The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities would erode U.S. sovereignty, skew the constitutional boundaries between state and federal governments, and allow the UN to promote more liberal abortion laws, a coalition of conservative experts warn.
Article 25 of the CRPD calls on nations to furnish the disabled “free or affordable health care…including in the area of sexual and reproductive health and population-based public health programmes.”
“The feminists are using this treaty as an opportunity to promote their abortion agenda,” said Phyllis Schlafly.
The treaty “opens up Pandrora’s Box for the most vulnerable among us – children,” said former Senator Rick Santorum at a news conference Monday, alongside his wife Karen, and three of his seven children, including Bella, a special needs child.
Although the UN covenant contains many positive affirmations of the equality of the disabled, he said it contains “some very troubling provisions.”
The organization founded by Christian evangelist and quadriplegic Joni Erickson Tada, Joni and Friends, “holds deep concerns regarding CRPD language on parental rights and the rights of the unborn with disabilities,” as well as U.S. sovereignty.
So far, 36 Republican Senators have signed a letter of opposition to the treaty during the lame duck session of Congress. The measure requires a two-thirds majority to pass the Senate.
“We can’t be sure that a few of them won’t change their position and vote for CPRD,” said a statement from Santorum’s political action committee, Patriot Voices. “That’s why we have to keep the pressure on. Please call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and tell your Senator to vote ‘NO’ on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”
Some who oppose the CRPD say it is unnecessary.
“We already treat individuals, able or disabled, rich or poor, better than any other nation by our Americans with Disabilities Act, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Fair Housing Act, Rehabilitation Act, Voting Accessibility for Elderly and Handicapped Act, Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act and Architectural Barriers Act,” said Schlafly.
One of the Senate leaders, Utah Republican Mike Lee, said the United States had historically rejected even well-intentioned UN documents out of concern they would set the nation on a “march toward socialism” and out of “grave concern for [national] sovereignty.”
For instance, Article 4 says signatories must embrace “economic, social, and cultural rights.”
“These rights refer to positive rights, as opposed to negative rights granted by government,” Lee noted. “These are positive rights to certain entitlement rights…that the government would be required, by treaty, to provide to individuals.”
President Obama has publicly lamented that “the Constitution, at least as it’s been interpreted,” is “a charter of negative liberties.”
Experts say the treaty would allow the federal government to supersede local ordinances and that it gives unelected UN officials too much leeway to promote an agenda often unrelated to the purpose of the ratified treaty.
Mike Farris of the Home School Legal Defense Association, who teaches International Law at Patrick Henry College, said turning authority over any aspect of U.S. life to foreign bureaucrats goes against the grain of most Americans.
Farris said curtly, “Americans should make the law for America.”