Activists Release New Report They Hope Will Lead to Legalizing Abortion Throughout Africa

International   |   Marie Smith   |   May 9, 2018   |   6:50PM   |   Washington, DC

A report that promotes the destruction of unborn children through the violence of abortion will be released by the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission on Sexual and

Reproductive Health and Rights on May 9 in South Africa, one of the few African nations that allows abortion on demand.

The Commission was created by leading pro-abortion activists in 2016 out of frustration that abortion and other issues under the broad banner of “sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)” were not directly included in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or in the Indicators designed to measure progress because of broad opposition from UN Member States.

This backdoor effort, operating outside of UN consensus, is explained by Commission co-chair Ann Starrs, CEO of Guttmacher, in an article published in LancetA Lancet Commission on sexual and reproductive health and rights: going beyond the Sustainable Development Goals. She writes that the Commission was created to circumvent what she calls “a narrow view of sexual and reproductive health and rights, one of the most crucial, but also most controversial, parts of the SDG agenda.”

She continues, “The level and range of expertise of the commissioners will ensure that the work of the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission will be of the highest caliber. It will provide a roadmap for truly addressing essential sexual and reproductive health and rights issues that are fundamental to achieving overall developmental goals.”

The “caliber” of the Commission is chock-full of leading pro-abortion activist individuals acting as Commissioners and organizations acting in advisory capacity beginning with New York-based Guttmacher Institute, known for its research supporting abortion and its close alignment with IPPF, and London-based Lancet, a medical journal promoting access to abortion. One of the Commission’s advisors is Deputy UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kate Gilmore, known for her pro-abortion activism dating back to her stint as Executive Director of Amnesty International when it abandoned its opposition to abortion.
23 Advisory Groups, helped the Commission to “shape the framing, presentation and dissemination of the final report, and will be involved in outreach and engagement during and after the launch of the final report.” Most, if not all, espouse a pro-abortion view and a number are known for promotion of the radical agenda at the United Nations including the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Arrow, International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Ipas, The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH), PAI, and Population Council.
Donors for the Commission include funders who prioritize access to abortion including the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), UK Department for International Development (DFID), William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and David and Lucile Packard Foundation
The Commission is calling its report “groundbreaking” as it hopes that the “data” it contains will help pro-abortion activists change national laws and policies. A set of recommendations is expected to be included to counter what is called “the influence of conservative forces in undermining progress on these issues.”
The overall goal of the report according to Starr is to develop “a wide-ranging and evidence-based agenda for key sexual and reproductive health and rights priorities worldwide over the next 15 years; just as important, it will also make the case for the adoption of policies and programmes to turn that vision into reality.”
“Although it will encompass all elements of sexual and reproductive health and rights, the Commission will emphasise important concerns that have been overlooked or neglected in the SDGs, such as the availability of safe abortion and access to high-quality sexual and reproductive health information and services, including for adolescents, men, and sexual minorities, that respect sexual and reproductive rights and prioritise the needs of vulnerable and neglected populations.”

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Announced speakers for the launch include South Africa’s Minister of Health, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi; Commission co-chairs Ann Starrs of Guttmacher and Dr. Alex Ezeh of the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP); and Richard Horton, editor-in- chief of The Lancet.
This new report will no doubt receive a great deal of media hype in Africa where an overwhelming majority of countries restrict access to the violence of abortion.
Co-chair of the Commission Dr Alex Ezeh served as Executive Director of the African Population Health Research Center (APHRC) from 2001 until 2017. Ezeh’s bio includes that he is a member of the Vatican-Mario Negri-Lancet Commission on the Value of Life, was a member of the Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission on Planetary Health, and served on the Lancet Commission on the Future of Health in Africa.
The African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) is a research center for population issues in Africa based in Kenya which began with seed money from pro-abortion Venture Strategies for Health and Development, a 501 c3 based in Berkeley, California founded by Martha Campbell who serves on AFIDEP’s board.
Campbell is the wife of long time abortion activist and provider Malcolm Potts who helped legalize abortion in the UK in 1967. Venture Strategies believes that “the liberalization of restrictive abortion policies is imperative” and works to achieve that goal.
Given the genesis of the Commission and the affiliations of the Commissioners, Advisory Groups, and donors, this report promoting access to abortion and the overturning of pro-life laws will need to be challenged and exposed for its pro-abortion bias. It is an attempt to impose a radical abortion ideology that ignores global consensus that abortion is not needed for sustainable development and that the health and well-being of mothers and children in the womb need to be protected from the violence of abortion. Note:  Marie Smith is the director of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues.