Washington D.C., Apr 25, 2019 / 12:03 am (CNA).- Language referring to abortion was removed from a United Nations resolution on the care of sexual abuse survivors in wartime, after the Trump administration threatened to veto the measure.
U.S. officials said they oppose the UN Security Council resolution on the grounds of a phrase that implied support for abortion, according to the BBC. They threatened to veto the resolution if the abortion language was not dropped.
The phrase that was opposed by the U.S., and by Russia and China, was: “Recognizing the importance of providing timely assistance to survivors of sexual violence, urges United Nations entities and donors to provide non-discriminatory and comprehensive health services, in line with Resolution 2106,” the BBC reported.
The phrase was dropped, and the resolution passed 13-0 without any references to sexual or reproductive health services, with Russia and China abstaining.
While the original resolution had been met with widespread support, council members and international leaders from various countries accused the U.S. of diluting the measure by removing the phrase.
“And we regret that the language on services for survivors of sexual violence, recognizing the acute need for those services to include comprehensive reproductive and sexual health care, including safe termination of pregnancies, did not meet with all the council members’ support,” British diplomat Tariq Ahmad told NPR.
French UN ambassador Francois Delattre said it was “intolerable and incomprehensible” that the council “is incapable of acknowledging that women and girls who suffered from sexual violence in conflict, and who obviously didn’t choose to become pregnant, should have the right to terminate their pregnancy,” according to the BBC.
Jonathan Cohen served as acting ambassador for the United States at the meeting.
The move is the latest from the Trump administration to oppose the funding and promotion of overseas abortions. Efforts have focused largely on reversing Obama-era measures to expand abortion funding.
Within days of taking office, Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, ensuring that U.S. tax dollars are not funding the provision or promotion of abortion overseas in any U.S. global health spending. His administration has also defunded UNFPA on the grounds that it supports coercive abortion and sterilization in China.