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By Samantha Singson

  NEW YORK, June 21, 2007 (C-FAM) – British Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Nirj Deva has slammed a new EU report on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Speaking in the European Parliament this week, Deva acknowledged the need for a progress report for achieving the largely non-controversial MDGs of reducing poverty and disease, and increasing access to education. Where Deva diverged from the report, which was later passed by the European Parliament, was the attempt by the authors to “insert a covert agenda of abortion promotion” within the text.

  The introduction to the “MDGs at the Midway Point” report states that “saving women’s lives means ensuring that they have universal to access to sexual reproductive health care and family planning” and that the EU “should continue to lead the way on sexual and reproductive health rights by maintaining levels of funding for the full range of (sexual and reproductive health and rights) services.”

  Deva took issue with two paragraphs of the report and urged his fellow parliamentarians to vote against them. Paragraph 41 of the report urges the EU “to continue to be the vanguard of efforts to support sexual and reproductive health rights” and links maternal mortality, low contraceptive prevalence and high rates of unsafe abortion in sub-Saharan Africa. Paragraph 42 of the report states the UN intends to adopt a new global target on “universal access to sexual and reproductive health.”

  UN experts point out several problems with the two controversial paragraphs. First, the term “sexual and reproductive health rights” has never been included in any negotiated UN document. Even so, they point out that such “rights” language related to “reproductive health” has been misinterpreted by UN committees to include abortion. Second, according to a 2004 report issued by the pro-abortion UN Population Fund (UNFPA) the most important means of reducing maternal mortality is not access to contraceptives and legal abortion but the presence of skilled birth attendants and access to emergency obstetric care.

  Paragraph 41, which says the UN is about to adopt a new global goal on reproductive health, contradicts the repeated assertions of UN radicals like UNFPA chief Thoraya Obaid that such a goal already exists. Contrary to Obaid’s statements, no such target currently exists and delegations such as the United States have spoken out in the General Assembly against any new targets, particularly in regards to reproductive health. Moreover, against the content of the new EU resolution, the UN General Assembly has no plans to initiate a new global goal in this area.

  Speaking to the Friday Fax, Mr. Deva said, “This report in the European Parliament has very little to do with ‘a woman’s right to choose’, and a lot to do with controlling population figures in the third world within what the ‘West’ feels is a manageable amount. It is clear that certain UN-backed and EU-backed non-governmental organizations which are heavily promoting abortion in the third world are more interested in culling people than in reducing the relatively far smaller figure of deaths through unsafe and illegal abortions.”

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