13 Nov Six Problems with the ‘Abortion First’ Approach to Maternal Mortality
Six Problems with the ‘Abortion First’ Approach to
Dear Friend of the Family,
Carol Soleberg, President of UFI There are plenty of examples of how the anti-family Left defies intellectual honesty and betrays the public trust, but none are better summarized than in a new report written by Dr. Susan Yoshihara, regarding the outcomes of last month’s “Women Deliver” conference in London. The executive vice president of Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute and one of our leading allies, Susan explains how the “abortion first” approach has failed so many women around the world. UFI Executive Director Laura Knaperek worked with Susan and a pro-family/pro-life coalition to monitor the conference, which was sponsored by several pro-choice and abortion organizations. This was the world’s largest pro-choice conference in recent times, and valuable insight was gained about the recent actions and the goals of these organizations.
Dr. Yoshihara cited six problems with “Women Deliver” and why the United Nations should not change the Millennium Development Goals 5:
PROBLEM No. 1: Women Delivers’ “abortion first” approach to maternal mortality contradicts consensus in the medical community. The medical community has long known the two most important ways to reduce maternal mortality are access to skilled birth attendants and emergency obstetric care. Among health professionals who put family planning in the top three needs, abortion is not included.
PROBLEM No. 2: The “abortion first” approach to maternal mortality diverts necessary attention and funding from the real needs of women, namely decent health care. There are major public health risks associated with siphoning off money from fighting infectious diseases to pay for family planning and abortion. Family planning already receives significant funding, while skilled care and emergency obstetrics as well as other basic health care provisions remain woefully under-funded.
PROBLEM No. 3: The commonly used figure of 500,000-600,000 maternal deaths per year and the “abortion first” approach rest upon unreliable and unsubstantiated data. There is no reliable data on maternal mortality, but UN agencies use the above figure as justification for expanding abortion rights. There is no evidence for the assertion that legal abortion is “safe,” as the World Health Association asserts. Conference panelist Cindy Stanton admitted that pro-choice organizations cook the books to make their “numbers turn out right” to further their cause.
PROBLEM No. 4: The “abortion first” approach undermines the rule of law by abusing the UN human rights monitoring system, deliberately misinterpreting negotiated UN human rights documents and exploiting the tragedy of maternal mortality in order to promote abortion rights. Leaders of the conference announced that they would increase the use of UN human rights treaties to find an international right to abortion.
PROBLEM No. 5: Women’s lives are endangered because the “abortion first” approach undermines health care standards and national regulations by deliberately bypassing national laws and medical regulations. Proponents of the “abortion first” doctrine intend to bypass national health systems and national governments by providing midlevel providers and midwives from Africa, Asia, and Latin America with plastic manual abortion kits and abortion drugs. Despite the rhetoric about avoiding “unsafe” abortion, this plan will jeopardize countless women’s lives.
PROBLEM No. 6: The “abortion first” approach targets religion, culture, and the family. UN officials and non-governmental organizations cite religion, culture and strong families as the major barriers to abortion rights. For this reason, the authority of the Catholic Church must be undermined, and children must be given sex education that undermines the values of their parents.
We believe the truth will win out as time goes by, but we have to work hard and work smart to prevent the opposition’s aims from becoming established in law and policy. We need your continued support to help us hold up the family as the ideal in society worldwide. That is why your contribution of $10, $25, $50, $100, $500, $1000 or more will help get the word out on the truth of what the anti-life/anti-family groups are proposing. Send your contributionin today. It is an easy way to make a difference and save lives. Thank you.
Carol Soelberg, President
United Families International