Trump Administration Resists Promotion of Climate Change, Reproductive Rights and Universal Health Care at G7 Summit

Japan's member of the House of Representatives Michiyo Takagi talks during the final press conference at the G7 Health Ministerial Meeting in Milan, Italy, Monday, Nov. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
AP/Luca Bruno

In a dramatic shift from the Obama era, United States negotiators representing the Trump administration at the G7 summit of health ministers in Milan, Italy have resisted references to climate change, sexual and reproductive rights — including abortion — and universal health care in an agreement set to finalized on Monday.

A draft communique shared with BuzzFeed News notes that the U.S. demands to strike out all references to “climate change” and “man-made” weather, and “other disasters.”

The U.S. is also refusing a reference “to engage in international cooperation to implement the Paris climate agreement,” according to BuzzFeed News.

“As with the rest of the G7 process, the U.S. didn’t engage for months,” a European negotiator told BuzzFeed News. “And, now, just this week, they have erected a wall and came back with extreme positions.”

BuzzFeed News reported:

In two of the most contested passages of the negotiations, the US has asked to exclude a line that would affirm that ‘more frequent and intense extreme weather events are straining essential services and health systems’ and to remove a distinction between internal and external migration for a more generic ‘international’ migration.

The U.S. is also against defining sexual and reproductive health as a right, arguing that ‘in no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning or sexual and reproductive health care.’

The U.S. negotiators are also opposed to the push for “sexuality education,” instead proposing this for the final document:

We will help promote programs and educational tools proven to help young people prepare for stable, caring relationships and futures that include healthy, consensual sexual behaviors, free of disease and exploitation, and safe for future childbearing and parenting.

The U.S. is also opposed to the push for the right to universal health care in all countries signing onto the agreement, instead arguing for the need for access to health care.

On the G7 Italian summit website, the text states that climate change and its impact on human health would be a focus of the summit, as well as “migrations due to climate change.”

Negotiators from the seven governments are expected to work overnight into Monday to reach a compromise, BuzzFeed News reported.

“The question then is whether the chair will decide to call out the U.S. and put the disagreements out in the open,” a diplomat told BuzzFeed News.


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