By Austin Ruse
(C-FAM) An international coalition of pro-life and pro-family groups has re-launched a petition that is expected to gather one million signatures in support of the unborn child and the traditional family.
Groups from the United States, Poland, Spain and other European counties launched the petition last fall and at that time gathered nearly 500,000 signatures, which were presented to selected Ambassadors at the United Nations (UN) and at a UN press conference that was broadcast throughout UN headquarters. The groups included C-FAM [publisher of the Friday Fax], Concerned Women for America, United Families International, all from the United States, along with the Polish Federation of Pro-life Groups and the Spanish Institute for Family Policy. A prominent parliamentarian from Honduras also participated in the press conference.
The purpose of the petition is to persuade UN Member States to begin interpreting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as protecting the unborn child from abortion and also to recognize traditional marriage and the right of parents to educate their children.
Organizers launched the petition partially in reaction to efforts by pro-abortion groups last year to use the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration to promote a right to abortion.
The pro-life petition, which can be signed at www.c-fam.org/campaigns/lid.2/default.asp in one of 19 languages, specifically references portions of the Universal Declaration that can be interpreted by States in pro-life and pro-family ways. For instance, the Universal Declaration says, “Everyone has the right to life.” Though it is not clear that the drafters meant to include the unborn child in this formulation, States may interpret the document this way.
The Universal Declaration also says, “Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family.” In recent years social radicals have pushed the UN to call for an international right for homosexuals to marry. Social conservatives point out this is in direct opposition to the intention of the drafters of the aspirational Universal Declaration and its binding implementing covenants promulgated in 1966.
Family-rights proponents also highlight the Universal Declaration’s recognition that “Parents have the prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.” There is a push in the West to allow homosexual propaganda in schools even against the wishes of parents. This would be in violation of the Universal Declaration.
Additionally, the petition cites the Universal Declaration where it says “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection from society and the State.” In recent years efforts have been made to undermine the natural family by redefining it to include homosexual couples, efforts that have been repeatedly defeated in the UN General Assembly.
Organizers were also inspired by efforts of the Catholic St. Egidio Community of Rome who gathered one million signatures calling for a moratorium on the death penalty that resulted in a successful UN resolution calling for a ban on executions.
European Union Parliamentarians Anna Zaborska of Slovakia and Carlo Casini of Italy led similar efforts to the UN pro-life petition in Europe. Their petitions were presented to the European Parliament last year.