US fails to weaken UN references to sexual health

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United States has failed in an attempt to water down references to “sexual and reproductive health” in a proposed U.N. resolution despite support from China and many Islamic countries.

The General Assembly’s human rights committee on Thursday defeated the U.S. attempt to amend the resolution aimed at preventing and ending early and forced child marriages by a vote of 33-96 with 35 abstentions.

Traditional U.S. allies including the European Union and Western nations opposed the Trump administration’s amendment along with many African and Latin American countries.

The amendment would have weakened all references to “sexual and reproductive health” in the text by adding the words “in accordance with national laws” immediately afterward.

The committee later adopted the resolution by consensus, and its approval by the assembly is virtually certain.

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