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By Lisa Correnti

December 6, 2012 (C-Fam) WASHINGTON, DC, December 7 (C-FAM) The United States Senate voted this week against ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The 61-38 vote failed to garner the two-thirds majority necessary for ratification due to serious concerns that it would undermine sovereignty and parental rights, and be interpreted to advance abortion.

“For decades, the United States has been the global leader and champion for persons with disabilities….This convention will do nothing to improve the rights of Americans in the United States,” said Senator Jim DeMint who helped lead opposition within the senate. The Americans with Disabilities Act, a federal law passed in 1990, made the U.S. the gold standard in providing widespread rights to persons with disabilities.

UN experts opposing ratification said it would be imprudent to ratify another human rights treaty until necessary reform of treaty monitoring bodies occurs. The committees tasked with reviewing compliance of member states are known to re-interpret treaty language and issue reports to countries in a quasi-judicial manner pressuring them to change their laws.

The inclusion of the term “sexual and reproductive” health in CRPD – the first time in a binding international document – caused further concern. Treaty monitoring bodies have used a similar term to pressure countries to liberalize their abortion laws. More…