Imagine a day in the not-too-distant future when we finally have the coveted fifth vote necessary to strike down Roe v. Wade. Recall the many years of sweat and tears, ups and downs, wrangling about judicial nominations, and arguing about presidential elections.

Then imagine that fifth vote no longer even matters because abortion has been declared a human right by international law. The issue is not just out of the hands of the Supreme Court—it is out of the hands of the American people.

This nightmare is now unfolding before our very eyes as the UN Human Rights Committee wraps up a draft legal commentary on the right to life that excludes unborn children from membership in the human family and the protections of international treaties.

The Double Standard of the Human Rights Committee

The Human Rights Committee is the oldest and most respected of ten treaty bodies that record the efforts of states to implement UN human rights treaties. It monitors the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, one of few such treaties ratified by the United States. In July, it published a draft commentary on Article 6 of the treaty on the right to life and invited comments on the draft from civil society and UN member states.

The committee said the right to life “inheres in every human being” and “should not be interpreted narrowly.” It called the right to life the “most precious” right, the “supreme right from which no derogation is permitted.” It even made a highly inclusive list of those protected under Article 6 “without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or any other status, including caste, sexual orientation and gender identity, disability albinism and age.”

 

Read more at the Public Discourse.