Categorized | News


Conservatives, libertarians and other constitutionalists are usually accused of paranoia in the issue of UN treaties.  As the well-written comment made a few days ago by Rightsman states:

Many states and localities are adopting the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The CRC is NOT binding on the US or any other country. The UN has no enforcement powers. The CRC is a great set of guidelines to help governments ensure that families do the best they can with their children.

Sometimes the comments are less kind and usually of a variety such as “Where’s the black helicopters?”

But now the UN just got nailed!  The story is found at (I first want to thank the fine blogger and fellow follower of Christ from Idaho, Adam Graham from Adam’s blog for this story)  Here’s the story and here’s the preceding one:

East Timor is a relatively new nation formed out of the terrible occupation in 1975 by Indonesia and finally allowed to be independent.  (To paraphrase the animal rights disclaimer in the end of movies:  No nation was attacked in the securing of the independence of East Timor)  The citizens of East Timor are 95% Catholic and true to that value system, they adopted a pro-life penal code: 

East Timor’s new penal code forbids abortion, while permitting pregnancy to be “interrupt[ed]” in extreme cases when it is the “only way” to save the life of the mother.

More details:

The East Timor parliament has passed a new penal code that criminalizes abortion, penalizing those who commit an abortion with the mother’s consent with up to 3 years in prison. The code points out that life needs to be protected “from the moment of conception.” The law goes on to specify that in certain extreme circumstances when the mother’s life is imminently in danger, and all efforts to save both mother and child have been attempted and failed, then efforts to “interrupt” the pregnancy may be pursued if it is the “only way” to save the life of the mother. The new code is a dramatically more pro-life version of the penal code that was passed by the East Timor Council of Ministers in April, that would have permitted abortion in broad circumstances where the physical or mental health of the mother or the unborn child was in danger.**

Of coure the usual suspects came around including the UN:  Naughty, naughty East Timor! 

The modifications to the law since the Council of Minister’s version mark a stiff blow for pro-abortion organizations, including the UN and East Timorese feminist organizations, who have been agitating for the strongly Catholic country to significantly liberalize its abortion law, and who temporarily seemed to have gained a major victory with the passage of the more liberal version of the code in April.  *  *  *

The most recent report by the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, dated April 9, 2009, explains that in 2005 the East Timor Government and the Catholic Church issued a joint statement proposing the criminalization of abortion. However, at that time the government also agreed to open up discussion on the issue with feminist groups, namely the Alola Foundation and REDE FETO.

CEDAW is the acronym for Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.  It’s another BAD UN law (it really is an redundancy!) thankfully not YET passed by the USA. 

One aspect of this treaty is the establishment of a committee to review compliance with CEDAW.  If your nation ratifies CEDAW, you must give a REPORT to this committee of “independent” experts that “monitor” compliance.  Don’t take my word for it; take the word of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights:

Countries who have become party to the treaty (States parties) are obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on how the rights of the Convention are implemented. During its sessions the Committee considers each State party report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of concluding observations.

That is what the Committee did in regard to East Timor and here is their report and below is the conclusion regarding abortion:

38. The Committee recommends that the State party step up its efforts to reduce the high rate of maternal and infant mortality. It suggests that the State party assess the root causes of maternal mortality and set targets and benchmarks with a time frame for its reduction. It urges the State party to make every effort to raise the awareness of, and increase women’s access to, health-care facilities and medical assistance by trained personnel, especially in rural areas and particularly in the area of post-natal care. The Committee further recommends that the State party implement programmes and policies aimed at providing effective access to affordable contraceptives and family planning services so that women and men can make informed choices about the number and spacing of the children. The Committee calls upon the State party to ensure that sex education programmes are widely promoted and targeted at girls and boys, and include special attention to the prevention of early pregnancies. The Committee further calls upon the State party to review the legislation relating to abortion with a view to removing the punitive provisions imposed on women who undergo abortion in accordance with the Committee’s general recommendation 24 on women and health and the Beijing Platform for Action. The Committee recommends that the State party put in place a system of data collection to strengthen the knowledge base for effective policy development andimplementation on all aspects of women’s health, including monitoring of concrete impact.

I added the emphasis.  It is clear that the implementation of CEDAW, ratified by East Timor, means that this Committee will continue to harass them about their pro-life stance.  The Beijing Platform for Action is this document here.  Only read it if you want to either fall asleep from boredom or get angry at our taxpayers money used to send a delegation to a authoritarian nation’s capital to decide the policies of all the other nations.  The operative paragraph does not mention abortion by name but it is apparent (emphasis added):

96. Reproductive health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions and processes. Reproductive health therefore implies that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life and that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so. Implicit in this last condition are the right of men and women to be informed and to have access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable methods of family planning of their choice, as well as other methods of their choice for regulation of fertility which are not against the law, and the right of access to appropriate health-care services that will enable women to go safely through pregnancy and childbirth and provide couples with the best chance of having a healthy infant. In line with the above definition of reproductive health, reproductive health care is defined as the constellation of methods, techniques and services that contribute to reproductive health and well- being by preventing and solving reproductive health problems. It also includes sexual health, the purpose of which is the enhancement of life and personal relations, and not merely counselling and care related to reproduction and sexually transmitted diseases.

 It should thus be little surprise that the Obama administration supports the US ratification of CEDAW.  Don’t take my word for it:  Take NOW’s instead:

Ratification of CEDAW: Sen. Obama supports the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The U.S. failure to ratify this important international treaty has been a worldwide embarrassment.

Actually NOW is the worldwide embarrassment!  But how about the US State Department – I’ll take their word for it:

 President Obama’s Administration views CEDAW as a powerful tool for making gender equality a reality. We are committed to U.S. ratification of the Convention and look forward to joining the countries that have adopted it as a central part of their efforts to ensure that human rights are enjoyed fully and equally by all people.

CEDAW is another sovereignty killer.  I’ll stand (in secular issues) on the Constitution (thanks to

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

The Constitution is the supreme law of the land (after the Bible of course) and forbids any committee of foreigners having any authority over this nation.  By the way, it’s the Constitution, not some UN treaty, that Thurgood Marshall appealed to in Brown to end state-mandated segregation and it’s the Constitution that Eisenhower enforced in Little Rock.  For the rights African-Americans won at great cost can be taken away if the Constitution is no longer the supreme law of the land.  Treaties are not suggestions as my commentor argued; they are binding law.  Perhaps the NAACP ought rather to thank the Tea Party for seeking to enforce the Constitution. 

My advice to East Timor (and other nations) is:  Start something.  Withdraw from CEDAW.  And the CRC (The Child Treaty), too while you are at it.  My advice to my fellow citizens is:  Write your senators and tell them when it comes up:  NO to CEDAW.  My advice to my President:  Support the sovereignty of East Timor (and our own, too)!

Finally, when your friends ask you where the black helicopters are – tell ’em about little East Timor.  For the global agenda got caught with their hand in the cookie jar this time.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

Sign up for Virginia Right Once Daily Email Digest

No Spam - ever! We send a daily email with the posts of the previous day. Unsubscribe at any time.
* = required field

Follow Us Anywhere!