Securing a Better Future for Mothers in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Evaluating the ICPD Operational Review

By Stefano Gennarini, J.D. and Rebecca Oas, Ph.D.  | April 3, 2014

As the UN prepares a new global development agenda, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) released an “ICPD Operational Review” of progress over the last twenty years, and recommendations for future policies. While presenting helpful information, it also contains misleading information and distortions, particularly related to abortion.

UNFPA’s approach to maternal health seeks to make abortion legal or more widely accessible. Yet this does not actually improve maternal health. Changing abortion laws does nothing to ensure that pregnancy and childbirth are safe for mothers and does not improve overall health infrastructures.

The good news is we know what it takes to make pregnancy and childbirth safe. And improving maternal health results in better health for all – women, men and children. Women’s lives are saved regardless of the legal status of abortion.

C-FAM examined UNFPA’s review, global health data, and international agreements. This paper identifies UNFPA’s distortions, and provides proven ways to improve maternal health.