by Steven Ertelt
October 14, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — President Bush is getting heat from abortion advocates because his administration is refusing to sign on to a United Nations document that appears to endorse abortion.
Though he is drawing criticism, only 85 nations around the world have signed onto a statement endorsing a 10 year-old United Nation’s population control plan first drafted in Cairo, Egypt in 1994.
The statement refers to that Cairo plan saying it "ensure[s] universal access to reproductive health information and services, uphold fundamental human rights including sexual and reproductive rights."
Such language is often used by abortion advocates to refer to abortion, which prompted the Bush administration to object.
According to an Associated Press report, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kelly Ryan wrote to organizers of the new document and said the United States supports "the empowerment of women and the need to promote women’s fullest enjoyment of universal human rights."
However, Ryan added that the U.S. would be unable to support the new statement because it "includes the concept of ‘sexual rights,’ a term that has no agreed definition in the international community."
In previous United Nation’s meetings, diplomats have admitted that reproductive or sexual rights refer to abortion.
The statement in support of the Cairo conference, according to the AP report, was given to UN Deputy Secretary-General Louise Frechette by media baron Ted Turner, a longtime abortion advocate who has pumped millions of dollars into UN population control efforts.
The Clinton administration signed the original Cairo plan in 1994 and ro-life groups have since been worried it could be used to promote abortion.
Among the 85 countries that have endorsed the Turner document are members of the European Union, China, Japan, Indonesia, Pakistan and more than a dozen African countries as well as 22 former world leaders, notably Presidents Carter and Clinton.
President Bush has drawn praise from pro-life groups for his record opposing abortion in the international community.
On his first day in office, Bush re-implemented the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits taxpayer funding of groups that perform or promote abortions in other countries. He later expanded it to cover all State Department programs.
Bush has also withheld $34 million from the United Nations Population Fund because of that groups support for China’s population control program that includes forced abortions and sterilizations.