Lifesite News reports that ambassador Michael Kozak has informed reporters that abortion is not a human right. As a result, he says, "reproductive rights" are no longer included in the report on global human rights.
Reproductive rights was a rather recent addition to the report and were added by the Obama administration, according to Lifesite. Kozak has claimed that forced abortions and involuntary sterilization would be considered violating of human rights.
Kozak said, "We’ve really gotten at it by flipping back to the original U.S. statutory language. It’s in places like China where in order to enforce their – now – two-child policy that there are reports of coerced abortion and involuntary sterilization [or] in North Korea, where the government also coerces [or] forces abortion – although sometimes that’s for political punishment rather than family planning."
Unsurprising, many pro-choice Americans are unhappy about Kozak's recent announcement. According to reports, they believe that it is proof that America under the Trump administration is moving in the wrong direction — a direction hostile to the rights of women. Pro-life Americans, on the other hand, are happy to hear that the federal government is defending the right to life, the bedrock of all other rights.
The Washington Examiner claims that the State Department under President Trump has taken criticism over the decision to remove "reproductive rights" from the annual report, one of the most widely-read documents produced by U.S. diplomats. The term first appeared in the human rights report in 2010 under President Obama. Kozak, under the direction of Trump, has instead taken a position staunchly opposed to forced abortions and coerced family planning.
“[Abortion is] an issue of great policy debate, you can have a good discussion, but there's no internationally-recognized standard as to what’s the right treatment,” he said, according to the Washington Examiner. “But, the other, yes — it is internationally-recognized that somebody shouldn't coerce you to have an abortion or force you to be sterilized.”
In response, Amnesty International and other pro-choice groups have accused Trump of devaluating women's rights.
“Reproductive rights are human rights, and omitting the issue signals the Trump administration’s latest retreat from global leadership on human rights,” Joanne Lin, national director of advocacy and governmental relations at Amnesty International USA, said according to the Washington Examiner.
“Human rights defenders should view the reports with a critical eye, and fight against any effort to obscure or diminish violations of human rights wherever they may occur.”
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