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UN office in Paraguay says legalized abortion in Paraguay only a “suggestion” and “recommendation”

.- Responding to a report by the news agency Noticias Globales on the pressure from a United Nations affiliated feminist organization to get Paraguay to legalize abortion, the UN office in Paraguay issued a statement saying the organization was only making suggestions. Several days ago, the United Nations’ Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women called for Paraguay to revise its laws that criminalize abortion.

The Committee was created by the UN to verify the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. Its authority has been freely ratified by each nation.

Due to the markedly pro-abortion and feminist leanings of the Committee, numerous pro-life organizations have pressured their respective nations to abstain from ratifying its protocol, which would give the Committee the ability to interfere in internal politics.

According to the news agency Noticias Globales, during the last meeting of the Committee in New York from January 10-28, its “experts” expressed their concern for “the connection between high maternal mortality rates and the criminalization of abortion under national laws that have not yet been struck down.”

Committee “expert” Salma Khan expressed “great concern for the high maternal mortality rate, a result of the lack of family planning services and because of illegal abortions” in Paraguay, and she told the delegation that according to the Convention women should have complete access to family planning services,” that is, to unrestricted abortion.

UN clarification

The statement by the United Nations office in Paraguay does not deny the Noticias Globales report and argues that “the Committee is only making suggestions and recommendations based on the analysis of reports and data provided the membership States, with the idea of carrying out the goals of the Convention.”

Nevertheless, the statement maintains that “one of the variables analyzed by the Committee during its 32nd meeting was the significant data that, although the numbers have improved, every 7 minutes a woman somewhere in the world dies from an underground abortion, and this is a detriment to her right to life and is an explicit form of violence against women.”

“The recommendations are the product of scientific verification and their reach and effect are limited.  They do not commit the member States to act in consequence and they should not be presented as an official policy of the United Nations,” the statement adds.

Paraguay’s Health Minister, Julio Cesar Velazquez, denied that his office is in favor of legalizing abortion.  “As Minister, my position is pro-life.  I believe that killing people will not solve the problem of over-population,” he said.

Although he strongly endorsed contraception, Velazquez said the report by the UN committee will be analyzed and evaluated with the Foreign Relations Ministry, but with a “no to abortion” position as the starting point.


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April 23, 2014

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