Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is upset the document the United Nations adopted at its Rio+20 conference last week did not promote abortion by inserting terms like “reproductive rights” into he language of the text.
A diverse group of countries rallied together with the Holy See to successfully remove any mention of reproductive rights or population control from the final outcome document produced during the last round of UN negotiations at the Rio +20 conference. The UN Population Fund (UNFPA), along with Norway and Iceland, and Catholics for Choice and the International Planned Parenthood Federation, worked feverishly to take advantage of the Rio +20 conference on sustainable development in order to promote both an international right to abortion and population control.
However, nations like Nicaragua, Chile, Russia, Honduras, Syria, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Egypt all rejected the introduction of “reproductive rights” into the Rio +20 outcome document.
Responding to the resounding defeat, Clinton said she was disappointed, according to a CNS News report.
“While I am very pleased that this year’s outcome document endorses sexual and reproductive health and universal access to family planning, to reach our goals in sustainable development we also have to ensure women’s reproductive rights,” she said. “Women must be empowered to make decisions about whether and when to have children. And the United States will continue – the United States will continue to work to ensure that those rights are respected in international agreements.”
CNS News also indicated Planned Parenthood was distressed it did not get its way at the UN in the most recent battle.
“[T]he Reproductive Rights community,” International Planned Parenthood Federation Director-General Tewodros Melesse wrote in a response published Monday, was “united in its disappointment and outright anger that once again reproductive rights had been sidelined and alluded to in only the most cursory fashion in the outcome document.”
“No useful debate on sustainable development can afford to ignore reproductive rights,” he argued. “A woman’s right to protect herself from unwanted pregnancy – should she so wish – has immense health, social, educational and economic impacts, personally and globally.”
During the conference, the Nicaraguan delegation insisted that delegations cease to “shadow box around the term reproductive rights” which “every country knows is a code at the UN for abortion.”
Since pro-abortion forces have been unsuccessful for two decades in openly using these UN documents as a vehicle to promote an international right to abortion, they have resorted to code words such as “reproductive rights.” UN Agencies and pro-abortion NGO’s then falsely define these terms to include a right to abortion in order to pressure pro-life countries to change their laws—falsely claiming that these countries are required to legalize abortion in order to decrease maternal mortality.
“We have known for decades that most maternal deaths can be prevented with adequate nutrition, basic health care and good obstetric care through pregnancy, at delivery, and postpartum,” noted Jeanne E. Head, R.N., National Right to Life vice president for international affairs and UN representative. “Yet some in the international community, including the current United States delegation, have focused their efforts on legalizing abortion at the expense of women’s lives. Women in the developing world need access to better health care, not the right to destroy their children in the womb.”
In an analysis released last month at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, National Right to Life and MCCL Global Outreach confirmed that improved medical care and other developmental factors, such as improvement in education levels, not abortion leads to decreases in maternal deaths throughout the developing world.
The analysis highlights a peer-reviewed study of maternal mortality in Chile published on May 4. The researchers, led by Dr. Elard Koch of the University of Chile, show that maternal mortality declined significantly even after Chile prohibited abortion in 1989. Maternal deaths due specifically to abortion also dropped after abortion was made illegal in 1989.
Chile’s success contrasts with the recent record of the United States, which permits abortion on demand and has seen its maternal mortality rate climb upward over the last two decades. The U.S. maternal mortality ratio (the number of deaths per 100,000 live births) increased from 10.3 in 1999 to 23.2 in 2009. Over the same period, Chile’s ratio decreased from 23.6 to 16.9.