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WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - The United States is telling the World Health Organization (WHO) it won't follow pro-abortion measures in its "COVID-19 Response" resolution adopted by the international medical agency's governing body,
The World Health Assembly that governs WHO inserted "sexual and reproductive health" in its binding resolution which member states adopted on Tuesday. The United States disassociated itself the same day from specific pro-abortion language woven into the resolution while backing women's health care and overall well-being.
"However, we do not accept references to 'sexual and reproductive health,' or other language that suggests or explicitly states that access to abortion is included in the provision of population and individual level health services," the U.S. letter stated.
While the United States gave reserved approval of the resolution, Stefano Gennarini, vice president for legal studies at Center for Family and Human Rights (C-Fam), told Church Militant there are various ways the United States could now resist the resolution's pro-abortion aspects.
Affirming that the resolution is binding on the U.N., Gennarini clarified that it contains merely recommendations for its member states.
"The U.S. can defund the WHO, as it has done," replied Gennarini. "It can keep withholding all funds until it stops promoting abortion. But it would more likely only withdraw the portion of funds estimated to have been used to promote abortion from the WHO."
He added, "This is what the State Department did last year with the Organization of American States."
It's also what the Trump administration is currently doing for other reasons. President Donald Trump last month froze U.S. funding of WHO owing to its complicit cooperation in China's disinformation campaign at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic.
President Donald Trump is now threatening to permanently defund WHO if it continues stonewalling an investigation into the U.N. agency's early mishandling of the Wuhan virus. On Monday, Trump posted a letter on Twitter giving WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus an ultimatum.
"If the WHO does not commit to major substantive improvements within the next 30 days, I will make my temporary freeze of United States funding to the WHO permanent and reconsider our membership," warned Trump.
The U.S. letter responding on Tuesday to WHO's pandemic-response resolution further reaffirmed that the U.N. agency has no power to "require any State Party to provide access to abortion."
"Each nation," the letter confirmed, "has the sovereign right to implement related programs and activities consistent with their laws and policies, free from external pressure."
Gennarini elaborated on this ability of the United States to establish its own policies that may well be at odds with policies adopted by the U.N. or WHO, its specialized agency:
The President can adopt an interpretation of international human rights law, consistent with the text and original intent of our own Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that states have an obligation to protect the unborn. He can also simply adopt a position that international organizations should not promote abortion.
The U.S. letter further references a statement made by Trump that affirms this point.
"As President Trump has stated, 'Americans will never tire of defending innocent life,'" reads the letter.
Trump made this point when addressing the 74th U.N. General Assembly in September:
Americans will also never tire of defending innocent life. 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.
The letter then drove home this point by rejecting the claim that abortion was an international right.
"There is no international right to abortion, nor is there any duty on the part of States to finance or facilitate abortion," declared the U.S. letter.