UK Announces Plan to Push Abortion "Rights" on Developing Nations Worldwide

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 6, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

UK Announces Plan to Push Abortion "Rights" on Developing Nations Worldwide

by Susan Yoshihara and Terrence McKeegan Editor
August 6, 2010 Note: Susan Yoshihara and Terrence McKeegan write for the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. This article originally appeared in the pro-life group’s Friday Fax publication and is used with permission.

London, England ( — Last week the United Kingdom (UK) announced a new maternal health initiative with an "unprecedented focus on family planning" for the developing world. The plan includes the promotion of abortion and sexual “rights” for children.

The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) chief, Andrew Mitchell, presented the plan called “Choice for Women – Wanted Pregnancies, Safe Births” at a public consultation forum hosted by DFID and attended by development experts, health professionals, and the general public.

Mitchell said, “The UK Government is to put family planning at the heart of its approach to women’s health in the developing world.” The “DFID will now have an unprecedented focus on family planning, which will be hard-wired into all our country programs.”

The first two of three key proposals detailed in the UK initiative are “Scaling-up access to family planning” and “Addressing unsafe abortion.” Only the third listed proposal, “Making birth safe,” includes plans for addressing the primary causes of maternal mortality, which are hemorrhaging and sepsis, complications from hypertension and other medical disorders.

The “family planning first” approach to maternal health, which is pushed by the world’s top abortion providers and certain United Nations (UN) staff, has come under fire recently with the publication of groundbreaking new data. The prestigious British medical journal, The Lancet, published a study in April that refuted UN “consensus” data which promoted family planning and abortion as ways to decrease maternal mortality. The new study did not mention family planning, instead finding that skilled birth attendants, emergency obstetric care, improved education and economic circumstances, along with declining birth rates, were responsible for a drop in global maternal deaths from more than 500,000 in 1980 to 342,900 in 2008.

Despite the new evidence, the “Choices for Women” plan reflects the outdated UN “family planning first” approach as well as current domestic UK policies. Recent UK laws have proposed universal sex education starting as young as the age of five, and “adolescence” is commonly defined as children between the age of 10 and 14. One UK government-approved sex curriculum encourages pupils to engage in "sexual touching, talking dirty face to face or on the phone, even sexy e-mails and text messages" as a "warm-up" for sexual intercourse.

This week it was announced that more than 1000 pre-teenage girls in the UK have been prescribed hormonal contraceptives. Under UK confidentiality laws, parents are not entitled to have knowledge of or give consent for these prescriptions.

The discredited “family planning first” approach is also informing the European Union position at the negotiations of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Summit draft document which currently includes ”prioritizing comprehensive voluntary family planning” and “addressing inequities … with particular attention to the large disparities in sexual and reproductive health, by reaching out to underserved populations, including young people, and financing access to services.”

The UN negotiations over the MDG Summit document were suspended last week and are scheduled to resume on August 30th.


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