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NEW YORK, Feb 29 (LSN.ca) – The 44th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)
began yesterday and will run to March 17. Eleven days of the three-week session will be
allocated to the Commission acting as the final Preparatory Committee for the General
Assembly Special Session, “Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the 21st
Century” (Beijing +5).  Three main documents were included with the information packages to
delegates and together they demonstrate that a major focus of the whole exercise remains the
promotion of abortion, “emergency contraception” and sex education for children and
adolescents.

The three documents of importance are the report of the UN Secretary General on the review
and appraisal of the Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, the proposed outcome
document: text, and the Summary of the WomenWatch Online Working Groups on the 12 Critical
Areas of Concern.

The Secretary General’s report removes any doubt that within “reproductive health” the UN
includes abortion.  In a subsection of Kofi Annan’s report entitled “reproductive health” he
covers “abortion” noting that “the (Beijing) Platform for Action recommends that laws
containing punitive measures against women who have undergone illegal abortions be revised
(para. 106 k).” He reports that since the Fourth World Conference on Women a few countries
have “liberalized” their abortion laws.

Within the same section the Secretary General notes that “the Platform for Action recommends
that girls have continuing access to information and services as they mature and recognizes
the specific needs of adolescents with regard to education and information on sexual and
reproductive health issues and on sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS (para.
106 m, 107 g).”

Annan’s report makes the pro-abortion objective of the process clear as he notes in a section
entitled “obstacles in the implementation of the strategic objectives,” that “Criminalization
of abortion, and lack of political will, together with social consensus, to change the
abortion law, remains a concern.”

The WomenWatch working group paper concurs with Annan’s report noting that one of the ten
“obstacles to progress” is “lack of choice regarding reproductive health as a barrier to
promotion of women’s health.”  Another of the ten “obstacles” repeats the abortion salvo but
mentions religion as a causal factor in obstructing “progress.”“The rise of joint religious
and political coalitions that have been able to roll back legislation supporting women’s
reproductive choice,” says the document.  And again the document warns of “The threat to
reproductive rights posed by rising religious fundamentalism, prompting the repeal of
progressive policies on reproductive rights, particularly in Eastern European countries.”

The proposed outcome document to Beijing +5 concerns “further actions and initiatives to
implement the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action.”  Viewing the proposed
(bracketed) amendments to the document it seems as if the European Union and Canada were in
a competition to see which could make more mention of “reproductive health” with Canada the
run away winner in the abortion promotion.

For example, under “Achievements” in “Women’s Health” that have taken place since the
original Beijing conference Canada seeks to insert specific mention of “emergency
contraception” and also wishes to mention “the reaffirmation by Governments to their
commitment to promote women’s reproductive health and reproductive rights.”  But under”obstacles” Canada looks to include that “the health care services available to refugee women
and girls, particularly sexual and reproductive health care, are still not sufficient and
severely underfinanced.”

Canada also seeks to include the term “sexual orientation” in the document and deems “lack of
access to sexual and reproductive health information, education, and services” an “obstacle”
with regard to progress on “the girl child.”

See the Secretary General’s report in pdf at:
https://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/ecn6-2000-pc2.pdf

See the CSW summary of the WomenWatch working groups in pdf at:
https://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/ecn6-2000-pc-crp1.pdf

See the proposed outcome document at:
https://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/outcome.htm
NEW YORK, Feb 29 (LSN.ca) – The 44th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)
began yesterday and will run to March 17. Eleven days of the three-week session will be
allocated to the Commission acting as the final Preparatory Committee for the General
Assembly Special Session, “Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the 21st
Century” (Beijing +5).  Three main documents were included with the information packages to
delegates and together they demonstrate that a major focus of the whole exercise remains the
promotion of abortion, “emergency contraception” and sex education for children and
adolescents.

The three documents of importance are the report of the UN Secretary General on the review
and appraisal of the Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, the proposed outcome
document: text, and the Summary of the WomenWatch Online Working Groups on the 12 Critical
Areas of Concern.

The Secretary General’s report removes any doubt that within “reproductive health” the UN
includes abortion.  In a subsection of Kofi Annan’s report entitled “reproductive health” he
covers “abortion” noting that “the (Beijing) Platform for Action recommends that laws
containing punitive measures against women who have undergone illegal abortions be revised
(para. 106 k).” He reports that since the Fourth World Conference on Women a few countries
have “liberalized” their abortion laws.

Within the same section the Secretary General notes that “the Platform for Action recommends
that girls have continuing access to information and services as they mature and recognizes
the specific needs of adolescents with regard to education and information on sexual and
reproductive health issues and on sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS (para.
106 m, 107 g).”

Annan’s report makes the pro-abortion objective of the process clear as he notes in a section
entitled “obstacles in the implementation of the strategic objectives,” that “Criminalization
of abortion, and lack of political will, together with social consensus, to change the
abortion law, remains a concern.”

The WomenWatch working group paper concurs with Annan’s report noting that one of the ten
“obstacles to progress” is “lack of choice regarding reproductive health as a barrier to
promotion of women’s health.”  Another of the ten “obstacles” repeats the abortion salvo but
mentions religion as a causal factor in obstructing “progress.”“The rise of joint religious
and political coalitions that have been able to roll back legislation supporting women’s
reproductive choice,” says the document.  And again the document warns of “The threat to
reproductive rights posed by rising religious fundamentalism, prompting the repeal of
progressive policies on reproductive rights, particularly in Eastern European countries.”

The proposed outcome document to Beijing +5 concerns “further actions and initiatives to
implement the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action.”  Viewing the proposed
(bracketed) amendments to the document it seems as if the European Union and Canada were in
a competition to see which could make more mention of “reproductive health” with Canada the
run away winner in the abortion promotion.

For example, under “Achievements” in “Women’s Health” that have taken place since the
original Beijing conference Canada seeks to insert specific mention of “emergency
contraception” and also wishes to mention “the reaffirmation by Governments to their
commitment to promote women’s reproductive health and reproductive rights.”  But under”obstacles” Canada looks to include that “the health care services available to refugee women
and girls, particularly sexual and reproductive health care, are still not sufficient and
severely underfinanced.”

Canada also seeks to include the term “sexual orientation” in the document and deems “lack of
access to sexual and reproductive health information, education, and services” an “obstacle”
with regard to progress on “the girl child.”

See the Secretary General’s report in pdf at:
https://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/ecn6-2000-pc2.pdf

See the CSW summary of the WomenWatch working groups in pdf at:
https://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/ecn6-2000-pc-crp1.pdf

See the proposed outcome document at:
https://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/outcome.htm

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