the familiar excuses—religion, custom, tradition—cannot be used by governments to duck their obligations to eliminate violence.”
The Times accuses this “Unholy Alliance” of being indifferent to violence against women and of using religion to protect wife-beaters, reminding us that, “The efforts by the Vatican and Iran to control women are well known.”
Yet the claim that these groups are seeking to strip protections from women “is a flat-out lie,” as one person close to the negotiations told me. In fact what is happening is the Holy See and her allies are blocking proposals by the U.S. and E.U. that would be used to promote a right to abortion.
Just look at the disconnect right there. The theme of this year’s CSW was ‘violence against women,’ and yet the radical abortion lobbyists don’t see, understand or consider what abortion is and does. Putting aside for now the trauma to women who have abortions, the procedure itself terminates the life of millions of human beings, roughly half of whom are females. All the worse, they should think – if they thought – when the abortion is procured because the baby is a girl. Gendercide is not just happening in China, bad enough as it is there. It’s happening in the US and other places. Where’s the outrage?
I’ve got a little bit here…
The U.S. and E.U. also are pushing language calling for comprehensive sexuality education covering the farthest frontiers of sexuality.
Austin Ruse, who wrote this piece, was my guest on radio this week. I was ashamed to learn what a leading role the US played, together with the EU, in pushing this radical agenda.
But admittedly glad when they failed.
Failure to deliver agreed conclusions was never an option at this year’s UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). But the two week session was fraught with worries about negotiations collapsing, as happened in 2003 when violence against women was last taken up by the UN commission, or last year, when bullying by the US delegation derailed consensus. But the fears never materialized. By Friday afternoon only seven paragraphs remained to be decided, and agreed conclusions were adopted Friday evening.
Abortion advocates, in and outside governments, wanted to move the ball forward for abortion rights. The United States and Nordic countries pressed pro-life nations to scrap previous agreements that place abortion in a bad light. To argue their case activists and the media reported falsely that pro-life countries wanted to use religion to excuse violence.
The United States brought in veteran activist Adrienne Germain to direct their negotiators. She was instrumental for the Clinton administration at the 1994 Cairo Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) where “safe abortion” first became a rallying cry for the global abortion lobby. At this year’s CSW abortion groups found themselves stymied by that very landmark conference. ICPD does not recognize abortion as a right and says it should never be used as a backup to contraception.
Ambiguous terms sometimes used to disguise abortion, like reproductive rights or sexual and reproductive health, were included in the policies adopted by CSW. But they were included “in accordance with ICPD.” The 1994 agreement also respects the sovereignty of UN member states to legislate according to custom, religion and tradition. Abortion groups are claiming this last point was conceded, even though the agreed conclusions include a paragraph that recognizes the “significance of national and regional particularities” as well as “historical, cultural and religious backgrounds” in legislation that implements UN policies.
The global abortion lobby has waited for years for the right moment to go beyond ICPD. Some Latin American states have signaled they are willing, but UN member states overall are not comfortable moving away from ICPD, at least on abortion, population control and other controversial policies like special new rights for homosexuals.
Last week’s agreement not only reaffirms the ICPD standard for abortion, but extends it to the morning-after pill. Deceptively called “emergency contraception,” the controversial pill can destroy nascent human life.
Follow the arguments and connect the dots. Because the radical agenda lobbyists thrive on distortion, confusion and lack of awareness.
And here’s a very important point, one I made on a riff on radio, when we have a young Pakistani girl shot in the head because she advocates the right for girls to have an education.
The myopic focus of some delegations on abortion and homosexual rights tragically prevented the commission from addressing other widespread forms of violence against women. The commission failed to denounce sex-selective abortion, as well as the thousands of women that die each year because of religious persecution.
Thankfully, Helen Alvare was there, with her eloquent address and elegant reasoning.
Helen Alvaré, a professor at George Mason School of Law, delivered an official statement on behalf of the Holy See. “Respect for human life is the starting point to confront a culture of violence,” she stated. Abortion is a form of violence and the “only proper response (to a woman in need) is radical solidarity.” The Holy See also decried the commodification of women that has resulted from the spread of a “sexual ideology” that sees women as objects.
“The cause of women’s freedom is unfinished,” she concluded, quoting John Paul II.
Indeed. Watch this space.