5 UN agencies join to promote universal abortion rights

Posted on | June 15, 2011 by Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D. |

Under the auspices of condemning the heinous practice of sex selective abortion, 5 UN agencies have issued a statement essentially calling for universal unrestricted abortion. Thanks to Marie Smith for highlighting the following disturbing passages in the document:

Various United Nations human rights treaty
monitoring bodies have established that the rights
of women and girls to life, health and development
are violated when they undergo an unsafe abortion
because safe services were denied to them, or are
forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term.

Ensuring access to services for safe abortion to
the full extent of the law at all times is crucial, as
is working with communities to address the social
norms and practices that increase the vulnerability
of women and girls to the health risks associated
with unsafe abortion.

Sex selection in favour of boys is a symptom of
pervasive social, cultural, political and economic
injustices against women, and a manifest violation
of women’s human rights. Such injustices must be
addressed and resolved without exposing women
and children to the risk of death or serious injury
through denying them access to needed services –
and thus further violating their rights (Dickens et al.,

The agencies include the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

It is disappointing but perhaps not surprising to see the new UN Women hopping on this ill-fated bandwagon so soon.



Turtle Bay and Beyond is a blog covering international law, policy and institutions. Our experts - at the UN, European Institutions, and elsewhere - explore an authentic understanding of international law, sovereignty, and the dignity of the human person. We expose those who would seek to impose a radical social vision that is contrary to these principles.


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