Kofi Annan’s Chief of Staff Makes Clear On-the-Record that the Term “Reproductive Health” Does NOT Include Abortion

Kofi Annan’s Chief of Staff Makes Clear On-the-Record that the Term “Reproductive Health” Does NOT Include Abortion

.- Yesterday, in an official briefing before the House International Relations Committee, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan’s Chief of Staff Mark Malloch Brown clarified that the term “reproductive health” does not include abortion. 

“The UN refuted the idea that abortion is part of reproductive health. This is a clear rejection of the abortion lobby’s efforts to use this term to pressure pro-life countries to remove protections for unborn children,” said Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey.

During yesterday’s on-the-record public briefing, Congressman Smith referenced a section of the 2005 UN General Assembly World Summit Outcome document which refers to “Gender equality and empowerment of women.” One of the priorities of  Section 58 (c) is “ensuring equal access to reproductive health”.  During the following exchange, Congressman Smith asked for clarification as to whether the UN considers abortion to be part of  “reproductive health”:

Congressman Chris Smith:

“I’m talking about, if I could, Mr. Chairman [Congressman Henry Hyde], about the UN itself, not UNFPA (United Nations Fund for Population) , whether or not in an action document like this where very strong principles are enunciated, whether or not you interpret that language to mean abortion - reproductive health?”

Mark Malloch Brown, a British citizen replied:
“We do not interpret it as being abortion.”

Congressman Chris Smith:
“I appreciate that.”


“I appreciate Mr. Brown’s clear rejection of the idea that reproductive health includes abortion.  Now we can work together to ensure that true reproductive health helps women and unborn children and resist efforts to export the killing of unborn children to developing countries,” said Smith.

The hearing involved also John Bolton, Ambassador of the United States to The UN, which also criticized the term “ Reproductive health”, along with Cardinal Angelo Scola in his speech to the General Assembly last week. Cardinal Scola preferred the more simple term “Health of women and children.”

(The video of this exchange can be found on the House International Relations Committee website at:


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