Top 5 reasons why Republicans opposed the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) stood against the U.N. treaty to protect people with disabilities. SOURCE: Lee.Senate.gov

Top 5 reasons cited by Senate Republicans for opposing the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: 

1. Infringement on U.S. sovereignty.

“Becoming a party to the convention would subject the United States to the eighteen-member Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This committee is created to monitor the implementation of the convention and provide conclusions and recommendations with regard to State Party’s treaty reports. I have serious concerns about the infringement upon U.S. sovereignty by a committee tasked with providing criticisms and recommendations for the United States on our disability laws,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).

 

2. Potential for “misdirected” blame against the U.S. by “hypocrites”.

“This treaty, however, has misdirected the focus of the United States and the world community away from nations who do little or nothing for the disabled and to direct blame first on this Nation. Of course, the United States has a most magnificent system of law. It is the foundation of our liberty, our prosperity, and our happiness. Thus, if we were to ratify this treaty, we can be sure that international hypocrites will soon demand that the United States do this or that,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama).

 

3. Threatens parents’ right to homeschool their children. 

“This treaty, in adherence to the best interests of the child standard in Article 7, will threaten their rights as parents to determine the best education, treatment, and care for their disabled children,” said Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). “I and many of my constituents, including those who homeschool their children or send their children to private or religious schools, have justifiable doubts that a foreign U.N. body – a committee operating out of Geneva, Switzerland – should decide what is in the best interest of the child at home with his or her parents in Utah or in any other state in our great union.”

 

4. Equal opportunity for reproductive rights and access to family planning education.

“Too often, unborn children in the United States and across the world are aborted because their disabilities have been detected while in the womb…I offered an amendment to make clear this Convention does not create, endorse or promote abortion rights as reproductive health,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). “Because this important change was not adopted and for all the reasons I have outlined here, I cannot support Senate ratification of this treaty.”

(Note: The U.N. treaty stated that “persons with disabilities shall have the equal opportunity to experience parenthood…access to reproductive and family planning education and means.”)

 

5. Because George Washington said so. 

“We should never cede the authority of these matters to an international organization. President Washington’s warning in his farewell address bears repeating here. He said: ‘The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop,'” said Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.). “His words serve as a compelling argument against this treaty today.”

 

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