USAID Asks UN To Drop Support For Abortion In COVID-19 Response

( The Trump administration has written to the United Nations, asking that the organization remove “reproductive health” as well as support for abortion from its humanitarian plan that responds to the coronavirus pandemic.
As John Barsa, the acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, wrote to the U.N.:
“The delivery of essential health care is the first priority around the globe during this time. In addition, severe food shortages could represent a second, deadly impact of the pandemic in many countries.” However, the U.N. “must remain focused on addressing the most urgent, concrete needs that are arising out of the pandemic.
“Therefore, the U.N. should not use this crisis as an opportunity to advance access to abortion as an ‘essential service.’ Unfortunately, the Global HRP [Humanitarian Response Plan] does just this, by cynically placing the provision of ‘sexual and reproductive health services’ on the same level of importance as food insecurity, essential health care, malnutrition, shelter and sanitation.”
The U.N. plan calls for individual countries to promote abortion as part of the response to outbreaks of COVID-19 in their countries. It also calls for increased distribution of “abortion-inducing drugs and abortion supplies,” Barsa said.
Last fall, President Donald Trump touted a similar message at a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly. There, he emphasized that the U.S. planned to disentangle from promotion abortion overseas, which is a routine event for the U.N. As Trump said:
“We are aware that many United Nations projects have attempted to assert a global right to taxpayer-funded abortion on demand, right up until the moment of delivery. Global bureaucrats have absolutely no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that wish to protect innocent life.”
At that same General Assembly meeting, America presented a joint statement on behalf of them and 18 other member countries, which insisted there’s no “international right” to abortion. The statement asked the U.N. to stop using euphemistic terms like “sexual and reproductive health and rights” in the organization’s official proposals and documents.
At the assembly, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, said:
“There is no international right to an abortion … These terms should not be used to promote pro-abortion policies and measures.”
The language the U.N. uses in its official documents has caused some strife around the world. In Ecuador, for example, there have been protests because the U.N.’s humanitarian response plan is in conflict with Ecuador’s policy on abortion. The practice is illegal in the country, except in cases where the woman’s life is at risk.
The issue is the U.N. plan would require countries to implement a training program for health care workers that would promote “access to contraception including emergency contraception, safe legal abortion and post-abortion care.”
As Barsa’s letter continues to say:
“To achieve global unity … it is essential that the UN’s response to the pandemic avoid creating controversy. Therefore, I ask that you remove references to ‘sexual and reproductive health,’ and its derivatives from the Global HRP, and drop the provision of abortion as an essential component of the UN’s priorities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic … [which is] among the most polarizing issues raised in UN negotiations.”