No global right to abortion, Trump tells U.N.

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NEW YORK (BP) -- President Trump decried efforts within the United Nations to establish a global right to abortion in a speech Tuesday (Sept. 24) to the U.N. General Assembly.

Trump delivered the remarks on the same day the U.S. House of Representatives initiated an official impeachment inquiry. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced she is instructing six committees to investigate the president.

In his Sept. 24 address, Trump broke new ground for a sitting U.S. president by speaking about abortion to the U.N. General Assembly, according to the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC).

Americans will "never tire of defending innocent life," the president said. "We are aware that many United Nations projects have attempted to assert a global right to taxpayer-funded abortion on demand -- right up until the moment of delivery. Global bureaucrats have absolutely no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that wish to protect innocent life.

"Like many nations here today, we in America believe that every child, born and unborn, is a sacred gift from God," he said.

Trump's U.N. speech was the latest in a series of global, pro-life initiatives by his administration since he took office in January 2017, including:

-- Reinstatement and expansion of the Mexico City Policy, which bans federal funds for organizations that perform or promote abortions overseas.

-- Cancellation of money for the U.N. Population Fund because of its partnership with a Chinese population-control program that includes forced abortions and sterilizations.

On Sept. 23, the Trump administration issued a statement at the U.N. High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage condemning efforts by some countries to include language in a new declaration "that has been used to promote abortion as healthcare."

While the U.S. "joins consensus" on the declaration, it rejects "the terms 'sexual and reproductive health' and 'sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights’" in the document, said Alex Azar, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, in a written statement.

Some countries blocked language to protect the right of each country to govern itself according to its religious and cultural principles, and such terms "in no way imply that there is an international right to abortion," he said.

NRLC President Carol Tobias commended Trump "for his continuing leadership on preserving and defending the right to life for all innocent human life. His remarks today at the U.N. General Assembly serve to remind world leaders that abortion is not an international right."

Trump's 37-minute speech, which also included promotion of free speech and human rights, came a day after he hosted at the U.N.'s headquarters in New York City the Global Call to Protect Religious Freedom. He announced during the event the creation of a coalition of American businesses to protect workplace religious liberty.

Tom Strode is Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press, the Southern Baptist Convention's news service. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists' concerns nationally and globally.
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