Parliamentary Network E-News

Volume 18
No. 1
February, 2024
Focus on the United States

Pro-Life Congressman Questions WHO ‘Pandemic Treaty’ over Abortion

Congressman Chris Smith held a press conference— Growing concerns over the WHO 'pandemic treaty’—with Rep. Brad Wenstrup and issues experts. Rep. Smith, co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, discussed areas of the draft WHO Pandemic Agreement that WHO uses to advance abortion especially the term “essential health services”. He highlighted Article 6 which calls for the “continued provision of quality routine and essential health services during pandemics” stating: “There is absolutely no ambiguity here. Abortion is included in the list of essential health care services published by WHO in 2020 in the wake of COVID-19 despite the fact that a majority of countries restrict and regulate abortion.”


The term “essential health services” appears in other sections of the Agreement beginning with the Use of terms in the Introduction where it is part of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). UHC is promoted and described as meaning “that all people have access to the full range of quality health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship. It covers the full continuum of essential health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care.”


Article 7: Health and care workforce includes “maintaining quality essential health services and essential public health functions during pandemics”. Article 17: Whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches at the national level includes “facilitate the rapid and equitable restoration of public health capacities and routine and essential health services following a pandemic”.


Rep. Smith also expressed concern over the use of the term “human rights” since WHO and pro-abortion organizations that partner with WHO have highjacked the term to include abortion. Article 3: General principles and approaches states that “to achieve the objective of the WHO Pandemic Agreement and to implement its provisions, the Parties will be guided by…..Respect for human rights – The implementation of this Agreement shall be with full respect for the dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons.”


Smith said that while the Pandemic Agreement “affirms the need to prioritize equity and respect for human rights, on November 25, 2021 the WHO made clear that it construes the killing of unborn children by abortion—dismemberment, beheading and starvation, and that’s how the abortion pill works—to be a human right.” WHO had stated, “Lack of access to safe, timely, affordable and respectful abortion care is a critical public health and human rights issue.”


Sovereignty issues were also raised by various experts. “This is a global power grab using any future emergency as justification,” said Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council. “At risk is national sovereignty, the term ‘shall’ appears over 175 times in the document. Now, in legal parlance, ‘shall’ is mandatory; it is a command. This is anything but a voluntary agreement.”


Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy said, “Another very important tell on what is going on here is that the Chinese Communist Party calls this agenda ‘global governance,’” which is “an instrument that is going to create an arrangement that is absolutely antithetical to our sovereignty, to our constitutional republic, to our freedoms.”


Experts providing robust analysis of the proposed treaty included Ambassador Andrew Bremberg, President of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation; Dr. Monique Wubbenhost, OBGYN, a global health expert and Senior Research Associate at the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture; Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council; Brett Schaefer, Jay Kingham Senior Research Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs at Heritage’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom; Reggie Littlejohn, Founder and President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers; Megan Meador of ADF International; and Frank J Gaffney Jr, Executive Chairman of the Center for Security Policy.


The current draft of the WHO Pandemic Agreement is under discussion and review by the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) in Geneva with a final text expected as early as May. A parallel track is underway by the Review Committee regarding amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005) which is expected to present a package of amendments to the Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly in May to coincide with the Agreement.

Biden-Harris Commit to Death of Unborn Children as Top Reelection Issue

President Biden and Vice President Harris have selected the continued legal killing of children in the womb as a top campaign issue in their reelection campaign. On the 51st anniversary of the Roe v Wade abortion decision Biden issued a statement declaring that he and Vice President Harris “are fighting to protect women’s reproductive freedom against Republicans officials’ dangerous, extreme, and out-of-touch agenda” and “continue to call on Congress to restore the protections of Roe in federal law once and for all.” But, Biden-Harris are the ones with an extreme abortion agenda that allows abortion until birth.


The Biden White House issued a ‘factsheet’ listing all of its many actions on abortion including that Vice President Harris was launching a nationwide tour promoting abortion. Harris said that this November the country needs “to elect a majority of people in the United States Congress who simply agree it’s not the government’s right to tell a woman what’s in her own best interest when she knows what’s in her own best interest and doesn’t need some person walking around with a flag pin to tell her what to do.” 


She continued, “And Joe Biden has been very clear: When Congress puts back in place the rights that the Court took away, he will sign it into law. He will sign into law the protections of Roe v. Wade.”


The duo’s endless support for abortion, including during campaign stops and events with donors, has not gone unnoticed and unopposed. Bishop Michael Burbidge, chair the USCCB pro-life committee, issued a statement condemning Biden’s position on abortion after a campaign event in Manassas, VA located in the bishop’s diocese of Arlington.


