New Report Says UN Development Goals Push Pro-Abortion Population Control

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 4, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Report Says UN Development Goals Push Pro-Abortion Population Control

by Susan Yoshihara
November 4, 2009 Note: Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D. writes for the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. This article originally appeared in the pro-life group’s Friday Fax publication.

New York, NY ( — A new paper investigating the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals (MDG) asserts that the project could do more harm than good.

The paper finds the sweeping global development project generally views the poor as “a problem to be solved rather than partners in achieving their own development and success.” It explains that world leaders set forth the MDGs with high hopes in 2001, but now at the midpoint for achieving them, they have become susceptible to politicization and influence by special interests.

In “The Millennium Development Goals in light of Catholic Social Teaching” authors Brian Scarnecchia and Terrence McKeegan say that one major problem is that implementation of the 8 goals along with their 20 targets and 56 indicators has tended to be top-down, expert-driven and technological.

This approach is championed by the UN’s chief economic advisor on the goals, Columbia University professor/technocrat Jeffrey Sachs but, the authors say, it fails to take account of the two bedrock principles of moral human development, solidarity and subsidiarity.

Quoting Pope Benedict XVI during his 2008 address to the UN General Assembly, the authors note that the UN’s poverty and hunger alleviation exacerbates the way the weakest have been left at “the margins of integral development, and are therefore at risk of experiencing only the negative effects of globalization.”

“By promoting an ‘all-encompassing’ and ‘globalized’ culture,” they argue, the MDGs impart “false values that would tarnish a truly human way of life” and undermine national culture and traditions that support welfare at the lowest level.

For example, the goals for achieving primary education and reducing child mortality do not take sufficient account of the central role of the family. There is no UN treaty protecting the rights of the family as there is for the rights of child.

Thus insufficient emphasis is placed upon the family, the most fundamental institution to child welfare according to the paper. The way the UN is promoting gender equality, “serves to instill a false notion that gender is a changeable social construct,” the authors argue.

The MDGs rightly promote the education of girls, but they do so primarily for the purpose of reducing their fertility, the study finds. Likewise, it finds that the goal of reducing maternal mortality does not treat women as whole persons but rather focuses on childbearing. Ensuring sustainable development similarly emphasizes population control.

The role of special interests is particularly evident in the relentless attempt to create a separate goal for “promoting sexual and reproductive health,” according to the report. It is the only one of the original expert-driven international goals that nations rejected when they adopted the eight MDGs.

Instead, abortion proponents have had to settle with claiming a “target” under the goal aimed at reducing maternal mortality. While the claim has been refuted by UN member states, UN agencies such as the UN Population Fund and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) continue to assert it.

Robert Araujo, S.J. notes in his preface to the paper, “It is no longer the goals that are important but the manner in which they are pursued….there is wide and growing divergence on how best to proceed.”

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