Mzansi Afrika

From Johannesburg South Africa, a window on the world

Friday, March 04, 2005

Abortion update

The US has so far failed to push abortion rights back into the 1950's.

Under intense global pressure, the United States dropped its demand that a new U.N. declaration on women's equality make clear there is no international right to abortion. But Washington continued to insist the document must not "create any new international human rights" -- which opponents say could also mean abortion.
U.S. Ambassador Ellen Sauerbrey announced the changes at a closed-door meeting on Thursday, telling reporters afterward that abortion policy should be determined at the national not global level. But there appeared to be no support even for a watered-down amendment. In one speech after another, delegates from the European Union, the African Union and the Mercosur trading bloc in South America insisted on leaving the declaration untouched. As it now stands, the text simply reaffirms the U.N. blueprint for achieving equality of the sexes, which was adopted at a 1995 conference in Beijing. (
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