Bishop Burbidge stated, “President Biden has made abortion the centerpiece of his campaign. At a rally in Manassas, VA, he advocated for codifying Roe v. Wade into law. It is incredibly devastating to know President Biden would place ‘choice’ over his sacred duty to protect life.


“Despite what this administration claims, taking the life of an innocent child is never a ‘choice.’ Women who are facing unexpected or difficult pregnancies deserve assistance that affirms and supports life – not destroy it. 


“Abortion remains the preeminent civil rights issue of our time, yet, just yesterday, the Biden administration announced renewed efforts to increase access to medically unsafe prescription abortion pills. This is clearly not about women’s health. 


“The Diocese of Arlington and the entire pro-life movement will remain steadfast in ensuring parents facing unexpected or challenging pregnancies have the support they need to choose life for their unborn children.” 

U.S.: Congress Defends Pregnancy Care Centers from the Biden Administration

The U.S. House of Representatives passed bills to protect pro-life pregnancy centers and provide resources for pregnant college students. A proposed rule by the Biden Administration would exclude pregnancy centers from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding, creating a financial hardship for these important centers. The Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Women and Families Act, H.R. 6918, would block that provision, making sure that they are able to continue helping women and babies.


“Congresswoman Michelle Fischbach’s legislation prohibits President Biden’s new policy proposal that discriminates against pregnancy resource centers,” explained Rep. Chris Smith. “The bill—H.R 6918, Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Women and Families Act—ensures that pregnancy resource centers cannot be excluded or restricted from receiving TANF funding as proposed in a rule by the President. The Biden Administration and some governors and lawmakers continue to smear and misrepresent the noble work of pregnancy resource centers. We can’t allow that to happen.”


Additionally, Member of Congress led by Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith and Representative Chris Smith challenged the Administration’s proposed rule change to defund pregnancy care centers in a letter. “For decades, pregnancy centers have stood in the gap and generously provided free assistance to women, babies, and families in their moments of need—actions aligned with TANF’s purposes. The Proposed Rule, however, would undermine the TANF program and threaten to strip millions of dollars in support for pregnant women and their unborn babies through pregnancy centers, maternity homes, and alternatives to abortion programs. We urge you to withdraw the Proposed Rule immediately,” stated the letter. 

Defending Life

U.S.: Tens of Thousands March for Life in Snowy D.C.

The annual March for Life again brought tens of thousands of pro-lifers to a cold and snowy Washington, D.C. to defend the right to life. This year’s theme of ‘With every woman, for every child’ was emphasized by speakers including Speaker of the House Mike Johnson and Pro-Life Caucus Chairman Chris Smith who highlighted the critical work pregnancy care centers play in assisting pregnant women and their unborn children.


Speaker Aisha Taylor told the crowd that a crisis pregnancy center saved her unborn twins when she considered aborting them. “I want to tell everyone marching today that your work matters,” said Taylor. “It was people like you that allowed someone like me to choose life for my unborn twins. And there are so many people like me who need people like you to be there to give them hope and a pathway forward when they’re experiencing an unplanned pregnancy.” The marchers heard compelling speeches from Antonio de Mello, a Brazilian father who has adopted 46 children who have survived abortions, Jim Harbaugh, head coach of the Michigan Wolverines football team, and former NFL player Benjamin Watson.

Argentina’s Pro-Life President Slams Abortion at World Economic Forum

Argentina’s new pro-life president has started his term strongly advocating for the right to life. President Javier Milei spoke against the radical abortion agenda at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, calling abortion a “tragedy.” President Milei slammed the idea that “we human beings damage the planet, which should be protected at all costs, even going as far as advocating for population control mechanisms or the bloody abortion agenda.” The president has previously expressed his strong opposition to abortion and campaigned on a pledge to hold a national referendum challenging the country’s 2020 law legalizing abortion.

International Pressure for Abortion

Norway Holds ‘Rights and Resistance’ Conference Featuring Head of UNAIDS

Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs directorate for development cooperation, Norad, held the pro-abortion Norad Conference 2024 ‘Rights and Resistance’ conference focused on the question: How can we push back on rising anti-democratic forces and human rights violations?” Norad’s claims included that “women’s rights are being reversed” amidst a “decline of democracy and growing polarization”.


Prominently displayed at the top of the conference’s website is the photo of a woman from Colombia holding a green abortion scarf, the symbol of the pro-abortion movement in Latin America which seeks the legalization of abortion. Norad explains that green scarves represent “a pro choice movement that works for women's reproductive rights and access to safe abortion…” Norad claims abortion is a human right adding, “The fight for democracy and basic human rights is the theme of the Norad conference 2024.”


