NAIROBI, Kenya — This week a United Nations summit in Nairobi marks the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, Egypt. Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Global Outreach (MCCL GO) urges governments and others in the international community to reject efforts by the Summit to advance abortion rather than the important health objectives agreed upon in Cairo.
"The Nairobi Summit is trying to enshrine the right to abortion that was rejected 25 years ago," says MCCL GO Executive Director Scott Fischbach. "There is clearly no international consensus in support of this abortion agenda, which only distracts from the actual agreements of Cairo and the need for further improvements in maternal and child health care."
The Summit, which runs from today through Thursday, will advocate a set of "commitments" that include "universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights." At a U.N. high-level meeting on universal health coverage in September, a joint statement by 19 countries critiqued such language for "promot[ing] practices, like abortion, in circumstances that do not enjoy international consensus and which can be misinterpreted by U.N. agencies. … There is no international right to an abortion and these terms should not be used to promote pro-abortion policies and measures."
The ICPD Programme of Action recognizes no right to abortion. On the contrary, it affirms the equal dignity and right to life of every human being (chapter II, principle 1). It also states that abortion should never be promoted as a method of family planning (paragraph 7.24) and that changes to abortion policy should be made at the local or national level (paragraph 8.25).
"Many of those behind the Nairobi Summit are unhappy with the ICPD Programme of Action and wish to promote abortion rather than fulfill the promises of Cairo," says Fischbach. "This abortion push must be rejected."