Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Is it ever embarrassing to stick up for principles?

The NYTimes is up in arms:

At a moment when the United States should be leading the world on advancing women's equality, the Bush administration chose instead to alienate government ministers and 6,000 other delegates at an important United Nations conference on that issue with a burst of anti-abortion zealotry this week. The two-week session is being held to reinvigorate efforts to improve women's lives a decade after a landmark U.N. conference in Beijing. The organizers had hoped to keep a tight focus on urgent challenges like sexual trafficking, educational inequities and the spread of AIDS. The first order of business was to be quick approval of a simple statement reaffirming the Beijing meeting's closing declaration. But on Monday, the Americans created turmoil by announcing that the United States would not join the otherwise universal consensus unless the document was amended to say that it did not create 'any new international human rights' or 'include the right to abortion.'
There's more to the editorial, but this is enough for my purposes. First, considering that the meeting was intended to focus on "sexual trafficking, educational inequities and the spread of AIDS," what were the organizers trying to do sneaking in abortion rights language? And if it was non-binding, why did they make such a big deal about the US's objections? Why didn't the organizers just back off. Second, I found it ironic that the whole point was to reaffirm the abortion rights established in Beijing a decade ago. As most people are now aware, abortion rights in Beijing and India, and certain other countries, have resulted in the routine abortion of female fetuses -- something you'd think might be something on the agenda of a worldwide meeting regarding advancing women's equality.