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Russia Denies an International Right to Abortion

A little flashback: on October 22, 2020, at the initiative of the then U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, 33 countries – including the United States under Donald Trump, Hungary under Viktor Orban, Uganda, South Sudan, Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo, etc. – signed a joint declaration, with the aim of protecting the health and “inalienable rights” of women.

The text stipulates in particular that “abortion should in no case be considered as a method of family planning” and that there is “no international right to abortion, as there is no obligation for states to facilitate or fund it.”

A declaration which has no binding legal value but which nevertheless has the effect of “overturning the global consensus established on the need to protect the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls in all their diversity,” lamented the progressive David Stacy, director of government affairs for the advocacy group Human Rights Campaign, interviewed by the Washington Post in October 2020.

It is this initiative to defend the right to life that Vladimir Putin’s Russia – as well as Guatemala – has just joined, a few months after the foreseeable withdrawal of the United States, at the request of President Joe Biden.

News of the Russian signing was announced on Capitol Hill by pro-life Republican senators who chose to celebrate the first anniversary of the Geneva Consensus Declaration there.

“When states or NGOs prescribe unhealthy and harmful policies that compromise the life, family, and sovereignty specific to each country, it is a duty to challenge them,” Valerie Huber, president of the Institute for Women’s Health declared on this occasion.

Speaking, Senator Steve Daines stressed that the Geneva Consensus remains “the most powerful and effective way to give a voice to the silent world majority of billions of people who support life and families.”

This statement, which asserts that there is no “right” to abortion internationally, is significant. It makes it possible to thwart the establishment of U.N. policies which would like to see this right materialize.

It cannot, however, make people forget that neither Trump’s United States nor Russia has abolished or even reduced the use of abortion. And this crime is still enshrined in their laws.

As for Russia, abortion has been legal there for over 100 years. In the past century, a minimum of 310 million abortions have been performed.

This state of affairs foreshadows a major demographic crisis, which remains one of Vladimir Putin’s concerns and which he is trying to stem through birth control measures. This is why he is trying to reduce abortion in his country and encourage, at least tacitly, the Orthodox Church in its fight for life.

The Russian Federation has indeed just joined the global project which intends to defeat an alleged international right to abortion.


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