by Steven Ertelt
September 3, 2004
London, England (LifeNews.com) — A report released Tuesday following a meeting of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from the United Nations identified access to abortion on demand as a crucial factor for determining how much progress has been made for women’s rights and health since the Cairo conference a decade ago.
The conference of NGOs, called Countdown 2015, took place in London this past week and focused on reproductive health. The meeting marked that half-way point from the International Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo in 1994, and the deadline for goals set in that conference in 2015.
The London report praised 23 countries, among them Zambia, Bangladesh, Guatemala and Paraguay, as making progress in improving conditions for women, particularly in areas of reproductive health.
The United States, Portugal, Kuwait, Botswana, Maibia, Senegal, and South Africa were criticized for having little or no progress, according to the report.
At the meeting, President Bush was criticized for his support of the Mexico City Policy,
which prevents taxpayer funds from aiding international groups that promote or perform abortion, as well as his lack of support for the Cairo conference.
The NGOs at the London conference, primarily abortion advocates, made their own priorities known by adopting a resolution to strive for a world "where [women and children] have access to safe and legal abortion; and where women and men can decide freely and responsibly whether and when to have children.”
The goal is decidedly more pro-abortion than the language that came out of the Cairo conference and abortion advocates openly criticized the 1994 conference for not doing more
to promote abortion.
"The abortion provisions of the [Cairo conference] did not go far enough in calling for universal access to safe legal abortion,” Steven Sinding, director-general of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). IPPF was the leading NGO at the conference, and is affiliated with the largest abortion business in the United States.
Pro-life groups say the conference ignored offering medical, financial and material help to women in varying pregnancy situations.
"Women in poorer countries need practical help during pregnancy and after birth. Most cultures do not like abortion, and most women want to have their babies," said LIFE, England’s largest pro-life organization, in a statement.
"We in the affluent countries should not promote the killing of the unborn children of poorer women, by funding expensive abortion programmes. Instead our Governments should fund pre-and post-natal health care," the pro-life group said.
LIFE expressed fears for poorer nations that might be led into the same policy mistakes as their country.
"Thirty-five years of abortion in the UK has not only sent the death of nearly 6 million unborn children, but the damage physically and emotionally to their mothers, the decline in fertility leading to a serious drop in the birth rate, increased break-up of relationships, and marginalisation of fatherhood," the group stated.