By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

  LONDON, October 25, 2007 ( -“Women Deliver”, an international conference held last weekend in London, was billed by its promoters as a global meeting on “increasing investment in women’s health”, with an emphasis on childbearing.  But a group of organizations involved at the international level have formally protested that the real purpose of the meeting was to promote abortion worldwide.

  According to an October 20 joint letter co-signed by 14 organizations and delivered to conference organizers, “Delegates were invited to attend a global conference on the causes, prevention and treatment of the complications of pregnancy and childbirth… Regrettably, the conference agenda was so preoccupied with promoting the ideology and practice of abortion that the genuine health care needs of women and children were virtually ignored in the plenary sessions and overwhelmed in the panel discussions.”

  Eight of the letter signing organizations have official UN “consultative” status, including Sexual and Reproductive Health of Mexico, United Families International, the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisations, and MaterCare International.

  In addition to dominating the panel discussions generally, promoting abortion was the explicit purpose of main panels and speeches, including “Investing in Women’s Access to Safe Abortion: What Are We Waiting For?”, “Advances in Ensuring Medically Safe Abortions”, and “Empowering Young People to Become Advocates for Abortion Rights Worldwide”.  As reported previously by LifeSiteNews, thirty-five out of 98 sessions were related to abortion.

  Susan Yoshihara of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), noted that one of the main purposes of the conference seemed to be “to get African and South Asian officials and health workers to accept the reproductive rights agenda.”  She also reported, “Some 1500 of the 1700 conferees, largely from these regions, reportedly attended the very expensive event courtesy of corporate sponsors such as Brazil’s Tibotec, Exxon Mobile, and GlaxoSmithKline.”

  One delegate from Spain told C-FAM, “It seems Europeans have been completely ignored since we already have widespread abortion, and this is about English speaking elites trying to convince elites in the developing world to accept abortion in their countries.”

  The conference was in part sponsored the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), an organization supposedly neutral regarding abortion, which included a sophisticated promotional section on its website.  It was also sponsored by the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the preeminent advocate for abortion worldwide.

“Members of the organizing committee, including the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and Marie Stopes International, who have financial interests in the provision of abortion, have used the conference to promote a private agenda to spread abortion throughout the developing world,” noted the petitioners, who also accused the organizing committee of attempting “to manufacture a false consensus by ensuring that only the views that reinforced its preconceived ideas were represented during the conference”.

  Joint signers of protest letter:

  Those with ECOSOC consultative status with the United Nations
  * Instituto De Política Familiar (IPF)
  * Concerned Women for America (CWA)
  * MaterCare International (MCI)
  * World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations (FIAMC)
  * United Families International (UFI)
  * Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC)
  * World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisations (WUCWO)
  * Federación Española de Asociaciones Provida

  Other organizations
  * Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM)
  * American Association of Prolife Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG)
  * Instituto Mujer y Vida, Spain
  * Comité Nacional Provida de México, A.C.
  * Salud Sexual y Reproductiva De México, A.C.
  * Asociación Mexicana Cultura de la Vida

  Related Links:

  Letter to “Women Deliver” Conference Organizers

  World Bank Hosts “Women Deliver” Special Session on “maternal mortality”

  One-Third of Sessions at UN Conference Devoted to Abortion

  UNICEF Participates in Conference With 35 Sessions Promoting Abortion

  See special UNICEF page promoting Women Deliver