NEW YORK, NY, September 16, 2005, (CFam.org/LifeSiteNews.com)—Â After months of demands to include language that would create a broad international right to abortion, proponents of abortion were disappointed with the final document issued by UN Member States at the Millennium Development Summit ending today in New York. Everyone from Kofi Annan to special UN commissions to non-governmental organizations to UN member states called vigorously over the past year that the new document must contain far reaching ratification of reproductive rights language, language that is used to promote abortion. It appears they have for the most part failed.
Earlier drafts of the document called for nations to ensure access to “sexual and reproductive rights.” Pro-life lobbyists were able to get the reference to sexual right and reproductive rights removed. The paragraph was replaced with a call for “Ensuring equal access to reproductive health.” The term “reproductive health” has never been defined by member nations to mean abortion but the language is still seen as dangerous since proponents of abortion will likely try to interpret it as broadly as possible.
Under a section on “HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis and other health issues,” a paragraph calls for “universal access to reproductive health by 2015, as set out at the International Conference on Population and Development” held in Cairo. Cairo explicitly stated that it did “not create any new international human rights.” Cairo also said its implementation had to be “consistent with national laws and development priorities, with full respect for the various religious and ethical values and cultural backgrounds of its people. . .” Cairo also said abortion can never be used as a method of family planning.
At the last minute this morning pro-life and pro-family lobbyists are hurriedly pushing friendly delegations to enter “interpretive statements” into the document. The “interpretive statements” would make clear that the term “reproductive health” is not understood to include access to abortion. These must be entered into the document sometime today.
American NGOs applauded the work of new US Ambassador John Bolton for ensuring the document did not include language related to global tax to support the UN, endorsement of the Kyoto Treaty on the environment, or endorsement of the controversial International Criminal Court.