Council of Europe Blasts Sex-Selection Abortions, But Promotes UNFPA

International   |   Adam Cassandra   |   Oct 6, 2011   |   11:21AM   |   Strasbourg, France

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) approved a resolution on Monday condemning the practice of prenatal sex selection before encouraging the work of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) – known for funding China’s coercive one child policy.

“The Parliamentary Assembly condemns the practice of prenatal sex selection, as a phenomenon which finds its roots in a culture of gender inequality and reinforces a climate of violence against women, contrary to the values upheld by the Council of Europe,” the resolution stated. The measure continued, “The Assembly encourages the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to strengthen their work on combating prenatal sex selection.”

“As far as I know, the UNFPA does not combat sex selection in any way,” said Dr. Brian Clowes, director of research at Human Life International (HLI). Dr. Clowes called the UNFPA the “architect” of China’s forced abortion program in his book The Facts of Life.

The PACE resolution specifically targeted the nations of Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, where the skewed sex ratios have “reached worrying proportions.” Authorities in these countries were called to investigate the “causes and reasons” behind the skewed sex ratios.

“Whereas the natural sex ratio averages 105 boys to 100 girls, the figure in Albania, Armenia and Azerbaijan is 112 boys to 100 girls, while in Georgia it is 111 boys to 100 girls,” according to PACE.

Under the resolution, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia were also asked to:

-Step up their efforts to raise the status of women in society and ensure effective implementation of laws and policies on gender equality and non-discrimination;

-Ensure the collection of reliable data on sex ratios at birth, including in different geographical areas within the same country, and ensure monitoring of their evolution;

-Organize and/or support the organization of public awareness-raising initiatives and campaigns on prenatal sex selection and its harmful consequences, involving relevant international organizations including the Council of Europe;

-Monitor and analyze the impact of campaigns, laws and policies and, first and foremost, the implementation of law and policies on gender equality;

-Organize and support training for medical staff on prenatal sex selection and its harmful consequences.

After visiting Azerbaijan earlier this year, Dr. Clowes reported, “Although the government would like to reduce the numbers of abortions, it is going about it the wrong way – by attempting to flood society with contraceptives, which only makes matters worse.”

He continued, “[T]he most rabidly anti-life organizations in the world are spending millions of dollars every year destroying life to “protect” and “empower” women. These groups include EngenderHealth, the Adventist Development and Relief Association (ADRA), Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and, of course, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).”

The U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee approved legislation on Wednesday to eliminate $50 million in funding for the UNFPA requested by President Obama.

“Why, when Americans face a struggling economy, skyrocketing deficits and crushing debt should our taxpayer dollars got to an organization that supports coercive abortion and is flush with cash?” asked Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), chairwoman of the committee. Rep. Ros-Lehtinen pointed out that the UNFPA has some $500 million in unspent funds.

Congress need not be “complicit with this agency as they are complicit with China’s one-child policy,” said Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.). Note:  Reprinted with permission from Human Life International’s World Watch forum. Adam Cassandra is a Communications Specialist at Human Life International.