Pro-life Congressman Exhorts U.N. Ambassadors to “Push Back” for Right to Life

U.S. Congressman Chris Smith  

Veteran pro-life leader and U.S. Congressman Chris Smith addressed the delegates of more than thirty countries at the U.N. Ambassador’s Luncheon on Friday. At the luncheon he reminded them that the defense of the right to life for human beings, both born and unborn, rests at the heart of the founding of the United Nations and its successful mission.

“You are the heirs and guarantors of the U.N. founders’ vision that there can be no way forward — no progress individually or collectively — if members of the human family anywhere or in anyway are deemed expendable, marginal or subhuman,” said US Rep. Smith, who was the keynote speaker for the speaking event, titled “The Inherent Right to Life: the First and Most Fundamental Human Right.”

Smith reminded the gathered assembly of Ambassadors, Deputy Permanent Representatives, and Diplomats that the U.N was formed in response to the “unprecedented agony — and depravity - of global war.” With the world having experienced the atrocities of Nazi genocide and Imperial Japanese war crimes, the U.N. was formed to promote the recognition of “fundamental human rights” in order to avoid armed conflict.

Smith recalled how the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948 “recognized the existence of the right to life, liberty … and other basic rights inherent in our nature as human beings” without a single dissenting vote and that the UN’s Universal Declaration “itself made clear that member states must recognize the ‘inherent dignity’ and the ‘equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family.’”

Fundamental rights, if they are not “mere privileges conveyed by civil authority,” must then “come from God” Smith stated, making it the obligation of states “to recognize these God-given rights and then act decisively.” 

“The most persecuted minority in much of the world are unborn children,” the Congressman continued. Despite the invention of ultrasound and the availability of “microsurgery and fetal health interventions,” Smith said that “some have chosen this time in history to dehumanize and exclude unborn babies.”

Smith told the assembly that the pro-life movement is “the greatest human rights struggle on earth” and made very clear that the U.N. was a battlefield on which the battle for the human dignity of the unborn was constantly being fought.

“Each and every UN special meeting — including the summit for children — has become a battleground and the upcoming [Commission on the Status of Women] and the discussions on Beijing 15 and implementation of the Beijing Platform will be no exception,” said Smith. “Additionally, many of your government officials have been or will soon be scolded by pro-abortion ‘experts’ at periodic CEDAW reviews in an attempt to ‘persuade’ you to abandon your protections for women and children from the violence of abortion.

“I encourage you to resist and push back.  The voiceless desperately need friends and advocates in high places.  They need you,” the Congressman continued.

Smith expressed his concern that pro-abortion advocates were attempting to “hijack” goal five of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals – reducing maternal mortality – by advocating for the legalization of abortion on demand under the guise of saving women’s lives. But the data, he said, shows the contrary to what pro-abortion advocates assert: countries with pro-life laws actually have lower instances of maternal mortality.

“Chile, a country which has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Latin America, has the lowest maternal mortality rates in South America while Guyana, a country which has permitted abortion since 1995 has a maternal mortality rate 29 times higher than Chile,” said Smith. “In Asia, Nepal permits unrestricted abortion and has one of the world’s highest rates of maternal mortality.  Pro-life Sri Lanka on the other hand is fourteen times lower than Nepal.”

“I would respectfully submit that if we are truly serious about reducing maternal mortality, women, especially in the developing world, need access to proper maternal health care, skilled birth attendants, safe blood and clinics where obstructed deliveries can be turned into safe passages,” said Smith.  According to one doctor from the World Health Organization, just the availability of safe blood for transfusions could reduce maternal mortality by 44 percent, he added.

Earlier in his speech, Smith noted that the UN’s Universal Declaration stated that the “disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts.” But few things brought the point home more than the devastating impact of China’s “one-child policy”: a legacy of forced abortions and coerced sterilizations on millions of Chinese women, under which regime “unwed mothers are all compelled to abort,” and ruinous punitive fines are imposed on families that have more than one child.
“No wonder 500 Chinese women commit suicide each day in China,” said Smith.

Smith recounted the testimony of a Chinese student named Wuijan, who testified before an official congressional human rights hearing on China’s one child policy convened in November, and described the experience of forced abortion as her “journey in hell.” Smith quoted her testimony, “She said: ‘…the room was full of moms who had just gone through a forced abortion.  Some moms were crying. Some moms were mourning.  Some moms were screaming.  And one mom was rolling on the floor with unbearable pain.’”

“Silence in the face of massive crimes against women in China — women like Wuijan -  shouldn’t be an option.”

Peter J. Smith
Publish Date:
February 15, 2010
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The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection for the disabled and the elderly.   Click here to learn more about the IFRL.