Untitled Document
Taking a Closer Look at the Stories Ignored by the Corporate Media
Donate | Fair Use Notice | Who We Are | Contact

NEWS
All News
9-11
Corporatism
Disaster in New Orleans
Economics
Environment
Globalization
Government / The Elite
Human Rights
International Affairs
Iraq War
London Bombing
Media
Police State / Military
Science / Health
Voting Integrity
War on Terrorism
Miscellaneous

COMMENTARY
All Commentaries
9-11
CIA
Corporatism
Economics
Government / The Elite
Imperialism
Iraq War
Media
Police State / Military
Science / Health
Voting Integrity
War on Terrorism

SEARCH/ARCHIVES
Advanced Search
View the Archives

E-mail this Link   Printer Friendly

HUMAN RIGHTS -
-

US Draws Jeers for Abortion Comments at UN

Posted in the database on Saturday, March 05th, 2005 @ 22:37:36 MST (1280 views)
by Deborah Zabarenko    Reuters  

Untitled Document UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Jeers and catcalls greeted the top U.S. delegate to a global women's conference on Friday as she stressed Washington's opposition to abortion and support for sexual abstinence and fidelity.

After withdrawing an unpopular anti-abortion amendment from a key U.N. document, the United States joined in approving the declaration that reaffirmed a 150-page platform agreed 10 years ago at a landmark U.N. women's conference in Beijing.

The final approval prompted cheers, applause and a standing ovation by some participants.

However, top U.S. delegate Ellen Sauerbrey drew boos from the audience, which included some of the 6,000 activists who came from around the world, when she commented on Washington's interpretation of the document.

"We have stated clearly and on many occasions ... that we do not recognize abortion as a method of family planning, nor do we support abortion in our reproductive health assistance," Sauerbrey said.

The loudest catcalls, unusual at the world body, came when she articulated U.S. policy on AIDS prevention for adolescents: "We emphasize the value of the ABC -- abstinence, be faithful, and correct and consistent condom use where appropriate -- approach in comprehensive strategies to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS and the promotion of abstinence as the healthiest and most responsible choice for adolescents."

Earlier Friday, Sauerbrey said the United States was dropping its demand that the document be amended to say that abortion is a matter of national sovereignty and not a human right delineated by the 1995 conference in Beijing.

After a week of closed-door negotiations at the United Nations during a two-week conference on women's equality, Sauerbrey said the U.S. point had been made and therefore Washington's amendment was no longer needed.

U.S. GOALS ACCOMPLISHED

The first version of the abandoned amendment said the Beijing meeting's final document did not recognize abortion as a fundamental right; a later version said the document did not create any new international human rights, code for abortion.

"We think we have really accomplished what we set out to do," Sauerbrey said. "We have heard from countries ... that our interpretation is their interpretation. So the amendment we recognize is really redundant, but it has accomplished its goals. We will be withdrawing the amendment."

Despite U.S. lobbying, support for Washington's abortion stance was limited to the Vatican, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama.

Mary Ann Dantuono, the Vatican delegate, was interrupted by shouts when she said the Catholic Church "would have preferred a clearer statement emphasizing that the Beijing documents cannot be interpreted as creating new human rights including the right to abortion."

Delegates from the European Union, Asia and Africa forcefully opposed the U.S. position.

"The text of Beijing is unequivocally clear. We should not spend hours splitting hairs over phrases that mean the same thing," said New Zealand's U.N. Ambassador Don Mackay, speaking for his country, Canada and Australia. He said the Beijing document included a woman's right to control her sexuality.

Nigeria echoed Mackay's sentiments on women's sexuality, but thanked Washington for withdrawing its amendment.

The current U.N. session is meant to assess how far women have come toward equality since the 1995 Beijing conference and a follow-up meeting five years ago. Organizers seeking consensus drafted a streamlined document they hoped would be easily approved without controversy.



Go to Original Article >>>

The views expressed herein are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of Looking Glass News. Click the disclaimer link below for more information.
Email: editor@lookingglassnews.org.

E-mail this Link   Printer Friendly




Untitled Document
Disclaimer
Donate | Fair Use Notice | Who We Are | Contact
Copyright 2005 Looking Glass News.