The Senate last week rejected a United Nations treaty on the rights of the disabled that is modeled after the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act.
With 38 Republicans casting ‘‘no’’ votes, the 61-38 vote fell five short of the two-thirds majority needed to ratify a treaty.
The opposition was led by Senator Mike Lee who argued that the treaty by its very nature threatened U.S. sovereignty. Specifically he expressed concerns that the treaty could lead to the state, rather than parents, determining what was in the best interest of disabled children in such areas as home schooling, and that language in the treaty guaranteeing the disabled equal rights to reproductive health care could lead to abortions. Parents, Lee said, will ‘‘raise their children with the constant looming threat of state interference.