UN-Commissioned Report Advocates Abortion Rights/Attacks Christian Beliefs

By C-FAM Staff | February 11, 2005

      (NEW YORK – C-FAM)  (NEW YORK – C-FAM)  A commission working for the United Nations recently released a number of important reports that are unusual in their open advocacy of legalized abortion and the radical sexual rights agenda. Each report argues that advances in these areas are necessary to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, a five year old UN initiative that is scheduled for review in September at a "Millennium Summit." However, the Millennium Development Goals do not make any mention of reproductive rights; neither does the Millennium Declaration on which they are based.

     The Millennium Project Report, released last month by the Secretary General's advisory body, will be the basis of his presentation to UN Member States at the September review. The Report states that "ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health…is essential to the attainment of many" Millennium Development Goals. In UN parlance, sexual and reproductive services refer to abortion. The Report is supplemented by 13 task force reports, including a report on gender equality which states that the Millennium Development Goals require "ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health services through the primary healthcare system."

     The 2004 interim report by the same Task Force on Gender Equality was still more explicit, stating that to achieve this goal, "At a minimum, national public health systems must provide quality family planning, safe abortion, and emergency obstetric services."

     The interim report also stated that "the Task Force opposes the political ideologies and religious fundamentalisms that have sought to erode women's reproductive rights guaranteed through numerous international conventions. According to the report, these forces have persuaded some national governments, including the U.S., to pursue three strategies: limiting or withdrawing funding from effective programs that support women's sexual and reproductive autonomy; censoring or distorting information and research on comprehensive health interventions and issues; and reneging on previous international agreements involving sexual and reproductive health and rights. These tactics threaten to choke the progress that has been made in the last ten years to improve women's reproductive health and may worsen the inferior reproductive health status of poor women around the world."

     The Millennium Report has been endorsed by major UN agencies including UNICEF, whose outgoing head Carol Bellamy stated "We could not support it more strongly." The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) specifically referred to the Report's focus on "ensuring universal access to reproductive health" as "critical" to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

     Also at the end of January, the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) released a report detailing its strategy for upcoming UN conferences, including the Millennium Summit. The report states that "the Millennium Development Goals provide a valuable opportunity for advancing the gender equality agenda," and should be treated "as a new vehicle for CEDAW and Beijing implementation." The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action are considered by pro-life groups to support legalized abortion.