Oct 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

U.S. signs anti-abortion declaration with conservative countries

Trump and Jair Bolsonaro

President Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump administration signed an anti-abortion declaration on Thursday with 3o other countries, including conservative and authoritarian governments in Egypt, Uganda, Belarus, Saudi Arabia, Hungary and more.

Why it matters: The non-binding Geneva Consensus Declaration, intended to “promote women’s health and strengthen the family,” is a rebuke of the United Nations Human Rights Council's classification of abortion access as a universal human right.

The big picture: The document marks the Trump administration’s latest aim at abortion rights and coincides with the pending confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, who abortion supporters have argued is likely to strike down Roe v. Wade.

Details: The declaration claims that abortion is at odds with family and family planning.

  • The family is “the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State," according to the declaration.
  • “[T]here 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."

Between the lines: Since 2016, President Trump has taken steps to curtail abortion and restrict access to contraception. He has also promised to “fully” defund health care providers that perform abortions, such as Planned Parenthood.

Where it stands: Barrett has written that abortion is “always immoral” but declined to answer hypothetical questions about whether she would challenge its legality during her confirmation hearings.

Go deeper: Life after Roe v. Wade

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