The conference viewed pro-life gains as a “pushback” against women as the Secretary General of Plan International tweeted, “There is a serious pushback on gender equality on the global stage. Norway’s development aid is rights based, and one of the main focus is women and girls’ right to decide over their own lives and bodies.”


A featured presenter was Winnie Byanyima current Executive Director of UNAIDS and an Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. She addressed the theme Fighting the Backlash of Women’s Rights. Byanyima said“Have no doubt, there is a well-funded, well-coordinated, ruthless international push to attack the human rights of women and girls, of LGBTQ people, and of other marginalised minorities.”


She pressed for funding for pro-abortion and other organizations saying, “So we need a sustained investment in independent, autonomous feminist movements, in the Global South especially. We must bring the movements together. Sexual and reproductive rights are the frontline.”


In her concluding comments, UN AIDS Executive Director summarized what she believes is needed:


“First, we need to deepen our understanding of this pushback on human rights and democracy. Secondly, we need to bring our efforts together. We need to connect the dots. We need to link the struggles. We need to think long-term and be bold. Third, we need to back—and by backing I mean resourcing—the people most impacted by this attack on rights…To do so we need to go to the roots and challenge inequality which is rooted in the patriarchy and an extreme form of capitalism that is exploitative, extractive, violent & oppressive to people and the planet.”


UNAIDS reported on the conference calling pro-life gains a threat to everyone’s freedom and health:


UNAIDS is highlighting that the recent, well-coordinated and well-funded global pushback against women’s rights, against the human rights of LGBTQ people, against sexual and reproductive health and rights, against democracy and against civic space is not only a threat to everyone’s freedom, it is a threat to everyone’s health. In response to this threat, the AIDS movement and its allies are pushing back against the pushback, reminding world leaders of their commitments to uphold all human rights for all people.


“UNAIDS is supporting frontline human rights defenders in both crisis response and in the longer-term work and is helping to expand support for human rights by demonstrating that laws, policies and practices which uphold human rights help countries to ensure public health and to get on track to end AIDS.”


Byanyima messaged on X: “We must put human rights at the center of our development efforts. The AIDS movement has been centering human rights and women’s rights in health. We have demonstrated how patriarchal, racist, and homophobic laws, policies, practices & beliefs undermine health and hurt everyone.”


“Our progress on women’s rights and on human rights is in peril. But we are not here to mourn, we are here to organize. To defeat the backlash on rights, let women and girls lead!”


In Latin America, the women and girls Byanyima and Norway want to lead will be waving green scarves as they protest pro-life laws.

CRR Seeks to Add Abortion to EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

The Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) stated its desire to amend the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights “to explicitly guarantee the right to bodily and reproductive autonomy, including the right to abortion” in its 2024-2029: Priorities for EU Action to Advance Gender Equality and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. Additionally, it wants EU legislation to be introduced and adopted that would require Member States “to remove abortion from national criminal laws and ensure that there are no criminal penalties for having, assisting with or providing abortion care or information about abortion.”


The game plan comes as the EU prepares for elections to the European Parliament in early June but is not limited to Europe as three priority areas are presented to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights with the EU and across the world. Over the next five years, it wants the EU to: “1) spearhead the adoption and implementation of laws and policies, strategies and actions to advance SRHR and gender equality; 2) bolster its leadership on SRHR globally and increase its action to protect and support human rights defenders; 3) strengthen internal governance structures and processes to advance SRHR as well as monitoring and data collection.”


The CRR wants greater EU leadership “on SRHR in relations with third countries, at the multilateral level and in humanitarian responses, including by taking robust action against retrogression and backsliding on SRHR, and increase support for human rights defenders working on SRHR.”


It seeks EU policy guidance “on good practices for abortion care provision in line with the 2022 World Health Organization guideline on abortion care.” The CRR seeks to enter into an official partnership with the WHO to promote WHO’s extreme abortion until birth guidance.

During the next 5-year political cycle, the CRR wants “bolder action” that reflects “the significant legal advances on SRHR across EU Member States” and in the EU’s external action policies and strategies “affirming and reflecting that progress on SRHR is vital for advancing gender equality globally and must promote implementation of international human rights standards on SRHR.”

Pro-Abortion NGO Laments Global Impact of Dobbs

A report by Fòs Feminista—the new name of International Planned Parenthood Federation Western Hemisphere Region (IPPFWHR)—tracks the impact of the Dobbs decision on laws, policies, and movements in Colombia, India, Kenya and Nigeria. The New Report: The Global Impact of the Dobbs Decision states in pro-abortion terms that on a global scale, “this decision reverberates through abortion politics, emboldening attacks on bodily autonomy and abortion access at regional and country levels.”


