International Planned Parenthood Still Advocating Abortion at UN

* A few weeks ago International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) called for the elimination of the Vatican from its seat as an Observer Mission to the United Nations. IPPF accused the Vatican of having a "broader political agenda" in its criticism of "emergency contraceptive" supplies IPPF and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) have shipped to the Kosovar women living in Albanian and Macedonian refugee camps. IPPF accused the Vatican of lying in their assertion that the "morning after pill" was tantamount to abortion.

* Considered an "apex NGO," IPPF is one of the most important and powerful NGOs in the UN system. IPPF both carries out UN programs on the ground, and also maintains a leading policy-making role at UN headquarters. IPPF is an umbrella organization that directly links "family planning associations" in more than 150 countries. IPPF promotes what many consider to be the most advanced notions of sexual and reproductive health, including abortion on demand for all age groups, including children.

* A major goal of IPPF is to change national laws regarding abortion and other "reproductive health services." IPPF says they intend to "increase the right of access to safe, legal abortion" and to "campaign for policy and legislative change to remove restrictions against safe abortion." More than 100 nations have some restrictions on abortion, each of them presumably are targets of IPPF action.

* IPPF is assisted in their mission by several UN agencies, particularly UNFPA. UNPFA is forbidden by the Cairo Programme of Action from promoting abortion as a method of family planning. Pro-life observers believe UNPFA uses NGOs to carry out tasks forbidden to the US$295 million agency, including promoting abortion on demand and the change of national law. IPPF is chief among the NGOs supported financially by UNFPA.

* In a speech delivered a year ago in Bangladesh, Dr. Nafis Sadik, Executive Director of UNFPA, cited the importance of NGOs because they have "the flexibility to act in areas where governments are not able or willing to act, because of political sensitivity" At the controversial UNFPA controlled Hague Forum on Population and Development last February, UNFPA allowed up to 80 IPPF affiliates credentials to participate while only allowing six pro-life NGOs inside. This disparity drew fire from G-77 diplomats at the recent Cairo+5 prepcom.

* Although not a single UN Member State has joined IPPF's call for the Vatican's ouster from the UN, UNPFA has not criticized what many see as IPPF's attack on a sovereign state.

Source: Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (June, 1999)

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