The Trump administration slammed the United Nations on Monday for trying to “intimidate” pro-life countries into legalizing abortion on demand with coronavirus aid funds.
The “unprecedented” criticism came in a letter from U.S. Agency for International Development acting administrator John Barsa to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, according to C-Fam.
“The UN should not intimidate or coerce Member States that are committed to the right to life,” Barsa wrote. “To use the COVID-19 pandemic as a justification to pressure governments to change their laws [on abortion] is an affront to the autonomy of each society to determine its own national policies on health care. The United States stands with nations that have pledged to protect the unborn.”
The letter comes amid Ecuadoran political and pro-life leaders’ complaints about the UN using coronavirus aid money to pressure it to legalize the killing of unborn babies in abortions. Ecuador protects unborn babies’ right to life.
In the letter Monday, New York Post reports Barsa told the UN to stop “promoting abortion” as part of its global coronavirus work. He mentioned how the U.S. gave $3.5 billion to the UN in 2019.
Barsa told the UN to remove “sexual and reproductive health services” as priorities in its Global Humanitarian Response Plan COVID-19. He noted how the UN plan puts abortions “on the same level of importance as food-insecurity, essential health care, malnutrition, shelter, and sanitation.”
“[T]he UN should not use this crisis as an opportunity to advance access to abortion as an ‘essential service,’” he wrote. “… Most egregious is that the Global HRP calls for the widespread distribution of abortion-inducing drugs and abortion supplies, and for the promotion of abortion in local country settings.”
Barsa urged Guterres to remove the contentious issue from the plan and instead focus on “life-saving interventions” and the most urgent needs, such as food shortages.
“To achieve global unity toward this goal, it is essential that the UN’s response to the pandemic avoid creating controversy,” Barsa continued. The UN must “take clear action to address the real needs of vulnerable people around the world without promoting abortion.”
Already, some pro-life countries are feeling the pressure to legalize abortion if they want coronavirus aid from the UN. Just a few days ago, leaders in Ecuador began a petition urging their president to reject the pro-abortion agenda within the aid funds, according to the Catholic News Agency.
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The petition states, “… in the face of the COVID-19 drama, the United Nations has offered to send humanitarian aid to Ecuador, but the aid is not free, since in various sections of the document it is explained that said aid is conditional on Ecuador legalizing abortion.”
The United Nations has been pressuring countries to legalize abortions for years. Since President Donald Trump took office, however, his administration has been urging the international agency to end its pro-abortion agenda. Starting in 2017, Trump also stopped giving tax dollars to the United Nations Population Fund, which promotes abortions.
Scott Fischbach, executive director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Global Outreach, praised the Trump administration for taking another strong stand for life.
“We commend Acting Administrator Barsa, USAID, and the Trump administration for this strong pro-life position in support of innocent and vulnerable human lives at a time when protecting them is as important as ever,” Fischbach said.
Recently, medical groups representing more than 30,000 doctors in America emphasized that abortions are not “essential” or “urgent,” and abortion facilities that continue to operate during the pandemic are being “medically irresponsible.”