(Human Life International) Pro-life experts are raising the alarm about two major international treaties, which they say could be used to force the United States and many other nations to recognize abortion-on-demand as late as 40 weeks.
The first of these documents is a proposed “pandemic treaty,” which is being championed by the stridently pro-abortion World Health Organization. Although the treaty is only in the drafting stage, there are already clear indications that planners intend to use the treaty to advance the idea that abortion access is a “necessary” service during pandemics.
The second problematic treaty is the EU-ACP Agreement (also known as the Samoa Agreement), which is a 20-year treaty between seventy-nine African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, and the European Union. As has become standard in international negotiations, powerful first-world nations are using this treaty to impose their corrupt moral worldview on less powerful, but often pro-life and pro-family nations.
Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic began, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international agencies have been pushing for a so-called “pandemic treaty.” The ostensible purpose of the treaty is to outline ways for countries to cooperate and coordinate in their response to any future pandemic.
However, critics of the treaty have argued that it would fatally override national sovereignty, handing authority over crucial national matters to an unelected and unaccountable international bureaucracy.
From the pro-life perspective, it is highly relevant that the WHO, and most other international agencies, are stridently committed to a pro-abortion agenda. Hence, it should come as no surprise that right from the get-go, advocates of the treaty are finding ways to use it to promote abortion—i.e, reproductive rights.”
In September, the United Nations General Assembly passed a non-binding resolution ostensibly outlining approaches to better collaboration among nation states to “better prevent, prepare for and respond to pandemics.”
However, as pro-life UN-watchers warned, buried in the document is insidious pro-abortion language. Paragraph 52 of the document has member states agreeing to, “Ensure, by 2030, universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes, which is fundamental to the achievement of universal health coverage, while reaffirming the commitments to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights…”
It is no secret within international law, the terms “sexual and reproductive health-care services” are frequently understood to encompass access to abortion and contraception. Unsurprisingly, as C-Fam (Center for Family & Human Rights) reports, the Biden administration has called for the treaty to name “sexual and reproductive health” as “essential” health care during a pandemic.
Arielle Del Turco, director of the Family Research Council’s Center for Religious Liberty, told the Washington Stand that the purpose of the language in the document is clear.
“Progressive forces that love abortion will use every avenue to advance their deadly cause,” she said. “Activists are using a declaration about pandemic preparedness to advance ‘universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services’ which we know means universal abortion expansionism. It is dangerous and abusive to pressure countries to expand abortion under the guise of responding to future pandemics.”
WHO’s overt pro-abortion agenda
The idea that the WHO and other international bodies might use a pandemic treaty to push increased abortion, even should that require overriding national sovereignty, is far from a conspiracy theory.
Tweet This: The idea that the WHO and other international bodies might use a pandemic treaty to push increased abortion is far from a conspiracy theory.
In the first place, the WHO is extremely open about its strident pro-abortion agenda. The WHO website openly states: “Lack of access to safe, timely, affordable and respectful abortion care is a critical public health and human rights issue.” The WHO adds, “Multiple actions are needed at the legal, health system and community levels so that everyone who needs abortion care has access to it.”
After the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus denounced the decision. In a tweet, he argued that abortion “saves lives.” In other remarks, he called the decision a step “backwards,” saying, “We hadn’t really expected this from the U.S.”
Safe #abortion is health care. It saves lives. Restricting it drives women and girls towards unsafe abortions, resulting in complications, even death. The evidence is irrefutable. https://t.co/EB5BsKIxG7 #RoeVsWade— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) June 24, 2022
In the second place, we already have more than enough concrete evidence that this is what the WHO would do during a pandemic, because it is what the WHO did during Covid-19. In a statement issued in 2021, the organization used “International Safe Abortion Day” as an excuse to highlight the supposed “need” to safeguard abortion access during Covid-19.
