With Biden support, UNFPA steps up abortion advocacy

By | December 30, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. December 31 (C-Fam) The UN’s agency dedicated to promoting “sexual and reproductive health,” is becoming more brazen in promoting abortion around the world, ignoring international consensus that leaves abortion laws to individual countries, and outsourcing its data collection to radical pro-abortion organizations.

Two years ago, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) hosted the Nairobi Summit in Kenya to mark the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).  Unlike the landmark ICPD, whose outcome was hotly debated by UN member governments and produced a compromise document rejecting abortion as an international human right, the Nairobi Summit was a stage-managed affair with no negotiated outcome.

It did result in the Nairobi Summit Statement, which includes reference to “access to abortion to the full extent of the law” and other language that has never been adopted by the General Assembly.

On the second anniversary of the summit, UNFPA published a follow-up report designed to hold countries to account for the commitments made in Nairobi. These commitments were never adopted by consensus, and neither were the indicators by which UNFPA seeks to measure them.  For example, the indicator of “abortion laws” is based on data from the Center for Reproductive Rights, a pro-abortion litigation organization whose position on abortion starkly contradicts the UN consensus. With regard to inclusion, UNFPA relied on the pro-LGBT organization ILGA to measure protection of people against hate crimes and incitement.

Under former U.S. president Donald Trump, UNFPA issued statements urging the U.S. not to withhold its funding, claiming it did not promote abortion.  Despite these claims, UNFPA continued to aggressively promote “sexual and reproductive health and rights” (SRHR), which is understood by its proponents to include abortion.

Since the inauguration of President Joe Biden, UNFPA’s funding has been restored, and new U.S. funding has been committed to UNFPA Supplies, a subset of UNFPA that procures and distributes contraceptives, maternal health commodities, and drugs and devices used to perform abortions.

On Human Rights Day, December 10, UNFPA hosted a webinar on “defending our human right to sexual and reproductive health.”  The moderator, Krishanti Dharmaraj of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University, began with a statement that “the systemic and structural discrimination that women face, such as restriction on abortion or maternal mortality due to negligence, is femicide.”

Other panelists repeatedly referred to abortion activists as “human rights defenders.”  This too is an area in which UNFPA has sharply diverged from global consensus.  The UN General Assembly adopted an important declaration on human rights defenders in 1998.  Its official title refers to the protection of “universally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms,” which cannot be said to apply to a right to abortion or the redefinition of gender or the family as promoted by UNFPA and the UN’s human rights expert bodies.

In the webinar, Dharmaraj expressed her gratitude for being able to work with UNFPA: “When I think of all the agencies we have chosen to partner with, ‘bold’ is the term that comes to mind to define UNFPA.”

In terms of promoting abortion and its advocates, UNFPA has record of consistency, notwithstanding the occasional posture of coyness when attempting to elicit donations from the U.S. under Republican administrations.  With Biden in office, nothing is keeping UNFPA from boldly showing its colors.