World Health Assembly to Endorse Pro-Abortion Conference
   
   
By Samantha Singson

     (NEW YORK – C-FAM) The General Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) will meet in Geneva later this month and is expected to promote the outcome of a controversial pro-abortion conference that took place in London last year. The 61st annual World Health Assembly (WHA) will discuss “mobilizing political will” in the area of “sexual and reproductive health." In a document prepared for the meeting, there is a reference to the Women Deliver Conference which was sponsored by various UN agencies and pro-abortion non-governmental organizations.  

     The Women Deliver reference is included in the WHA document as part of a progress report that lists activities that have been undertaken to achieve the WHO's reproductive health strategy that member states first agreed to in 2004. It is thought that the World Health Assembly may try to elevate the Women Deliver conference on par with an official governmental meeting which it was not.
 
     Though Women Deliver was attended by government officials and sponsored by UN agencies such as the WHO, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the conference was primarily organized by non-governmental organizations like the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the Center for Reproductive Rights, Ipas, and the International Women’s Health Coalition.

     As reported last year by the Friday Fax, Women Deliver was billed as a conference focused on maternal, child and newborn health and reducing maternal mortality but participants were overwhelmed by the conference’s abortion focus.  Out of 98 scheduled sessions at Women Deliver, 35 focused on abortion while only 2 dealt with newborn health. The agenda was organized by Frances Kissling, former president of Catholics for a Free Choice, and the majority of discussions focused on securing funding and harnessing political will for “reproductive rights,” a term that has been interpreted by UN committees to include abortion on demand.  One organizer bluntly told C-FAM's Susan Yoshihara that the Women Deliver conference was a "pro-choice conference."

     A report on Women Deliver prepared by Yoshihara details six major problems with the conference and the false consensus reached by the conference’s organizers that “reproductive health services” is the primary way to reduce maternal mortality. According to Yoshihara, the problems include: contradiction with longstanding medical consensus, diversion of funds from HIV/AIDS and other pressing global health issues, use of poor data, undermining sovereignty and the rule of law through the abuse of UN human rights treaties to pressure countries to remove legal protection from the unborn, undermining health systems and medical regulations to promote risky abortion techniques by lower level health care providers, and attacking religion, culture and the family because they are the strongest barriers to the abortion agenda. 

     Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America who attended the London meeting, said, "Considering the conference's obsession with abortion, policymakers should not rely on advice from Women Deliver."

     The World Health Assembly is the annual meeting organized and run by the WHO. The Assembly is expected to take action on the report during its session later this month.

Pro-Family Institute Launched
by Quatar at UN Conference
   
   
By Piero A. Tozzi

     (New York – C-FAM) A pro-family research institute that promises to be active in United Nations (UN) policy debates announced its presence this week.  The Permanent Mission of Qatar hosted the UN launch of the Doha Institute for Family Studies and Development (Doha Institute), a think tank patronized by the Qatari royal family.

     Addressing the contentious issue of what constitutes “family” – a word which promoters of radical social policies at the UN and elsewhere have sought to redefine to include same-sex households – Dr. Richard G. Wilkins, the Doha Institute‘s Managing Director and a former Brigham Young University law professor, identified it with the natural marital unit formed by man and woman ordered to the raising of children. 

     Wilkins emphasized the need to promote policies that advance the best interests of children while avoiding intolerance toward those whose familial structures depart from the general norm, including single-parent households.  Noting how elsewhere at the UN there is an emphasis on “natural ecology” and environmental concerns, Wilkins stated that the family too must be considered as it exists in nature, and how it is designed to promote human flourishing across languages, religions and cultures.

     Charles D. Johnson, the director of the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M University, spoke of his organization’s collaboration with the Doha Institute in developing a web-accessible database compiling pro-family resources searchable in both English and Arabic. 
    
     Recalling the strong affirmation contained in Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) that the family is the “natural and fundamental group unit of society,” organizers say the Doha Institute’s mission is to work with UN agencies, governments, academics and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in promoting policies, sponsoring research and holding conferences and workshops supportive of the traditional family-centric social model.

     Since its founding in 2005 following the Doha International Conference for the Family held in the Qatari capital the prior year [co-sponsored by Friday Fax publisher C-FAM], the Doha Institute has hosted a number of academic conferences in the Middle East, Kenya, Sweden and Mexico.  It has also published a three-volume collection of studies on the place of family in human society, marriage and human dignity, and strengthening the family unit.  Future symposia will address the importance of fathers and the threat posed by pornography.  Governed by a cross-cultural board comprised of members from the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Latin America representing diverse religious traditions, the focus of the Doha Institute is global and extends beyond the Islamic world.

     Attendance at the May 6 presentation was sizeable for an event of its kind, with representatives of over dozen member state delegations.  Attending were representatives of the Holy See, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, and Venezuela.   The Doha Institute plans follow-up events on May 15 in recognition of the International Day of the Family, which will also be marked at the UN by a conference on fatherhood.

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