Various elements of the United Nations system, including the World Health Organization, UNICEF, UNFPA, and the World Bank, will partner with abortion groups to advance a “human right” to abortion. The U.N. made the announcement on September 29 to commemorate so-called International Safe Abortion Day, with the stated goal of addressing “unsafe abortion” in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The partnership, headed by the WHO Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research, will bring together U.N. entities with the world’s largest abortion providers, including the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Ipas, and Marie Stopes International, to promote “comprehensive abortion care,” including access to self-administered telemedicine abortion, as an essential service and a “human right.”
By collaborating on “mitigation strategies” to reduce disruption in abortion access, in addition to “procurement and funding” for abortion services, the goal of the partnership is for Big Abortion and the U.N. to make abortion available and accessible on demand everywhere. The announcement goes so far as to highlight not only young girls but also “those with varying gender identities” as people who should be able to receive “abortion care.”
Cooperation between the U.N. and the abortion industry is nothing new, but the coronavirus climate has paved the way for increasingly brazen and bizarre alliances. This is a new direction for UNICEF and the World Bank, for example, both of which traditionally have steered clear of overt abortion activism. Although it’s commonplace, it is essential to underscore that U.N. abortion promotion is fundamentally at odds with its institutional mandate. National governments, not the international bureaucracy, should chart the course for the U.N. system.
As long as pro-life governments exist — and there are many stalwart pro-life governments — it is inappropriate and illegitimate for the U.N. to unilaterally advance abortion on demand. In fact, the powerful pro-life voice of the United States alone renders the U.N.’s continual promotion of abortion promotion and this new partnership illicit.
As the U.S. recently articulated in a statement to the U.N.: “There is no international right to abortion, nor is there any duty on the part of States to finance or facilitate abortion.” This has been a consistent and frequent stance of the U.S. government, one that has garnered widespread support from countries across the globe.
Even so, the U.N. Secretary General recently identified abortion as central to the U.N.’s COVID-19 response, and the organization’s high commissioner for human rights expressed her support for “safe abortion day.” Similarly, in the partnership announcement, Ian Askew, director of the WHO Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research, states that “eliminating unsafe abortion is one of the key components of the WHO Global reproductive health strategy.”
Jargon aside, U.N. efforts to address “unsafe abortion” are a euphemism for attempting to increase access to abortion where the procedure is illegal. The announcement notes that 121 million pregnancies each year are “unintended” — an unsubstantiated statistic used to justify the need for “safe abortion care.” The statement adds that “postponing