Most of the signatories are among the 20 worst countries to be a woman according to the Women, Peace and Security Index established by Georgetown University. None of the top twenty countries on the Georgetown index – with the exception of the US (ranked 19th) – has signed the declaration.
The “core supporters” of the declaration are Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia and Uganda, and the 27 other signatories include Belarus (where security forces are currently trying to suppress a women-led protest movement), Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Sudan, South Sudan, Libya.
A virtual signature ceremony was co-hosted by Pompeo and US health and human services secretary, Alex Azar. They portrayed the declaration as a historic moment in a movement to stop abortion being supported as part of reproductive health care, and credited Donald Trump.
The declaration states the signing countries “emphasize that ‘in no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning” and that “the child … needs special safeguards and care … before as well as after birth.” It also says states have no obligation to finance or facilitate abortion.
Pompeo called it a “historic” signing as it was the first multilateral coalition built around the issue of “defending life.”
“There is no international right to an abortion,” Pompeo said in a press briefing.