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The heads of 32 states, including Poland, signed the Geneva Consensus Declaration on „Promoting Women’s Health and Strengthening the Family”. The list of its signatories includes such countries as Uganda, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Hungary, or Belarus.

Speaking in the name of the Polish government, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Zbigniew Rau, declared his support for the document last week. – It is an important initiative because we deeply believe that a family is the foundational unit of a healthy society and that every woman deserves to live her life in good health - the Minister announced after the virtual signature ceremony.

The declaration is an aftermath of Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw American funding for international organizations promoting abortion rights, announced shortly after he stepped into office. Doubling down on his administration’s anti-abortion agenda, during the 2019 UN General Assembly, the US president said that „America will never tire of defending innocent life”.

-We are aware that many United Nations projects have attempted to assert a global right to taxpayer-funded abortion on demand, right up until the moment of delivery.  Global bureaucrats have absolutely no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that wish to protect innocent life.  Like many nations here today, we in America believe that every child — born and unborn — is a sacred gift from God- said the US president.

"Abortion should in no case be promoted"

Soon, the President’s words translated into actions. The American State Department announced its support for the “Protecting Life in Global Health Policy” (PLGHP) project, which states that there is no international human right to abortion. Advocating for the project’s agenda in the WHO forum, the US government also declared its commitment to protecting other countries from international organizations that might try to force them into liberalizing their abortions laws.

Together with Hungary, Uganda, Egypt, Indonesia, and Brazil, the United States decided to co-sponsor an international declaration dubbed the “Geneva Consensus”. The document is not an international agreement but rather a declaration of will. It includes provisions about protecting women’s rights and emphasizes their political, social, and economic equality. It also advocates supportive public health policies for women and the expansion of healthcare capacities in the respective countries. 

The declaration also states that its signatories reaffirm the “inherent dignity and worth of the human person” and that “every human being has the inherent right to life”. Moreover, it commits them to “enable women to go safely through pregnancy and childbirth and provide couples with the best chance of having a healthy infant”.

However, the document also emphasizes that abortion “should in no case be promoted as a method of family planning”, and that “any measures or changes related to abortion within the health system can only be determined at the national or local level according to the national legislative process”.

Ordo Iuris is bursting with happiness

– There is no international right to abortion – Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, said during the signature ceremony. And the American Health Secretary, Alex Azar, announced that the international organizations promoting abortion rights will be held accountable.  

According to observers, by signing the Geneva Consensus, the signatory countries establish an international coalition with an aim to restrict women’s reproductive rights on their respective national territories, which will further increase their leverage to oppose the WHO and UN on the issues of abortion rights.

In the United States, the decision of the Trump administration to sign the document has met with wide criticism. Critics point out that the president is yet again joining the ranks of authoritarian governments.

In Poland, the Geneva Consensus was enthusiastically welcomed by the ultra-conservative Catholic association Ordo Iuris, one of the most vocal supporters of a total ban on abortion. –It is a breakthrough on both a European and Global scale- commented one of the experts representing the association.

Feminist organizations, on the other hand, responded with criticism. “If you thought you were already pissed off, we can’t possibly imagine how you’ll react after hearing this. The Polish government quietly signed us up to join an international anti-abortion coalition, and has kept it secret from the mainstream media! Poland has become one of only three European countries (along with Hungary and Belarus) that have signed the Geneva Consensus Declaration on „Promoting Women’s Health and Strengthening the Family”- the “Dziewuchy Dziewuchom” organization.

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