Friday, September 28, 2012

Disabilities treaty and loss of freedoms and US Sovereignty

I doubt most people are aware of an international treaty on disabilities, called the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, that's being pushed in the US Senate.  I wasn't until I read this story.
A group of 36 Republican senators have banded together to rebuff any efforts to pass the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) before the end of the upcoming post-election, lame duck session of Congress. This effectively throws the decision to the 113th Congress, which takes office in January, since treaty ratification requires two-thirds approval (67 votes) in the Senate.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., attempted to pass the treaty by unanimous consent before Congress left for recess last week, but the effort failed when Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, swooped in to object to the surprise move. 
 Why the concern?
But opponents argue the treaty would strip parents of the right to decide what’s in the best interest of their children, including the choice to educate them at home. Home School Legal Defense Association founder Michael Farris told me the treaty gives homeschoolers serious reason to be concerned: “We’re giving away the sovereignty of the family, as well as giving away the sovereignty of America.” 

Among its other issues, the CRPD doesn’t define “disability,” which it says is an “evolving concept.” It also includes the phrase “sexual and reproductive health,” language that some claim includes the right to an abortion. The Vatican has already refused to sign the treaty on the grounds that it may be used to promote abortion.
So for now it looks like the treaty is stopped, because it lacks the 67 votes necessary for passage.  Senators are wise not to pass an amendment simply because it sounds good.  Rather they need to realize who will be interpreting it's provisions and the impact of the those interpretations.  If the UN or similar international organizations are involved, "buyer beware."

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