Thursday, July 16, 2009

EU split over Abortion Language at UN Meeting

Ministers of UN member-states, last week by consensus, adopted a declaration on global public health, after tough negotiations which involved two marathon late-night sessions, and during which Ireland, Poland and Malta held out against strongly pro-abortion language proposed by the US and other EU member states.

The US together with some EU member-states, collaborating with the international pro-abortion lobby, attempted to include the phrase sexual and reproductive health services and rights in the declaration, language that some interpret to include abortion. Malta, Poland, Ireland and the Holy see, assisted by pro-life experts, resisted the attempt and the final declaration contained no new pro-abortion rights language.

During the high level segment of the conference Malta made a statement in the plenary session on Thursday which reiterated the nation's ongoing commitment to supporting the life of the unborn:
"[W]e wish to reiterate our strong opposition to the use of abortion as a means through which issues relating to sexual and reproductive health may be dealt with. Any discussion of rights in connection with reproductive health cannot take place outside the framework of one of the most fundamental human rights - the right to life. Malta strongly believes that the right to life extends to the unborn child from the moment of conception, and that therefore the use of abortion as a means of resolving health or social problems was a denial of that right. Termination of pregnancy through induced abortion is illegal in Malta. Consequently we consistently disassociate ourselves from, and consider invalid, all statements or decisions that use references to sexual and reproductive health, directly or indirectly, to impose obligations on anyone to accept abortion as a right, a service or a commodity that may exist outside the ambit of national legislation. We do so again at this meeting."

The outcome was a victory for life and for the family. States with a pro-abortion agenda should realise and accept that there is no agreement among either EU or UN member-states to recognise a right to abortion. In fact, such a right is impossible, as the right to life of unborn children is upheld in international human rights law, which needs to be interpreted correctly by nation-states.