The so-called Morning After Pill, often called “emergency contraception” by the medical establishment, is not a “life-saving commodity,” the head of the Holy See delegation told the 66th World Health Assembly in Geneva this week. Such drugs are in reality “a direct attack” on the life of the unborn child.
In his address, Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski responded to the World Health Organization’s Resolution EB132.R4, which urges member states to improve the quality, supply, and use of 13 “life-saving commodities.”
The list includes “emergency contraception.”
ArchbishopZimowski said the Holy See “strongly agrees with the need to achieve further reductions in the loss of life and prevention of illness through increased access to inexpensive interventions” but insisted that they must all be “respectful of the life and dignity of all mothers and children at all stages of life, from conception to natural death.”
While some of the WHO’s recommendations, he said, “are truly life-saving, that of ‘emergency contraception’ can hardly be labeled as such since it is well known that, when conception already has occurred, certain substances used in ‘emergency contraception’ produce an abortifacient effect.”
“For my delegation, it is totally unacceptable to refer to a medical product that constitutes a direct attack on the life of the child in utero as a ‘life-saving commodity’ and, much worse, to encourage ‘increasing use of such substances in all parts of the world,’” he said.
Patrick Buckley, the international affairs officer of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, commented that the intervention was well placed.
The World Health Assembly is the annual general meeting of the World Health Organization and is discussing universal health coverage, women and children’s health, and monitoring the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals, all of which have relevance to the issue of abortion and artificial contraception.
Earlier this year, abortion advocates used the three-day Global Maternal Health Conference in Tanzania to promote the idea of universal coverage for abortion as part of the MDGs.
Buckley said, “It is good to hear the Holy See speaking out boldly on this fundamental issue. Women are entitled to the truth – and the Catholic Church is serving the best interests of women, children and families worldwide, when it proclaims the truth fearlessly on abortion and abortifacient products in world assemblies.”
In another intervention, Jeanne Head, R.N., National Right to Life vice-president for international affairs and UN representative said that women, especially in the developing world, “face numerous risks with abortion, legal or illegal.”
“Yet some in the international community have focused their resources primarily on legalizing abortion at the expense of women’s lives and health,” she said.
In a submission to the meeting, Scott Fischbach of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Global Outreach, said, “The evidence is overwhelming: Abortion is dangerous for women. Abortion is by its very nature a violent and damaging procedure.”
Speaking for a coalition of international pro-life groups, Fischbach said, “We call upon the WHA to acknowledge that abortion needlessly puts women at serious risk, both physically and psychologically. We urge the World Health Assembly to adopt measures that protect women from abortion and improve women’s health care.”
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