Holy See: People Are Greatest Resource

Denounces Pro-Abortion «Reproductive Health» Policies

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NEW YORK, OCT. 14, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See is countering the suggestion that «reproductive health» includes the right to abortion, and is urging the United Nations to consider human persons as the world’s greatest resource.

Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See at the United Nations, affirmed this Monday in an address on population and development given to the 64th session of the U.N. General Assembly.

He acknowledged this year’s 15th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo, Egypt, where many posited «that a population explosion was going to occur and hamper the ability to achieve adequate global economic development.»

Now, the prelate said, «we see that this perception was unfounded.»

On the contrary, he observed, in many countries, «legislators are now encouraging an increase in birth rates to assure continued economic growth.»

The archbishop noted: «For nearly a century, attempts have been made to link global population with the food, energy, natural resources and environmental crises.

«Yet, on the contrary, it has been consistently demonstrated by human ingenuity and the ability of people to work together that human persons are the world’s greatest resource.»

A «vital element» of social and economic development, Archbishop Migliore affirmed, is the family.

He underlined the need to promote the family, stating that «sexual and economic exploitation, trafficking of women and girls and discriminatory practices in the job market have challenged governments to promote and apply policies to end these injustices and support the family in its proper responsibilities.»

Human centered policies

The prelate also requested that demographic policies «take into account the needs of migrants as part of an overall responsibility to place the human person at the center of all development policies.»

He added that «greater efforts must be made to enact human centered policies, which recognize the shared benefits of migration» for both the destination countries and the migrants’ homelands.

Archbishop Migliore addressed the issue of health, particularly of mothers, and denounced the «notion of sexual and reproductive health which is detrimental to unborn human life and the integral needs of women and men within society.»

«Suggesting that reproductive health includes a right to abortion explicitly violates the language of the [International Conference on Population and Development], defies moral and legal standards within local communities and divides efforts to address the real needs of mothers and children,» he asserted.

The prelate urged the United Nations to «respond to the integral health and social needs» by «taking into account the social, cultural and spiritual needs of all» and adhering to the national laws in the community.

He underlined the Catholic Church’s commitment to providing access to health care for everyone, with its «5,000 hospitals, 18,000 health clinics, and 15,000 homes for the elderly and disabled» worldwide.

The archbishop concluded by making an appeal for «the most vulnerable within society,» urging his listeners to work for the «physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of children.»

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On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text: http://www.zenit.org/article-27193?l=english

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