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Senate to vote on UN disabilities treaty; pro-life, homeschooling advocates concerned

Catholic World News - November 27, 2012

The Senate is scheduled to vote soon on whether to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), a United Nations treaty opposed by several pro-life and homeschooling organizations. President Barack Obama signed the treaty in 2009.

“The global community could force America to sanction sterilization or abortion for the disabled--at taxpayer expense,” said Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council

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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