By Nancy Thorner -
A "Tribune" editorial of Tuesday, December 4, wrongly supported the ratification by the U.S. Senate of the United Nations-drafted Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, under the assumption that it is based on existing U.S. law and would not affect this nation in any way.
The U.S. Senate had the good sense to reject this innocuous-sounding treating by a vote of 61 - 38 on Tuesday, December 4th.
Anyone who claims the CRPD merely codifies existing U.S. disabled-rights law, as distinct from prescribing major new extensions of it, cannot have read its text with care. Its passage would have posed a serious threat to the rights of parents with disabled children to make decisions on behalf of those children in respect to their education, medical care, and other areas, through its introduction of the "best interest of the child" principle as a government obligation. Called for was the placement of CRPD bureaucrats in position to make the ultimate decisions regarding each child.
Pro-life groups opposed this legislation because it left open the potential for the international community to permit sterilization or abortion for the disabled. The terminology, found in Article 25, requires, “free or affordable health care including the area of sexual and reproductive health and population-based health programs.”
Furthermore, is the lame-duck session a suitable time to take up a controversial measure that lawmakers had previously shown no interest in ratifying?