Wesley Smith, in an article in The Weekly Standard, notes that there is a move afoot at the United Nations to hold that banning abortion is torture:
Méndez—whose full title is “special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”—just released a report to the General Assembly on torture “in health care settings.” It is a startling read. He brands with that extreme term not only medical actions and omissions that clearly are not torture as most people understand it, but also national policies disfavored by the international ruling class. Thus, “The Committee against Torture has repeatedly expressed concerns about restrictions on access to abortion and about absolute abortion bans as violating the prohibition on torture and ill treatment.” Unstated (but implied) is that pro-life countries like Ireland are committing crimes against humanity. Continue reading
Hattip to commenter Greg Mockeridge for bringing this matter to my attention. Yesterday the Senate defeated by 5 votes the attempt to ratify the UN Convention on Disabilities Treaty. Go here to read the text. It is the usual type of windy, gaseous formulation that one expects from the UN. It is overwhelmingly popular among the permanent government class in most Western nations. It has been passed by most of the nations of the world. It will be ignored by most of the nations of the Earth where the rulers are masters at mouthing feel good platitudes while doing as they please. In the West it will provide jobs for pressure groups through the filing of unending law suits to enforce the terms of this glop of political correctness, socialism, fuzzy thinking and lawyer full employment . I am opposed to such treaties as a matter of principle. American rights should be determined by Americans and not by temporary majorities at the UN, that modern Tower of Babel.
The main reason why the treaty failed was abortion. Among the many twisting and often contradictory provisions was this gem at Article 25 (a):
Provide persons with disabilities with the same range, quality and standard of free or affordable health care and programmes as provided to other persons, including in the area of sexual and reproductive health and population-based public health programmes;
Reproductive health of course is a euphemism for contraceptives and that form of child murder that goes by the term abortion. This conflicts with Article 10 of the treaty:
States Parties reaffirm that every human being has the inherent right to life and shall take all necessary measures to ensure its effective enjoyment by persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others.
Senator Marco Rubio (R. Fla.) attempted to take abortion out of the treaty with this amendment:
The United States understands that the phrase ‘sexual and reproductive health’ in Article 25(a) of the Convention does not include abortion, and its use in that article does not create any abortion rights, cannot be interpreted to constitute support, endorsement, or promotion of abortion, and in no way suggests that abortion be promoted as a method of family planning. Continue reading
Observers from the UN, allied with Leftist groups in the US, are planning to send observers to monitor our elections to ensure that there is no “voter suppression”:
United Nations-affiliated election monitors from Europe and central Asia will be at polling places around the U.S. looking for voter suppression activities by conservative groups, a concern raised by civil rights groups during a meeting this week. The intervention has drawn criticism from a prominent conservative-leaning group combating election fraud.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), a United Nations partner on democratization and human rights projects, will deploy 44 observers from its human rights office around the country on Election Day to monitor an array of activities, including potential disputes at polling places. It’s part of a broader observation mission that will send out an additional 80 to 90 members of parliament from nearly 30 countries.
The Lone Star State is having none of it:
Ambassador Daan Everts
Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
UI. Miodowa 10 00-251 Warsaw, Poland
Dear Ambassador Everts:
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) will reportedly dispatch election observers to the State of Texas to monitor the November 2012 general election. While it remains unclear exactly what your monitoring is intended to achieve, or precisely what tactics you will use to achieve the proposed monitoring, OSCE has stated publicly that it will visit polling stations on Election Day as part of its monitoring plan.
In April, you reportedly met with a group of organizations that have filed lawsuits challenging election integrity laws enacted by the Texas Legislature. One of those organizations, Project Vote, is closely affiliated with ACORN, which collapsed in disgrace after its role in a widespread voter-registration fraud scheme was uncovered. In September, a federal appeals court rejected Project Vote’s challenge to the State’s voter-registration regulations and allowed Texas to continue enforcing laws that were enacted to protect the integrity of the voter-registration process.
According to a letter that Project Vote and other organizations sent to you, OSCE has identified Voter ID laws as a barrier to the right to vote. That letter urged OSCE to monitor states that have taken steps to protect ballot integrity by enacting Voter ID laws. The OSCE may be entitled to its opinions about Voter ID laws, but your opinion is legally irrelevant in the United States, where the Supreme Court has already determined that Voter ID laws are constitutional.
If OSCE members want to learn more about our election processes so they can improve their own democratic systems, we welcome the opportunity to discuss the measures Texas has implemented to protect the integrity of elections. However, groups and individuals from outside the United States are not allowed to influence or interfere with the election process in Texas. This State has robust election laws that were carefully crafted to protect the integrity of our election system. All persons—including persons connected with OSCE—are required to comply with these laws.
Elections and election observation are regulated by state law. The Texas Election Code governs anyone who participates in Texas elections—including representatives of the OSCE. The OSCE’s representatives are not authorized by Texas law to enter a polling place. It may be a criminal offense for OSCE’s representatives to maintain a presence within 100 feet of a polling place’s entrance. Failure to comply with these requirements could subject the OSCE’s representatives to criminal prosecution for violating state law.
Attorney General of Texas Continue reading
“The Christian… imagines the better future of the human species… in the image of heavenly joy… We, on the other hand, will have this heaven on earth.” – Moses Hess, 19th century communist and mentor to Karl Marx.
It wasn’t too long ago that a co-blogger of mine suggested that the new environmentalism, especially what some might call the hysteria over climate change, was the new paganism. This accusation has been made frequently of the secular environmental movement. But this environmental movement is only one branch of what I am absolutely convinced is not only a “new paganism”, but a new religion of man. In previous posts I also wrote of a new religion centered around identity politics, and this too is but another branch.
Some of you may be familiar with “The Earth Charter.” Now, it isn’t necessarily that I believe everything on this list is an unworthy goal. But it deeply reflects a mindset and a world view in which God has been completely removed from the core, and is instead either regulated to the periphery or is entirely absent. When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, we at least had reference to a Creator, and his other writings made clear that the rights and liberties of the people were essentially worthless if they did not believe that they had come from God, and that their violation would incur his wrath.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The Founding Fathers left no doubt which freedoms they held most important. They inserted them into the First Amendment to the Constitution. Freedom of speech and of the press come right after freedom of religion. These freedoms, and all the others set forth in the Constitution, are the birthright of all Americans and a precious example to the rest of the world. That is why I am bemused by the manner in which the Obama administration appears to be indifferent to attempts to undermine freedom of speech and of the press at the UN.
“The new resolution, championed by the Obama administration, has a number of disturbing elements. It emphasizes that “the exercise of the right to freedom of expression carries with it special duties and responsibilities . . .” which include taking action against anything meeting the description of “negative racial and religious stereotyping.” It also purports to “recognize . . . the moral and social responsibilities of the media” and supports “the media’s elaboration of voluntary codes of professional ethical conduct” in relation to “combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.”
On December 10th — the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted and proclaimed by the UN General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948 — pro-abortion groups will present petitions asking the United Nation’s General Assembly to make abortion a universally recognized human right.
The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute created an alternate petition drive that calls for government to interpret the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as protecting human life from the moment of conception to natural death.