by Steven Ertelt
October 18, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A leading pro-life advocate who lobbies at the United Nations is blasting media coverage of the Bush administration’s position on an intentional document that it wants to make sure is not used to promote abortion.
Jeanne Head, a nurse who is the U.N. spokeswoman for the National Right to Life Committee, said she is concerned that media reports depicted the Bush administration as changing its mind on a key United Nations population and development conference document.
"Contrary to press reports, the Bush Administration did not reverse its position on the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population Development (ICPD)" last week, Head told LifeNews.com.
"The Bush Administration has been consistent in its support of the positive elements of the Cairo document and in expressing its concern that this document not be used to promote abortion," she said.
The Cairo document focuses on population and health issues such as maternal mortality, lack of access to health care in impoverished nations, and dealing with the spread of the AIDS virus.
While the plan does not support abortion, U.S. Ambassador Sichan Siv told the General Assembly last week that the United States wants to keep it that way.
Yet, an Associated Press report on Friday leaves the impression that the U.S. has changed its mind on the Cairo plan and that it supported a statement drafted by abortion advocates to endorse it, Head said.
A statement in support of the Cairo plan, submitted by abortion advocate Ted Turner and drafted by a pro-abortion group, was signed by less than half of the member nations of the U.N. in part because it included language backing abortion that went beyond the Cairo plan.
As a result, the U.S. did not sign the statement, though it continues to support the Cairo plan so long as it is not used to promote abortion.
Siv said the Bush administration was worried that some nations "might be misusing ICPD to promote abortion." He said he was glad to see other countries committing not to use the plan to promote abortion.
"The United States concurs that nothing in ICPD should be understood to promote, endorse, or support abortion," Siv explained. "[W]ith the understanding that states will not misuse ICPD in that way, we are pleased to continue to offer our support for ICPD and its Program of Action."
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.
Related web sites:
Siv’s statement – https://www.un.int/usa/04_190.htm