Youth Launch Pro-Life Message to United Nations Opposing "Reproductive Rights"

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

Youth Launch Pro-Life Message to United Nations Opposing "Reproductive Rights"

by Terrence McKeegan
September 9, 2010 Note: Terrence McKeegan writes 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.

New York, NY ( — This week the International Youth Coalition launched its Statement of Youth to the UN and the World, a petition that will be presented to the UN (United Nations) General Assembly this Fall. Consisting of eight fundamental principles, the Statement was drafted by an international team of youth, and was first presented at a press conference at the World Youth Conference in León, Mexico.

The Statement comes as a response to the “blueprint” for the United Nations International Year of Youth, the World Program of Action for Youth (WPAY). This program, which was adopted back in 1995 by the General Assembly without a debate or vote, contains numerous references to sexual and reproductive health “rights” and calls for a radical autonomy for youth.

The Statement was also envisioned as an alternative to what many observers feared would be a radical document coming out of the Non-Governmental (NGO) Forum at the World Youth Conference in Mexico. Those fears, based on overwhelming evidence that the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) had paid for a majority of the youth delegates who voted on the final youth statement, proved to be well founded.

The NGO Youth Statement calls for “universal access to confidential, youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services, including access to evidence-based comprehensive sexuality education, in formal and non-formal settings.” Further, in the context of maternal health, it calls for interventions, “including access to a full range of contraceptives and safe abortion.” Governments are also requested to “recognize LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender] as part of the spectrum of gender identities.”

There are concerns that the radical youth document will be appended to the governmental document that will be presented to the UN later this month. If that happens, the opinions of these UNFPA-led youth will be considered by some as authoritative.

The Youth Statement to the UN and the World released this week is intended to show the UN and the world that radical youth do not speak for most young people. The counter Statement is organized around eight principles, including ‘Young People are Relational Beings’, ‘Parents are the Primary Educators of Young People’, ‘Rights of Youth are Based on their Evolving Capacities’, ‘A Proper Understanding of Sexuality and Healthy Relationships Must be Respected’, and ‘Man and Woman are Based in Nature’.

Recalling key human rights documents that are often left unmentioned in recent UN pronouncements on youth, the Statement of Youth to the UN and the World emphasizes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights principle that the “family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society” and is entitled to special protection by the state.

The Statement also balances the rights of youth with parents based on evolving capacities, as stated by the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Finally, it evokes the only binding international agreement on the definition of gender, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which asserts that, “gender refers to the two sexes, male and female.”

C-FAM, the publisher of the Friday Fax, has released the counter Statement on its website and is calling for 50,000 young people to sign it.


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