U.S. rejects UN call for access to safe abortions
Resolution on eliminating violence against women, led by Canada, was adopted by consensus
The United States on Thursday rejected a United Nations resolution on the elimination of violence against women because it called for access to safe abortion for all women in countries where the procedure is legal.
The resolution, led by Canada, was adopted by consensus — that is, without taking a vote.
U.S. First Secretary to the UN in Geneva Jason Mack said that the U.S. "must dissociate from the consensus," specifically on access to safe abortions.
"We do not recognize abortion as a method of family planning, nor do we support abortion in our reproductive health assistance," he said in a statement read to the council.
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The council said women and girls are at higher risk of sexual violence in wars and post-conflict situations and require access to health care, psychosocial support and legal aid.
It said all women should have access to "comprehensive sexual and health care services" including modern contraception, prevention programs for adolescent pregnancy and "safe abortion where such services are permitted by national law."
Despite rejecting that call, the U.S. delegation said that the United States "strongly supports the spirit of this resolution and joins other members of this council in condemning all acts of violence against women and girls."
The administration of President Donald Trump said last month it was vastly expanding the scope of a policy blocking U.S. assistance to foreign groups that perform or provide information about abortions.
With files from CBC News