WASHINGTON, D.C., AUG. 29, 2001 (Zenit.org).- The Bush administration may send a high-level delegation to a special U.N. General Assembly session on children in September because of concerns that the final declaration will contain language supporting abortion, media reports say.
Bush administration officials participating in a final round of talks in New York this week are seeking to head off that language.
“That´s what we expect and hope — to be represented at a high level, including Cabinet level,” State Department spokesman Richard Boucher told a daily briefing this week. A U.S. official who asked not to be named said the head of the American delegation would not necessarily be pro-abortion Secretary of State Colin Powell.
The three-day special session on children is designed to follow up on the 1990 World Summit for Children. That summit adopted a plan for promoting education, reducing disease, improving health care for women and children and providing better sanitation and food supplies. U.N. organizers say 75 heads of state and government have confirmed they will attend the upcoming session.
On Tuesday, the head of the U.N. Children´s Fund contended that she can assure Bush that the children´s summit will not support abortion, and she´s still hoping he will participate in the conference along with other world leaders.
“This is a document about health of kids, education of kids, child protection, child soldiers, child labor, HIV/AIDS,” Carol Bellamy said, according to the Associated Press.
Charles Hunter, a State Department spokesman, said earlier that the administration remains concerned about how the special meeting will advance a pro-abortion agenda. As a result of uncertainty about the final document, Hunter said the administration has not yet determined the level of representation it will have. “The decision about U.S. participation in the conference will be made closer to the event,” he said.
Bush in his earliest days in the White House cut off U.S. taxpayer funding for international agencies that promote or perform abortions overseas through the Mexico City policy.
“The outcome document [for the special session] shouldn´t support or endorse abortion counseling and services for adolescents. The draft does,” Boucher said. “What we´ve looked at is to have language that does not support or advance the idea of abortion.”