PUERTO RICO, June 30, 2004 ( – Abortion groups are commandeering regional international meetings in an attempt to create an international right to abortion and do an end-run around democracy, reports Concerned Women for America (CWA).

The abortion groups’ tactics have become apparent at a meeting underway this week in Puerto Rico. The meeting is the latest in a series of small international meetings co-opted by the United Nations Population Fund and its radical abortion rights allies for the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

The Cairo Program of Action emerged from the Cairo conference on population and development in 1994 and left several countries concerned that the language used in the document, which called for increased reproductive health and reproductive rights, could be manipulated to require countries to increase access to abortion and contraception. Their concerns soon proved well founded as abortion rights groups used the document with much success to push for broader access to abortion.  The abortion advocates efforts, however, have recently been seriously hampered by the Bush administration’s strong stand against abortion. Frustrated at the opposition, the groups have sought to circumvent the United States influence.

ECLAC, thus, told the United States that the series of meetings were just reviews by low-level technocrats of implementation of the Cairo Program. Concerned Women explains that it soon became apparent that the real goal of the conferences was to successfully pressure the United States into signing a document promoting abortion-on-demand. Bolivia’s official U.N. delegate and executive director of the Women’s Information and Development Center, Ximena Machicao, made this clear in an interview when she rejoiced over the abortion advocates’ success at the earlier meeting in Santiago, Chile in “isolating the hard-line, conservative position presented by the United States.”

Memos leaked from the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), a leading abortion-litigation group involved in the meetings, revealed a strategy “to ensure that governments worldwide guarantee reproductive rights out of an understanding that they are legally bound to do so.” CRR defines “reproductive rights” as including unlimited access to abortion and contraception.”  The CRR memos explain the strategy for overcoming the American opposition: “[T]here is a stealth quality to our work: We are achieving incremental recognition of values without a huge amount of scrutiny from the opposition. These lower-profile victories will gradually put us in a strong position to assert a broad consensus.”

A delegate attending the conference for NGO Life Ethics Educational Association agreed, said that the goal at the Puerto Rico conference essentially remains the same as at previous conferences. It is “obvious that most conference delegates are only interested in promoting access to abortion. True development issues such as clean water and access to basic medical supplies have been virtually ignored.”  See Concerned Women for America Coverage:  “Stealth” Campaign Exposed: Abortion Group Admits Tactics are on the Edge U.N. Delegate Reveals Strategy to Advance Abortions   Abortion Groups Commandeer U.N. Meetings in Puerto Rico