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Homeschool group warns: disabilities treaty will harm parental rights

July 17, 2012

The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is urging the Senate not to ratify the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). President Barack Obama signed the treaty in 2009, and a Senate vote on ratification is expected this month.

“Article 7 of the UNCRPD gives government the ability to override every decision of a parent of disabled children if the government thinks that its views are in ‘the best interest of the child,’” said HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris. “This is a radical attempt to take away parental rights.”

In 2006, the Holy See announced that it would not sign the CPRD. Archbishop Celestino Migliore, at the time apostolic nuncio to the United Nations, said that the Holy See could interpret two ambiguous articles of the treaty “in a way which safeguards the primary and inalienable rights of parents.”

The inclusion of the phrase “reproductive health” in article 25, however, led to the Holy See’s refusal to sign the accord. Archbishop Migliore said:

We opposed the inclusion of such a phrase [reproductive health] in this article, because in some countries reproductive health services include abortion, thus denying the inherent right to life of every human being, affirmed by article 10 of the Convention. It is surely tragic that, wherever fetal defect is a precondition for offering or employing abortion, the same Convention created to protect persons with disabilities from all discrimination in the exercise of their rights, may be used to deny the very basic right to life of disabled unborn persons.

For this reason, and despite the many helpful articles this Convention contains, the Holy See is unable to sign it.


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  • Posted by: Defender - Jul. 17, 2012 11:14 AM ET USA

    It shouldn't be a big surprise that the president signed this UN treaty, the embracement of one nation-state in the form of this organization is increasingly commonplace. It's amazing, however, that there is an attitude of complete disregard in complying with the provisions of the treaty after its passage. Then why do it? This administration could care less if parental rights are stripped as they march down the road to "Don't worry, your government knows best!"