The good news for the global pro-life movement is the finding: “In the wake of #Roe's overturn, we've seen a surge in voices opposing bodily autonomy.” However, it correctly points out that the Dobbs decision does not alter the US “commitment to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in its foreign assistance initiatives.”


Fòs Feminista writes, “Sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice (SRHRJ) are under threat worldwide because of the actions and influence of several interconnected, strategic, and well-funded anti-rights movements.” It laments that pro-life networks are “growing even in countries with relatively progressive SRHRJ trends” and have influence on every continent with local grassroots individuals and organizations taking the lead.


Strong opposition is expressed toward the photos used to display the humanity of the unborn child, arguments about viability, and the consequences of abortion on women.


The fact that pro-life beliefs are shared by influential politicians and churches, both Catholic and Evangelical, and pregnancy care centers provide essential resources to women are all viewed as impediments to advancing access to abortion.


The report expresses the regret that “Dobbs provided inspiration to anti-rights movements that mobilizing towards change in the longterm, given the fifty years between Roe v Wade and Dobbs vs Jackson, could work.


Fòs Feminista seeks a permanent repeal of the ban on US funding to international organizations that perform or promote abortion through legislative action and enactment of “other mechanisms to ensure future administrations do not weaken SRHRJ rights globally”.

Council of the EU Approves Promotion of SRHR in Global Health

The Council of the European Union adopted conclusions on the EU Global Health Strategy: Better health for all in a changing world which reaffirms the leading role of the EU and member states in advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights in global health, the term includes access to abortion. According to the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) Europe, the EU Global Health Strategy commits the EU and member states “to promoting universal quality & affordable #SRHR information, education & services. It commits the EU to doing so through a human-rights based approach.” The CRR interprets UN human rights treaties to include a right to abortion while no treaty does.


The EU Health Strategy commits “to the promotion, protection and fulfilment of all human rights and to the full and effective implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD)”. It adds reference to pro-abortion documents that were never negotiated— the outcomes of their review conferences— and states that it “remains committed to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), in this context.”


The EU restates its commitment “to the promotion, protection and fulfilment of the right of every individual to have full control over, and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality and sexual and reproductive health” and stresses “the need for universal access to quality and affordable comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information, education, including comprehensive sexuality education, and health-care services.”


Following adoption, pro-abortion Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW) expressed its support: “We are glad to see member states reaffirming the need for s strong human rights- based approach to global health, by recognizing gender equality and the promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights as central elements in achieving good health for all. These commitments are even more crucial at a time of global backlash against women’s rights and gender equality.”


The pro-abortion coalition Countdown 2030 tweeted: “The Council conclusions show there is political support to advance global health, including SRHR. They provide new means to hold member states accountable to their commitments on global health. We look forward to seeing these commitments become reality!”


EU Directive on Violence Against Women Includes Abortion

The European Parliament and negotiators for the European Commission agreed to the first ever binding EU legislation on combating violence against women--Directive on combating violence against women and domestic violence. It includes access to abortion as ‘sexual and reproductive care for all survivors of sexual violence’. According to IPPF, “For the first time ever, an EU law will now affirm that Member States shall guarantee victims of sexual violence timely access to healthcare services, including sexual and reproductive healthcare – encompassing emergency contraception, post exposure prophylaxis and abortion care – in accordance with national law.” 

Focus on the United Nations

WHO Partners with Pro-Abortion NGOs to Advance Access to Abortion

The World Health Organization has been partnering with pro-abortion organizations to advance access to abortion including in national health plans and in Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and to advance its extreme Abortion Guideline and accompanying Towards a supportive law and policy environment for quality abortion care: evidence brief which seeks to overturn pro-life restrictions and regulations including those based on the age of the child in the womb, parental consent, and conscientious objection.


WHO designated International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) as a having ‘official relations’ with WHO in 2023. ‘Official relations’ translates into collaboration between WHO and IPPF with agreed objectives and activities for a three-year period including the objective: “Disseminate and support the implementation of the WHO Abortion Care Guideline.”  IPPF provides and promotes abortion around the world.


Another pro-abortion organization given ‘official relations’ in 2023 is the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO). WHO wants the doctors of FIGO to provide abortion training according to WHO’s abortion guidance and to work with countries to implement WHO’s recommended abortion until birth practices. FIGO’s Safe Abortion Committee committed to writing a report “containing recommendations on advocating for national partners and national societies to move towards alignment with WHO abortion guidelines”.


