Hungary is currently at the forefront of international pro-life momentum. The government has recently taken on the role of leading the Geneva Consensus Declaration, a coalition of 36 countries that pledges a commitment to authentic women’s health beyond abortion. At the second anniversary of the coalition’s launch on Nov. 17, the Hungarian government articulated its pro-life position with resounding clarity. “Every human being should have the right to life … and fetal life shall be subject to protection from the moment of conception,” stated Szabolcs Takács, the Hungarian ambassador to the United States.
At the Geneva Consensus anniversary, staunch pro-life positions were reiterated by the representatives of Brazil, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and others, with the ambassador of Guatemala stating, “Life starts at conception. For us there is no question.”
Last week, at United Nations headquarters, Guatemala launched opposition to a contentious resolution on preventing violence against women, formally challenging abortion references by way of a vote.
International Effort to End Abortion
These government initiatives are reflective of political momentum to fight back against abortion activism and to assert sovereign national positions in defense of unborn life. Ultimately, they are irrefutable proof that any insinuation that a human right to abortion has come by political evolution is a lie removed from the deeply rooted pro-life ethos of these countries.
In the midst of ongoing backlash, both at home and abroad, to the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, the significance of robust international commitment to unborn life cannot be overstated. There exists strong global opposition to the creation of a faux human right to abortion, which is so often invoked to pressure countries to abandon their laws and policies that protect unborn life. As Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., co-chair of the Geneva Consensus commemoration, said in his remarks to the coalition, the reason for the group’s existence is to ensure that “international law and international agreements are not rewritten to invent an international right to abortion that would override the duly enacted laws of your countries protecting pre-born babies.”
The positions of pro-life governments stand in sharp contrast to persistent efforts on the part of the Biden administration to lure developing countries, by incentive or by force, into upending their laws and policies on abortion. In fact, by design, efforts such as the Geneva Consensus serve as a crucial buffer against these persistent attempts. Undergirded by a foundational respect for national sovereignty, the declaration reaffirms that “any measures or changes related to abortion within the health system can only be determined at the national or local level” — a veritable “no thank you” to unwanted government incursions on others’ turf.
U.S. an Outlier on Abortion
While many have been muzzled by the abortion freneticism of the West, the vast majority of countries either heavily restrict access to abortion or protect unborn life entirely. The majority do not allow abortion on demand, specifying highly restrictive grounds as to when an abortion may be obtained. Under Roe, the U.S. was a true outlier in this regard, and as U.S. states battle to protect life, we must keep in mind that the country is recalibrating in line with majority practice on this issue.
With the overturning of Roe, the United States has taken a crucial step toward realignment with the rest of the world on abortion. But for now, we continue to carry the dissonant stigma of being the greatest international exporter of the abortion agenda. In 2022, the Biden administration increased its annual budget for international “sexual and reproductive health and rights” services (code for abortion) by 9 percent, totaling $597 million in program allocations around the world.
U.S. Is Wrong to Push Abortion Abroad
Given the state of play in the United States, it is both profoundly incongruous and inappropriate for the U.S. to lead the charge on global abortion promotion. Not to mention it is also illegal for the U.S. government to assume this role, considering the plain fact that abortion is against the law in the vast majority of countries where the Biden administration engages in the dirty work of bankrolling the practice.
The hope is that our changing landscape will reinvigorate the willingness of other countries to reject American abortion interference, motivating more governments to embrace bold pro-life expressions such as the Geneva Consensus. As stated by Valerie Huber, organizer of the commemoration, the coalition “was born out of a need to refuse to permit women and girls to needlessly suffer just because special interests have sidelined the most pressing needs in favor of their own ideological agendas.”
It would behoove America to look to the example set by these pro-life governments. Authentic women’s health cannot be achieved at the expense of innocent human life. And the prerequisite of a truly progressive society is the support of both woman and child through motherhood and beyond.