NEW YORK, November 6, 2001 ( – Doctors Without Borders, known internationally by their French title M{197}{189}decins Sans Fronti{194}{143}res (MSF) supports abortion, despite an official policy not to take a stand on the controversial issue. Chris Torgeson, spokesperson for MSF told LifeSite that the organization does not take a position on the issue. However documents on the group’s website suggest otherwise.

Documents on the MSF website show that MSF provided medical utensils which MSF knew were to be used for abortions in North Korea. An MSF document describing their activities in the country states: “Among patients hospitalized for gynecological reasons, around 50% are for abortions. Before MSF distributed standard gynecological supplies, hospitals were performing caesarians, abortions and other surgical interventions with rusty instruments and without (sic) little or no anaesthetic, sterilization equipment, antibiotics or anti-hemorrhaging drugs.”

Other documents show that MSF provides abortifacient morning after pills. An excerpt from the MSF publication “Refugee Health: An Approach to Emergency Situations” notes that MSF follows the guidelines of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in these situations. UNHCR has defined a ‘Minimum Initial Service Package’ (MISP) to be implemented on site as soon as possible, which according to MSF includes “the provision of emergency post-coital contraception (abortifacients) to those women who request it … guaranteeing the availability of free condoms to anyone who requests them … planning for provision of comprehensive reproductive health services (which according to UN definition includes abortion).

When asked about the documentation, Torgeson admitted that MSF doctors do perform abortions. She said that MSF works in 80 countries, some of which allow abortion. “In some countries abortion is an important part of family planning policy,” she said. She said MSF does emergency medical work and will work within hospitals where abortions are performed and perform them.

See the two documents referred to: