WHO Abortion Guidelines Written and Funded by Abortion Activists

By | June 2, 2022

NEW YORK, June 3 (C-Fam) Earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) published guidelines calling for legal abortion on demand through all stages of pregnancy and limiting the ability of doctors to conscientiously object.  A new analysis shows the influence of abortion groups in drafting the document.

The analysis, by the Strasbourg-based European Center for Law and Justice (ECLJ), found that of the 121 experts consulted by the WHO for help developing the guideline, more than 80 were either abortion activists or paid by abortion-promoting groups.

Within the WHO itself, many of the authors previously worked for groups promoting abortion, such as Ipas, the Population Council, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

In each of the working groups tasked with producing and reviewing the guideline, the majority had a similar “activist profile,” and many were paid by pro-abortion funding sources such as the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation.  This foundation also supplies tens of millions of dollars to the WHO’s Human Reproduction Programme (HRP), which published the abortion guideline and operates in collaboration with other UN agencies, including UNFPA and UNICEF.

In a letter to UN ambassadors in Geneva, Dr. Grégor Puppinck said, “It is the massive presence of these activists that explains why the guidelines fully reflect the demands of the large private groups working to promote abortion around the world.”

Earlier work by the ECLJ uncovered similar connections between abortion advocacy groups and experts within the UN’s human rights mechanisms, including special rapporteurs and treaty body members.

Like the WHO, these experts have increasingly exceeded their mandates in promoting controversial issues like abortion as a human right and special rights on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Puppinck’s letter points out that the WHO guideline has no legal authority, as it was never formally adopted by the WHO—and would be unlikely to gain such approval given its controversial content.

He also notes the guideline’s lack of scientific rigor. Thirty-seven percent of its recommendations are not supported by study findings, and several are purely political and not medical or scientific at all, such as a recommendation to refer to “pregnant persons” rather than “pregnant women.”

In addition to taking a position on abortion not supported by consensus by UN member nations, the WHO flatly ignores previous agreed positions, such as the commitment made at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development to “reducing the recourse to abortion” and to “take appropriate measures to help women avoid abortion.”  Instead, the WHO guideline implies that abortion is inevitable and must be provided legally and “safely” to prevent injury and death from “unsafe” procedures.

At the recent Transatlantic Summit held in Budapest by the Political Network for Values, Puppinck spoke about the influence a small group of funders have in shaping global policy: “International institutions have global power, but seek money, whereas large foundations have money but seek global power.”

The Buffett Foundation in particular is a leading funder of abortion both in the U.S. and overseas – according to the Capital Research Center, it spent $4 billion on abortion between 2000 and 2018.

The ECLJ will soon publish the full report of its findings.