Trump Administration Rains on UN Abortion Parade
NEW YORK, July 19 (C-Fam) The celebration of the 25thanniversary of a landmark agreement that enshrined abortion in UN policy, was dulled by the pro-life policies of the Trump Administration this week.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the announcement that over $30 million in funding would be withheld from the UN population agency for the third year in a row as countries gathered in the General Assembly Hall Tuesday morning for a special commemorative meeting of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development held at Cairo. The Cairo conference gives the UN agency its marching orders. It famously included abortion in UN policy for the first time but declined to recognize an international right to abortion.
The timing of Pompeo’s announcement could not have been clearer. The current U.S. administration showed contempt for the UN population agency, which openly partners with governments that carry out coercive population control programs and which promotes abortion around the world.
And the official U.S. statement at the General Assembly meeting underscored the magnitude of U.S. bilateral support for maternal health, family planning, and HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention. The U.S. spends over $8 billion annually in these areas, more than eight times the budged of the UN population agency and is the largest single donor of bilateral assistance for health.
“We do not recognize abortion as a method of family planning, nor support the provision, promotion, and referral of abortion in our global health assistance,” said Austin Smith, Acting Representative of the United States to the United Nations Economic and Social Council at the General Assembly meeting.
During the same sparsely attended meeting the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres complained about the “backlash” to women’s rights internationally. Countries from Europe and Latin America also complained about attempts to rollback women’s rights internationally.
Shortly after Smith had made his statement in the General Assembly, U.S. Secretary for Health and Human Services Alex Azar underscored the pro-life work of his department to stop the United Nations from promoting abortion, sometimes even coercively.
“It has become the norm at too many United Nations agencies to push agendas often at odds with religious faith,” Azar said at the second annual Ministerial Meeting to Advance Religious Freedom in Washington D.C.
Azar denounced how small countries are “intimidated and browbeaten into changing either their laws or their cultural or religious norms that protect the unborn and the family.”
“My Department has spearheaded efforts to fight back,” Azar said proudly. He described efforts of his department at the World Health Organization in May. The World Health Organization is one of the many bodies that make up the UN system. His staff brought together nine countries, representing over 1 billion people, to pushback against UN abortion advocacy.
“Countries have a sovereign right to be respected on these sensitive, fundamental issues,” he underlined.
And it would seem that U.S. efforts are already bearing fruit. Abortion was not a prominent topic of conversation at the General Assembly this week. It only came up in a single group statement delivered by Ireland.