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NEW YORK, March 31, 2011 (C-FAM) – An abortion rights law firm joined with the UN agency overseeing population recently and issued a joint report declaring a human right to healthcare services, including drugs used for medical abortions.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) teamed up with the Center for Reproductive Rights, a prominent pro-abortion organization, to publish the joint briefing paper that addresses contraceptive information and services specifically for women and adolescents. The report’s footnotes highlight the work of many of the principal abortion rights organizations.

The joint report also calls for states to provide a “minimum core obligation” of healthcare services, which should be maintained independent of shifting socio-economics factors. The minimum obligation of government healthcare must also provide the public with the World Health Organization’s list of essential drugs. That would include misoprostol, which is used for medical abortions.

According to the report, requiring spousal or parental consent to access contraceptives are major legal barriers to human rights. The two organizations demand that states provide unrestricted access, or subsidize contraceptives in order to ensure financial access. They stipulate that states should not discriminate against particular forms of contraceptives, including emergency contraceptives, which can possibly act as abortifacients.

UNFPA specifically rejects conscientious objection and expects states to guarantee that medical providers who object must offer a referral, and not “mischaracterize [reproductive health services] on the basis of personal beliefs.” The report is littered with language that condemns ideological discrimination against family planning, including objections based on religious values. One such example states, “Because a conflict of conscience can be experienced only by an individual, a conscientious objection cannot be exercised on behalf of an institution.”

Included in the right to contraception outlined by UNFPA is a right to sex education for young people. UN agencies have been riddled with controversial reproductive health suggestions for young people, from UNESCO’s scandalous sex-ed curriculum to UNICEF’s assertion that 10-year-old children have a right to safe abortion.

The document draws on a variety of UN references in order to create the image of an official consensus; however no specific right to contraception has ever been included in any UN treaty. It says, “States parties to international and regional human rights treaties have committed to promoting and protecting the basic rights that underlie the right to contraceptive information and services.”

Statistics and numbers for contraceptive demand and use cited in the document claim to measure indicators that are extremely difficult to determine, such as desired family size and contraceptive practices. The document states, “despite their desire to avoid or delay pregnancy, roughly 215 million women in developing countries rely on traditional methods only, which have a high failure rate, or do not use any contraceptive method at all.”

UNFPA has claimed for years to be neutral on the abortion issue, despite numerous examples of abortion advocacy in the recent past.  Partnering with a well-known abortion rights law firm in issuing this report confirms the view of many critics that the UN agency is too closely linked to the abortion industry.

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