The World Health Organization has always been ambiguous about its position on abortion. This year they left no doubt as to where they stand when they published guidelines on how to perform abortions, advising the disposal of human remains in latrines or sewers. The WHO recommends methods that would be considered malpractice in developed countries, like re-using manual vacuum aspirators to perform abortions, using misoprostol after 24 weeks of pregnancy, and eliminating follow-up medical visits to dangerous abortion procedures. It is developing countries who will be relying on the substandard care that the WHO recommends. C-FAM is currently lobbying UN delegations to take action against this awful degradation of human life with a critique by Susan Yoshihara and Rebecca Oas.
The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva inched closer to asserting abortion as a human right when it passed a resolution endorsing a controversial new set of guidelines on reducing maternal mortality through a “human rights based approach” from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The new guidelines equate illegal with unsafe when it comes to abortion, and continue to mislead countries by telling them that decriminalizing abortion will reduce maternal mortality. The guidelines also call on countries to do away with conscience protections for medical providers who object to abortion. The real causes of maternal mortality are well known, as are their solutions. C-FAM reminded delegations in a memorandum of what they are and asked them to respond to this threat to human life.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which coordinates and supports any UN function that involves human rights in the UN framework, is continuing to promote controversial new rights for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transsexuals (LGBT). Their first effort this year, a report on violence against individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity submitted to the Human Rights Council in March, was not visible enough, so in August they published a glossy version of the report. The newpublication “Born Free and Equal” is not content with affirming that, like all other human beings, homosexuals are protected from violence. It attempts to create new special legal obligations on UN member states of repealing all laws that prohibit private sexual conduct between consenting adults of the same sex, creating criminal task forces and record keeping mechanisms for violence against LGBT persons, creating asylum categories for LGBT persons, and extending the benefits that married couples enjoy to same sex couples.
Melinda Gates this year declared that she is making universal access of contraception her “legacy” to the world. She committed her foundation to achieving this at a high level summit in London where political representatives and foundations pledged $4.6 Billion USD for contraception. Knowingly or not, she is partnering with population control groups like the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), as well as groups that promote abortion and stand to make a profit from providing abortions like International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). The big contraceptive push is based on estimates that $8 billion per year will cover an “unmet need” for contraception, a threefold increase from UNFPA estimates of only a year ago. Developing countries should expect unseasonably heavy condom showers sometime in the near future. C-FAM was in London with a fact sheet exposing the bad research on which the idea of “unmet need” is based and suggesting how much-needed aid could be better directed.
The commissions of the Economic and Social Council, a UN charter body that makes proposals for the UN General Assembly, held its annual meetings to deal with women’s issues, social development and population and development in the Spring. The various commissions were the setting where the US sought to impose the highly unpopular contraceptive mandate of the new US health care law on the rest of the world. The commissions were also the scene of wild proposals to embrace LGBT rights and sexual rights for children. Most of these proposals were rejected by UN member states. But the current US administration is determined to impose a this controversial agenda through the United Nations in ways that not only undermine the right to life, but the important function of the UN as a forum for peace building and cooperation.