The “First session of the Regional Conference on Population and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean: Full integration of population dynamics into rights-based sustainable development with equality: key to the Cairo Programme of Action beyond 2014” concluded in Uruguay with a statement that calls for the overturning of pro-life laws and access to abortion and the morning after pill for adolescent girls without parental notification in the context of the new development goals for the Post 2014 Agenda.
The conference, organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC),the Government of Uruguay–which recently legalized abortion–and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA),brought together over 800 attendees including official representatives from 38 member countries and associate members, 24 regional and international agencies, and 260 non-governmental organizations, including active participation of pro-abortion organizations. The meeting is one of a series of regional meetings being held in August and September to identify goals and priorities for the next set of development goals.
The Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development (Spanish version here) promotes abortion and includes the following:
“Prioritize the prevention of pregnancy among adolescents and eliminate unsafe abortion through comprehensive education on emotional development and sexuality, and timely and confidential access to good-quality information, counselling, technologies and services, including emergency oral contraception without a prescription”,
“Ensure, in those cases where abortion is legal or decriminalized under the relevant national legislation, the availability of safe, good-quality abortion services for women with unwanted and unaccepted pregnancies,
“Urge States to consider amending their laws, regulations, strategies and public policies relating to the voluntary termination of pregnancy”.
The pro-abortion falsehood that the legalization of abortion reduces maternal mortality was included in the consensus statement, ignoring data from pro-life Chile which has the region’s lowest maternal mortality rate while protecting pre-born children from abortion:
“Concerned at the high rates of maternal mortality, due largely to difficulties in obtaining access to proper sexual health and reproductive health services or to unsafe abortions, and aware that some experiences in the region have demonstrated that the penalization of abortion leads to higher rates of maternal mortality and morbidity and does not reduce the number of abortions, and that this holds the region back in its efforts to fulfill the Millennium Development Goals.”
The ELCA Ad Hoc Committee on Population and Development also issued a report that included preliminary discussions and statements by government representatives and UN officials. An acknowledgement was made that only two countries in the region have enacted legislation to permit abortion and that there has been no support for changing the legality of abortion from “the religious community” without which it is recognized that “it would be difficult to progress” despite current efforts to change legislation on abortion.
Participants expressed concern over what they considered to be a “setback” in relation to the Cairo Programme of Action with regional restrictions on access to “therapeutic abortion” and emergency contraception while others spoke of efforts to advance the agenda. José Alberto Blanco, Deputy Minister for Youth of the Dominican Republic, expressed support for “guaranteeing respect for sexual and reproductive rights” as one of the top priorities, and explained that in Dominican Republic there is a proposed national partnership “for dealing with decriminalization of therapeutic abortion,… and reviewing legal frameworks relating to sexual and reproductive rights.”
While the theme for the meeting was intended to be the integration of human rights with development and population, the call for countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to legalize abortion is in violation of the regional American Convention on Human Rights which recognizes: “Every person has the right to have his life respected. This right shall be protected by law and, in general, from the moment of conception.”
The abandonment of authentic human rights in favor of a radical agenda that seeks the death of children in the womb must be opposed, especially by lawmakers at all levels, and in particular during discussions on population, development, and reproductive health.
The Montevideo Consensus was hailed by pro-abortion NGOs. IPPF called it an “historic consensus” and Ipas commended the statements that urge countries “to legalize abortion and provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services.”
Prior to the meeting, 250 members of NGOs attended a day long forum and issued a declaration to delegates called “The Time is Now” that “highlights the need to ensure that sexual and reproductive rights and health are met through various actions, including the decriminalization of abortion and the promotion of comprehensive sexuality education, among others.”
The official ECLAC press release reports a heightened importance to the conclusions of the meeting, perhaps designed to deflect from recent failures at the UN:
“At the end of the conference, delegates approved a regional population and development agenda for Latin America and the Caribbean, based on follow-up to the Cairo Programme of Action beyond 2014…Countries stated that their agreements represent the input of Latin American and Caribbean to the meetings of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development and the UN General Assembly that will take place in New York in April and September 2014, respectively.”
The creation of the next set of development goals demands close scrutiny as attempts to hijack human rights and development will continue as pro-abortion activists manipulate critical discussions to advance their stalled, unpopular, and deadly agenda that focuses on undefined concepts of “sexual and reproductive rights and health” which have failed to gain any consensus or agreement at the United Nations.
LifeNews.com Note: Marie Smith is the director of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues.