U.S. Rips U.N. Panel for Ignoring Chinese Human Rights Abuses

Women's rights panel had criticized American abortion regulations

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September 3, 2020

A U.S. international mission ripped into a United Nations women's rights panel for ignoring Chinese human-rights violations but criticizing American states for regulating abortion.

The U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Geneva issued a letter last week describing the U.N. women's rights panel's criticism of the United States as "bizarre and inexplicable." The mission said the U.N. panel made "spurious allegations" that the United States was unduly restricting access to abortion during the coronavirus pandemic, adding that the accusations distracted from human-rights abuses in China.

"The Chinese Communist Party is currently directing the use of forced abortion, forced sterilization and forced birth control in Xinjiang," the letter stated. "These are actual human rights abuses, implicating millions of women and girls and their health, on an industrial scale, targeting a vulnerable ethnic and religious minority."

The mission also criticized the panel for presenting unlimited access to abortion as a right. The mission argued that no international law recognizes any "right to abortion."

"One of the reasons that the United States and others increasingly see the UN’s human rights system as utterly broken is the tendency of its self-appointed guardians to label certain policy preferences as 'rights,'" the letter said. "At the same time, we see violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms on a massive scale that generate little or no comment by these same guardians."

The mission was responding to a May 27 letter from the panel that alleged the United States was increasing restrictions on abortion services. The letter said eight states appeared to be using the coronavirus crisis to curb access to abortion. The panel argued that abortion constituted essential health care, and suspending nonessential medical services because of the pandemic would cause more women to unnecessarily travel out of state.

Published under: Abortion , United Nations