This year, the WHO Executive Committee delayed a decision on granting the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) the same status due to pro-life objections. Pro-life organizations sent a letter objecting to the CCR’S efforts to “manipulate international cooperation to promote abortion as a human right.”


As reported by LifeNews, multiple American pro-life organizations sent a letter to the WHO Executive Board stating that granting the pro-abortion organization ‘official relations’ would “compromise WHO’s integrity, independence, credibility, and reputation” as the Center for Reproductive Rights has “proved incapable of providing accurate legal information and has repeatedly compromised scientific evidence in its advocacy materials in favor of its preferred policy outcomes.”

Emma Waters, a research associate at the Heritage Foundation, said that the potential partnership “contradicts the WHO’s purported commitment to global public health as it aligns with an ideologically-driven agenda rather than prioritizing the well-being of women and unborn lives.”

Legislative News

France: National Assembly Votes to Make Abortion Constitutional Right

The French National Assembly has passed a constitutional amendment to make abortion a “guaranteed freedom.” The legislation would amend article 34 of France’s constitution to state: “The law determines the conditions in which are carried out the guaranteed freedom of a woman to turn to an abortion.” Amendments offered by Republicans sought to lower the legal limit for abortion from 14 weeks to 12 weeks, arguing that the “guaranteed freedom” of the bill will lead to an extension of the legal limit.


The initiative now awaits Senate consideration. In order to change the French constitution, the National Assembly and Senate have to pass identical legislation, which then must be approved by three fifths of a constitutional congress comprised of both chambers. A previous attempt to add abortion to France’s constitution fell short when legislation passed by the National Assembly emphasized a “right” to abortion whereas the Senate’s version focused on “freedom.” President Macron had campaigned on the promise of making abortion a constitutional right in his 2022 campaign. 


Cuba: National Assembly Approves Bill to Legalize Euthanasia

The Cuban National Assembly of People’s Power has voted to legalize euthanasia. The new law gives citizens the right “to access a dignified death through the exercise of determinations for the end of life, which may include limiting therapeutic efforts, continuous or palliative care, and valid procedures to end life.” Arguing that Cubans deserve the right to a “dignified” death, lawmakers unanimously approved the measure. The new law will go into effect once the Minister of Health issues regulations governing it. Pro-lifers are concerned the practice could be quickly abused or misused, especially given the country’s high levels of poverty, low access to quality medical care, and socialized government.  

Executive News

U.S.: Governors Issue Pro-Life Proclamations

Two U.S. Governors have issued pro-life proclamations. Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen issued a proclamation to advance the right to life in the state, calling for the protection of the unborn, the empowerment of women through resources, and the importance of pregnancy care centers. “Nebraska is a pro-life state that respects the dignity of human life, no matter how small or abled, and affirms that every life has been granted God-given value and purpose,” states the proclamation. Governor Pillen also emphasized the critical role pregnancy care centers play in providing services to needy families.


Relatedly, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem issued a proclamation designating 2024 as “Freedom for Life Year” in South Dakota. “Being pro-life means valuing the child’s life before their birth and throughout their life; it also means valuing and protecting that mother’s life,” said Governor Noem. She stated that life is to be protected from conception and highlighted the crucial first 1,000 days of life. Governor Noem also highlighted the South Dakota Bright Start program, a state program assisting mothers and babies from pregnancy until age two, and a website her office created ( to provide resources for pregnant women and new parents. 

Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues
Advancing global respect and dignity for life through law and policy.

In this Issue


Focus on United States

Pro-Life Congressman Questions WHO ‘Pandemic Treaty’ over Abortion

Biden-Harris Commit to Death of Unborn Children as a Top Reelection Issue

U.S.: Congress Defends Pregnancy Care Centers from the Biden Administration


Defending Life

U.S.: Tens of Thousands March for Life in Snowy D.C.

Argentina’s Pro-Life President Slams Abortion at World Economic Forum


International Pressure for Abortion

Norway Holds ‘Rights and Resistance’ Conference Featuring Head of UNAIDS

CRR Seeks to Add Abortion to EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

Pro-abortion NGO Laments Global Impact of Dobbs

Council of the EU Approves Promotion of SRHR in Global Health

EU Directive on Violence Against Women Includes Abortion


Focus on the United Nations

WHO Partners with Pro-Abortion NGOs to Advance Access to Abortion


Legislative News

France: National Assembly Votes to Make Abortion Constitutional Right

Cuba: Parliament Approves Bill to Legalize Euthanasia


Executive News

U.S.: Governors Issue Pro-Life Proclamations