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US joins countries including Egypt, Uganda in asserting 'no international right to abortion'

US joins countries including Egypt, Uganda in asserting 'no international right to abortion'
© Bonnie Cash

The U.S. joined Egypt, Uganda and three other countries in signing a declaration on Thursday that asserts there is no “international human right to abortion.” 

The declaration is intended as a rebuke of the United Nations’s support for “sexual and reproductive rights,” language the U.S. argues endorses abortion. 

“We will unequivocally declare that there is no international right to abortion. We will proudly put women's health first at every stage of life,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said at a ceremonial signing of the declaration Thursday. 

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Under the Trump administration, the Department of Health and Human Services and the State Department have pushed to eliminate that language from U.N. documents. 

The U.N. has rejected those efforts, leading the U.S. to launch a coalition of 32 countries that have signed the declaration, including the five that co-sponsored it: Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia and Uganda.

The Trump administration has taken several steps to limit abortion access in the U.S. and abroad, including prohibiting foreign and domestic organizations from receiving U.S. funding if they provide or promote abortions.