Latin American Delegations at U.N. Promote Abortion

In Violation of Countries´ Constitutions

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NEW YORK, SEPT. 2, 2001 ( Delegates from Latin American countries attending preparatory meetings for the World Summit for Children have supported measures that encourage abortion, despite the fact that such a position goes directly against the constitutions of many of these countries.

The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) reported that negotiations broke down at U.N. headquarters late Thursday during the preparatory meetings for the Sept. 19-21 children´s summit because Latin American countries insisted that the final document include abortion-related language.

C-FAM explained that “reproductive health services” has become a code-phrase for abortion, a way for some delegations to promote abortion for adolescents without mentioning abortion by name.

This tactic was uncovered in a June preparatory meeting when, after pointed questions from the U.S. delegation, a Canadian diplomat conceded that “reproductive health services” meant access to abortion. “I hate to say the word, but it includes abortion,” the diplomat said.

Despite the Canadian admission, during this week´s meetings, Latin American countries continued to deny that “services” included abortion. The U.S. delegation responded with a challenge that if “reproductive health services” does not involve abortion, why not explicitly state this in the document? The Latin American countries rejected this proposal.

According to U.N. pro-family observers, the actions of the Latin American countries signal a disturbing change in policy.

The Latin American countries, now negotiating as a bloc called the Rio Group, which represents largely Catholic countries (Argentina, Chile and Brazil) that have pro-life constitutions, appear to be endorsing the worldwide expansion of access to abortion. In this effort, the Rio Group has aligned itself with the predominantly pro-abortion European Union.

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