UN body claims abortion, contraception still key to development


Despite the marked drop in fertility rates in most parts of the world, the UN Population Fund said this week that the earth's environmental future remains threatened by population growth. In a report issued this week, it says the problem can only be addressed by UNFPA's increased provision of contraceptives and abortifacients, reported the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute.

The report, entitled "State of the World Population 2004," argues that the work of UNFPA is essential in meeting current international development goals.

The report appears to endorse the legalization of abortion, praising that "open discussion on the circumstances when abortion might be permissible has grown" throughout the world. It also claims states that the “social taboos surrounding abortion and the penalties for both women who seek abortions and those who provide them” are still challenges in many countries.

The report reiterates UNFPA's support for emergency contraception, which often acts as an abortifacient.
The report praises countries that have overcome parental authority, such as Papua New Guinea, where a new law ensures that adolescents over age 16 can access reproductive health services without parental consent.
UNFPA admits that AIDS has not been brought under control, noting that, "Despite expanding prevention activities, some five million new infections are occurring each year." The report then goes on to endorse policies that have not worked, most notably "promoting the correct and consistent use of condoms" rather than promoting abstinence and sexual fidelity, strategies that have shown significant results in sub-Saharan Africa.

The only country that is criticized in the report is the United States, which it claims has attempted to destroy worldwide consensus because of the "administration's political opposition to some aspects of reproductive health." The report praises China for its “dramatic drop” in the incidence of poverty due to its decreased fertility. The report does not mention that this fertility decline is the result of draconian population laws that include forced abortions and sterilizations.

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