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United States denounces UN promotion of abortion amid coronavirus crisis
A mother and her son who have been part of a USAID program. / Photo: USAID.
The U.S. Agency for International Development sent a letter to UN Secretary General, asking “to drop the provision of abortion as a priority to respond to the pandemic”.
Acting Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), John Barsa, sent a letter to United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres, calling on him to stop treating abortion as “essential” humanitarian relief during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the letter, Barsa urges “you, your staff, and the UN’s funds, programs, and specialized and technical agencies to stay focused on life-saving interventions”.
According to the leader of USAID, “to achieve global unity toward this goal, it is essential that the UN’s response to the pandemic avoid creating controversy”.
“Drop the provision of abortion as a priority to respond to COVID-19 pandemic”
“I ask that you remove references to sexual and reproductive health, and its derivatives from the Global Humanitarian Response Plan (Global HRP), and drop the provision of abortion as an essential component of the UN’s priorities to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic”, Barsa adds.
The head of USAID stresses that “the UN should not use this crisis as an opportunity to advance access to abortion as an essential service”.
“Unfortunately, the Global HRP does just this, by cynically placing the provision of sexual and reproductive health services on the same level of importance as food-insecurity, essential health care, malnutrition, shelter, and sanitation”, the letter points out.
Furthermore, “most egregious is that the Global HRP calls for the widespread distribution of abortion-inducing drugs and abortion supplies, and for the promotion of abortion in local country settings”.
“UN should not intimidate member states committed to the right to life”
Barsa also underlines that “the UN should not intimidate or coerce Member States that are committed to the right to life”.
“To use the Covid-19 pandemic as a justification to pressure governments to change their laws, is an affront to the autonomy of each society to determine its own national policies on health care”, he warns.
Barsa explains that “member states are deeply divided over the use of the term sexual and reproductive health and its derivatives, and it is among the most polarizing issues raised in UN negotiations”.
That is why “the Global HRP, and the activities of UN agencies and bodies moving forward, should use clear language and take clear action to address the real needs of vulnerable people around the world, without promoting abortion. Now is not the time to add unnecessary discord to the Covid-19 response”.
“Health should be the priority”
According to Barsa, “the delivery of essential health care is the first priority around the globe during this time. In addition, severe food shortages could represent a second, deadly impact of the pandemic in many countries”.
“The UN’s Global Humanitarian Response Plan, and its $6.71 billion coordinated appeal, must remain focused on addressing the most urgent, concrete needs that are arising out of the pandemic”, he concludes.
Live Action: “It is unconscionable that the UN considers abortion a right”
The US pro-life and pro-family platform, Live Action, released a statement where they “applaud the bold leadership of USAID in speaking the truth to this powerful global organization”.
Lila Rose, President of Live Action said that “it is unconscionable that the United Nations considers abortion a right and is promoting the slaughter of innocent children under the guise of a pandemic response”.
The statement pointed out that “there can be no defense of human rights without acknowledging the basic right to life of every human, and that includes the right to be protected from the violent and fatal injustice of abortion”.
Live Action “urges the Administration to continue to hold the UN and global NGOs to this standard of respect for all human life, and to do all in its power to completely ban the killing of pre-born children, the greatest and most wide-reaching injustice of our day”.