In particular, the WHO praised various countries who liberalized their abortion practices in response to the COVID by making it far easier for mothers to obtain abortion drugs through the practice of “telemedicine,” i.e. when a doctor meets with a pregnant woman remotely, and then has the abortion drugs shipped to her through the mail. As I have discussed in the past, numerous pro-abortion organizations, including Planned Parenthood, shamelessly used the pandemic to advance their long-standing agenda of making abortion drugs easy to access remotely. The WHO was their most powerful ally in that effort.
There is every reason to believe that those within the WHO would use any proposed pandemic treaty as a way of normalizing, and even requiring, such practices—ironically building institutional murder within a document ostensibly aimed at saving lives during an international public health emergency.
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Meanwhile, pro-life experts are raising the alarm about the ACP-EU treaty. This legally binding treaty between the EU and various African, Caribbean and Pacific nations includes all manner of sinister language advancing the worst aspects of the culture of death.
For example, Article 36.2 of the EU-ACP Agreement requires African states to implement “sexual and reproductive health and rights” (SRHR). A 2022 EU resolution defined SRHR to include sexuality education, sexual orientation, abortion, and gender identity. Article 40.6 of the agreement requires ACP governments to provide access to “comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information and education [CSRHE].”
In other words, this treaty is being used to foist upon often-pro-life and pro-family African and other nations the bizarre and destructive ideologies of graphic sex education and gender ideology, including all the recent innovations in relation to transgenderism, etc.
As well, the agreement requires signing nations to implement the documents from various United Nations conferences, including the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). As our own researchers at Human Life International note, documents from the ICPD include five references to “transgender,” eight references to “sexual orientation and gender identity,” sixty-five references to “abortion,” twelve references to “sex work,” and fourteen references to “comprehensive sexuality education.”
In addition to these moral problems, the agreement threatens the individual sovereignty of each nation. As Article 97 states, “No treaty, convention, agreement, or arrangement of any kind between one or more Member States of the European Union and one or more of the OACPS Members shall impede the implementation of this agreement.”
Sadly, forty-four countries have signed, threatening the lives of millions of preborn children and imposing progressive ideologies upon sovereign nations whose people may be opposed to such anti-life and anti-family values.
Fighting the architects of the Culture of Death
Hannah Arendt once described bureaucracy as “the rule by nobody.” That is, because bureaucracies are so large, and because authority is so diffused, and because they often exist so far removed from the day-to-day life of the people they rule, there is a weird impersonality to their dictates.
A bureaucracy can powerfully change the lived realities of our lives. But it is hard to know at any given time what it is that they are up to, who is in charge, or what we can do to change the way they operate.
This is the great power of the large international agencies like the United Nations and the World Health Organization. Far from our homes, unelected bureaucrats gather around board room tables, and hammer out the details of agreements and treaties that can affect the lives of people living thousands of miles away, and who in all likelihood will never even hear about the debates, let alone participate in them.
This is why it is so critically important that convicted pro-life individuals do their best to stay informed about what happens at the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and elsewhere. In reality, we can make a difference here. Pro-life organizations such as Human Life International have shown time and time again that concerted efforts to unite pro-life nations and lobbyists can alter the language in hugely influential international documents, removing sinister references to things like gender ideology and abortion.
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As we fight the determined, often-obscenely-wealthy advocates of the culture of death, we cannot let our guard down or weaken our efforts. We must rally the troops, unite, and prepare for a real battle. This is not for the faint of heart. The incomparable value of human life and sacredness of marriage and family life must be defended. The intrinsic evils and evil being advanced by advocates of the culture of death will achieve their goals if we falter in our efforts.
This is what the dedicated members of Human Life International are doing every day, all over the world: educating local activists, training future leaders, keeping Church and political leaders informed, and uniting legal and other experts to fight the machinations of the architects of the culture of death.
Editor's note: Fr. Shenan J. Boquet serves as president of Human Life International. This article was published by Human Life International and is reprinted with permission.