Saturday, October 11, 2008

Updated Report on UNICEF for this Halloween

"Life News - October 2008
It’s that time of year again – those little
orange boxes carried by children or
positioned at the check-out line in the grocery store—
asking for donations to the United Nations Children’s
Fund (UNICEF). Years ago, UNICEF was created to
address the issues of poverty, clean water and education
for the world’s children. Today, the organization is heavily
involved in promoting abortion in developing countries.
A UN-sponsored conference was held last October in
London entitled “Women Deliver.” Out of the 98
scheduled sessions, 35 focused on abortion and 2
addressed newborn health. Each of the three daily opening
plenary sessions highlighted ‘reproductive rights’ with
leading abortion advocates. None of the sessions
addressed primary child health issues such as vaccine
availability, clean water, safe sanitation, availability of
basic nutritional supplementation, training for village
health workers in identifying calorie malnutrition, or
provisions of foodstuffs to combat protein calorie
malnutrition. Child mortality was minimally addressed as

A 2004 United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
report acknowledged that the best way to reduce maternal
mortality was through the presence of skilled birth
attendants and emergency obstetrics. These issues were
minimally addressed at the October 2007 conference.
Caesarian births, peri- and post-natal care, stillbirths and
related complications were also downplayed at the
conference. Obstetric fistula, the subject of a UNFPA
awareness campaign, was only addressed twice.

Over the past few months, UNFPA and other UN
agencies have been pushing a new target of “universal
access to reproductive health by 2015.” In 2000, more
than 150 heads of state met and developed an agreement
consisting of eight broad goals (Millennium Development
Goals, MDGs) such as eliminating poverty and hunger,
achieving universal primary education and reducing child
mortality. None of these goals mentioned ‘reproductive
health’—a term that is used to promote abortion. The UN
General Assembly has never agreed to such a definition.

Prior to the five-year review of the MDGs in 2005,
pro-abortion advocates including the International Planned
Parenthood Federation and UNFPA launched an
aggressive campaign to adopt a new goal on ‘reproductive
health.’ This effort failed. A political declaration
endorsing ‘reproductive health’ was issued, but it is
non-binding and has no force in international law.
Abortion promoters have been trying since then to attach
‘reproductive health’ to the existing MDGs.

At the board meeting of UNICEF in June, 2008, the US
delegation took issue with the latest UNICEF report which
included a reference to a ‘reproductive health’ target under
the MDGs. US representative to UNICEF Bill Brisben
stated that the US is committed to achieving the core
MDGs agreed to in the Millennium Declaration and
reaffirmed the 2005 Outcome Document of the World
Summit. He continued, however, that the US “does not
support the addition of new goals, targets, or indicators to
the internationally-agreed Millennium Development
Goals…neither we nor other UN Member States have
agreed to the creation by the UN Secretariat of a new
MDG target on reproductive health.”

Last month, the US rejected an invitation to join a new
Danish campaign calling on governments to “accelerate
implementation of Millennium Development Goal 3”
calling for “gender equality and women’s empowerment.”
Many believe this campaign is intended to go beyond the
mandate and will be used to promote a new MDG on
reproductive health supported by abortion advocates. The
Danish government initiated the “Torch Campaign” to
encourage governments and society to “Do Something
Extra” to accelerate achievement of MDG 3. The
campaign calls on governments to ensure women’s
“sexual and reproductive health and rights” by claiming
that “access to services and information on sexual and
reproductive health will empower women to make their
own choices about the number of children they have, safe
pregnancy and delivery.”

Abortion advocates have been attempting to attach
‘reproductive health’ to MDG 5 which focuses on
improving maternal health. The Torch Campaign is
attempting to raise $500 million to improve the lives of
women through the Thematic Fund on Maternal Health. In
addition to focusing on the reduction of maternal death
and disability, this fund also addresses “adolescent sexual
and reproductive health and the prevention of unsafe
abortion and the management of its complications.”
UNICEF is one of the “torch bearers” in this campaign,
along with the World Health Organization and the United
Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).

Pro-life UN watchers remain concerned that the
disproportionate focus on unsafe abortion based on
questionable maternal mortality figures detracts from
addressing the major health risks to pregnant women in
the developing world, including severe bleeding,
eclampsia and obstructed labor. A representative from a
pro-life NGO (Non-governmental organization) stated at
the 2007 conference in London, “If UNICEF and the other
organizers cared more about maternal and child health
they would focus on the top killers of women and
children. It is clear to us that this conference is more about
promoting abortion than it is about dealing with the issues
that most women face every day.”

Sources: 10/12/07, 10/4/07, 7/10/08, 6/19/08
Regina Carbonaro—516-795-7568—

Reprinted with special permission from Life News - October 2008; publication of the Long Island Coalition for Life "

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