Last Thursday, 31 countries and the United States (US) signed a document emphasizing the equal rights of men and women and rejecting international right to abortion.
The Geneva Consensus Declaration was co-sponsored by the U.S., Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Hungary and Uganda, amongst other countries.
The declaration represents 1.6 billion people and every region of the world.
Campaigners for the document said it was signed during a joint virtual ceremony. They asserted that in no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning.
Three primary issues form the core of the document: promotion of equal rights for women, opposition to abortion for family planning, and the recognition of the need for universal health coverage.
U.S Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo added that: “Under President Trump’s leadership, the United States has defended the dignity of human life everywhere and always. Pompeo said Mr Trump has done it like no other President in history and the U.S have also mounted an unprecedented defense of the unborn abroad.
The Geneva Consensus Declaration, Pompeo said, “protects women’s health, defends the unborn, and reiterates the vital importance of the family as the foundation of society.”
The document declares:
Any changes “related to abortion within the health system can only be determined at the national or local level according to the national legislative process.” Further, “the child… needs special safeguards and care … before as well as after birth” and “there is no international right to abortion.”
Women and girls “must enjoy equal access to quality education, economic resources, and political participation as well as equal opportunities with men and boys for employment, leadership and decision-making at all levels. Every human being “has the inherent right to life.”
The family is “the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State. Additionally, women “play a critical role in the family.”
Universal health coverage “is fundamental.” It urges countries to “advance universal health coverage” but recognizes the “primary role and responsibility of governments at all levels to determine their own path towards achieving universal health coverage, in accordance with national contexts and priorities.”