After a 10-day mission to the United States, the United Nations Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice released a statement condemning pro-life policies in several states.
The “expert group,” consisting of pro-abortion feminists Eleonora Zielinska, Frances Raday and Alda Facio, visited the states of Alabama, Oregon, and Texas. They took issue with the Hyde Amendment, and what the group considers to be “imposition of severe barriers” to abortion access…
Women’s reproductive rights include the constitutional guarantee under Roe v. Wade for a woman to be able to choose to terminate a pregnancy in the first trimester prior to viability. Although women have a legal right to terminate a pregnancy under federal law, ever increasing barriers are being created to prevent their access to abortion procedures. In 1976 the Hyde Amendment prevented federal Medicaid and Medicare coverage for the termination of a pregnancy except in cases where the life of the woman is in danger, in cases of rape and incest. Women’s access to reproductive health services has been truncated in some states by imposition of severe barriers.
These take the form of unjustified medical procedures, such as compelling women to undergo ultrasounds or to endure groundless waiting periods, withholding of early pregnancy abortion medications, imposing burdensome conditions for the licensing of clinics, which have resulted in the closing of clinics across the country leaving women without geographical access to sexual and reproductive health services.
The United Nations group specifically called out Alabama on several counts, including for the state’s “history of severe violence against abortion providers.” Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler was not impressed with the report, and defended his state against the U.N.’s comments regarding violence.
“We all are against violence against anyone, but the court systems and law enforcement are perfectly capable of handling that,” said Zeigler. “We don’t need the help of the U.N.”
Zeigler went on to question the credibility of the report, arguing that U.N. agents failed to contact church leaders, adoption advocates, or abortion alternative counselors. He claimed the report is “not going to sit well with the people of Alabama, and [the U.N. has] no business doing this. They should be going to Syria or many, many other places besides Alabama.”
“The U.N. is preparing to try to dictate to Alabama what we must do on abortion… and other ‘progressive’ issues,” Zeigler said in a statement. “I will monitor this developing situation and report back. I will also coordinate a strategy for how we can resist this U.N. intrusion.”