Pro-life countries successfully blocked attempts to include "reproductive rights"-- which most countries understood to include abortion--from the outcome document of the UN conference Rio+20: The Future We Want. Countries were strong in stopping the advance of abortion and demonstrating a pro-life perspective for the future.
According to Marie Smith, Director of PNCI and a UN representative for Priests for Life, "Donor countries including the US, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Switzerland, and Iceland tried to inject their pro-abortion agenda into the document but failed. Their insistence that the term "reproductive rights" be included was rejected by countries whose laws protect children in the womb from the violence of abortion. These countries recognized that inclusion of the term conflicts with their national laws and said, 'No, we do not want a future that includes the destruction of unborn children'."
The successful effort was led by Holy See, Russia, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Chile, Syria, Egypt, Malta, Poland and Costa Rica; all of whom spoke out against the ploy to advance abortion as a "right". Chile stated that the "right to life" is "incompatible with the term reproductive rights" and questioned including it in a document that was meant to address sustainable development. The Nicaraguan delegate spoke against attempts by Norway and Iceland to undermine consensus by continuing to insist on inclusion of the term "reproductive rights" despite numerous protests by member states.
Attempts were made to negate the influence of the Holy See including the distribution of a briefing paper by the pro-abortion self-described group "Catholics for Choice": The Vatican at Rio+20 -What's At Stake?. The paper accused the Vatican's delegation of "once again attempting to subvert the democratic process and impose religious beliefs into the final agreement". "Catholics for Choice" accused the Holy See of undermining "international consensus on human rights" while in fact the Holy See held fast to principles previously agreed to by UN states which were not tainted by the pro-abortion agenda--an agenda which continually breaks consensus. Negotiations over the text for this Conference on Sustainable Development, a follow-up to the 1992 Earth Summit, had been long and hard beginning at the United Nations in New York City months in advance of the meeting and lasting until early Wednesday morning.
The result was a surprise to pro-abortion activists who strongly protested the final text which had no reference to population control or "reproductive rights". "Reproductive health" was included in the text --buried in the text and not appearing until item #145--and was referenced along with the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action which recognizes that countries and national laws must determine the legality of abortion.
The text is by no means problem free, but it does not advance abortion as a reproductive right which is something to celebrate.
World leaders are scheduled to vote on the text this Friday, June 22. More details on this meeting can be read at C-Fam.