The General Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) will meet in Geneva later this month and is expected to promote the outcome of a controversial pro-abortion conference that took place in London last year. The 61st annual World Health Assembly (WHA) will discuss “mobilizing political will” in the area of “sexual and reproductive health.” In a document prepared for the meeting, there is a reference to the Women Deliver Conference which was sponsored by various UN agencies and pro-abortion non-governmental organizations. The Women Deliver reference is included in the WHA document as part of a progress report that lists activities that have been undertaken to achieve the WHO’s reproductive health strategy that member states first agreed to in 2004. It is thought that the World Health Assembly may try to elevate the Women Deliver conference on par with an official governmental meeting which it was not.
Though Women Deliver was attended by government officials and sponsored by UN agencies such as the WHO, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the conference was primarily organized by non-governmental organizations like the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the Center for Reproductive Rights, Ipas, and the International Women’s Health Coalition.
As reported last year by the Friday Fax, Women Deliver was billed as a conference focused on maternal, child and newborn health and reducing maternal mortality but participants were overwhelmed by the conference’s abortion focus. Out of 98 scheduled sessions at Women Deliver, 35 focused on abortion while only 2 dealt with newborn health. The agenda was organized by Frances Kissling, former president of Catholics for a Free Choice, and the majority of discussions focused on securing funding and harnessing political will for “reproductive rights,” a term that has been interpreted by UN committees to include abortion on demand. One organizer bluntly told C-FAM’s Susan Yoshihara that the Women Deliver conference was a “pro-choice conference.”
A report on Women Deliver prepared by Yoshihara details six major problems with the conference and the false consensus reached by the conference’s organizers that “reproductive health services” is the primary way to reduce maternal mortality. According to Yoshihara, the problems include: contradiction with longstanding medical consensus, diversion of funds from HIV/AIDS and other pressing global health issues, use of poor data, undermining sovereignty and the rule of law through the abuse of UN human rights treaties to pressure countries to remove legal protection from the unborn, undermining health systems and medical regulations to promote risky abortion techniques by lower level health care providers, and attacking religion, culture and the family because they are the strongest barriers to the abortion agenda.
Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America who attended the London meeting, said, “Considering the conference’s obsession with abortion, policymakers should not rely on advice from Women Deliver.”
The World Health Assembly is the annual meeting organized and run by the WHO. The Assembly is expected to take action on the report during its session later this month.