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Bush Administration Fights International Abortion

To those that said voting for George W. Bush made no difference to the pro-life cause, I offer this vignette from the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute:


FRIDAY FAX

April 8, 2005
Volume 8, Number 16


US Stands Firm Against Abortion at UN Population Conference

A number of prolife interventions made this week at the 38th Session of
the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) have been repelling the
steady advance of the abortion rights agenda. The United Nations
Population Fund (UNFPA) and pro-abortion lobby groups have exerted
pressure for the Conference to establish universal access to "sexual and
reproductive health services," a term these groups often interpret as
including abortion. However, the United States has requested a
clarification to ensure that such phrases will not be used to promote
abortion.

The Commission is meeting to evaluate progress towards the goals set
out in the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development
(ICPD) agreed to at Cairo. The Cairo outcome document states that "In no
case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning" but also
contains the terms "reproductive rights" and "reproductive health," and
these terms have been used by the UN in the past to promote abortion.

The United States has asked that the Cairo document be reaffirmed only
"with the understanding that nothing therein creates an international
right to abortion." The US made a similar request last month at the
Commission on the Status of Women regarding the outcome documents of the
1995 Fourth World Conference on Women. The current US proposal has not
provoked the same firestorm among the proabortion lobby as last month's
request. The US language continues to be negotiated and a positive outcome
could emerge on Friday.

On Wednesday, Nicaragua stated that "we recognize that there is no
language in the [Cairo] documents that can be interpreted as promoting
abortion," and said that it "reiterates on this occasion the reservations
that were expressed in relation to the terms 'sexual and reproductive
health,' 'sexual rights,' 'sexual and reproductive health services,' and
other similar wording and it is intended once more that these do not
include abortion."

The theme of this year's CPD session is HIV/AIDS, development and
poverty, and Kofi Annan's office, UNFPA and abortion advocates such as
Planned Parenthood International have been arguing for access to abortion
as necessary in the fight against AIDS. The European Union on Monday
expressed support for this link, stating that "the fight against HIV/AIDS
cannot succeed without universal access to quality reproductive health
services."

The session has also exposed a strategy to insert the right to abortion
into the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Among its proponents, Ghana
stated that "We fully support the inclusion of a target on 'universal
access to reproductive health by 2015' in MDG five."

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