International community rejects abortion language at UN conference
By maintaining the correct focus, the international community can commit itself to “the pursuit of a more integral development which corresponds to the dignity of every human being,” said Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer.
Cardinal Scherer represented the Holy See at the recent Rio + 20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.
Timothy Herrmann of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, who attended the conference, explained that the Holy See was joined by a variety of nations, including Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Honduras, Nicaragua, Russia and Syria in rejecting references to abortion in the document.
He reported on June 20 that groups such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Catholics for Choice and the United Nations Population Fund had been working along with Iceland and Norway to insert language of “population control” and “reproductive rights” into the conference’s final outcome document.
Such language is often used to promote an international “right” to abortion and contraception.
However this effort was resisted by numerous countries, Herrmann said.
The delegation from Nicaragua noted that the language of “reproductive rights” directly conflicted with the laws of many nations and is simply “a code at the U.N. for abortion.”
Chile’s delegation argued that the term “reproductive rights” is “incompatible” with the “right to life” and is not relevant to a document on sustainable development.
Russia observed that the population control language was used as an unacceptable means of reaching sustainable development. [More]