Communications Department

Right-to-Life Forces Win Major Victory During Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development

Jun 20, 2012 | 2012 Press Releases

NEW YORK – Right-to-life forces won a major victory yesterday during the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, The Future We Want (a follow-up to the 1992 Rio Earth Summit), by stopping the advancement of the pro-abortion agenda at the UN.

According to reports from Rio, a group of countries, led by delegations from the Holy See, Russia, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Chile, Egypt, Malta, Poland and Costa Rica, assisted by members of the Pro-Life and Pro-Family Coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations including NRL Educational Trust, were able to keep the term “reproductive rights” out of the conference’s final document.

It is reported that the United States, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Switzerland, and Iceland were among the countries that tried to inject their pro-abortion agenda into the document.

The Nicaraguan delegation insisted that delegations cease to “shadow box around the term reproductive rights” which “every country knows is a code at the UN for abortion.”

Since pro-abortion forces have been unsuccessful for two decades in openly using these UN documents as a vehicle to promote an international right to abortion, they have resorted to code words such as “reproductive rights.” UN Agencies and pro-abortion NGO’s then falsely define these terms to include a right to abortion in order to pressure pro-life countries to change their laws—falsely claiming that these countries are required to legalize abortion in order to decrease maternal mortality.

We have known for decades that most maternal deaths can be prevented with adequate nutrition, basic health care and good obstetric care through pregnancy, at delivery, and postpartum,” noted Jeanne E. Head, R.N., National Right to Life vice president for international affairs and UN representative. “Yet some in the international community, including the current United States delegation, have focused their efforts on legalizing abortion at the expense of women’s lives. Women in the developing world need access to better health care, not the right to destroy their children in the womb.”

In an analysis released last month at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, National Right to Life and MCCL Global Outreach confirmed that improved medical care and other developmental factors, such as improvement in education levels, not abortion leads to decreases in maternal deaths throughout the developing world.

The analysis highlights a peer-reviewed study of maternal mortality in Chile published on May 4. The researchers, led by Dr. Elard Koch of the University of Chile, show that maternal mortality declined significantly even after Chile prohibited abortion in 1989. Maternal deaths due specifically to abortion also dropped after abortion was made illegal in 1989.

Chile’s success contrasts with the recent record of the United States, which permits abortion on demand and has seen its maternal mortality rate climb upward over the last two decades. The U.S. maternal mortality ratio (the number of deaths per 100,000 live births) increased from 10.3 in 1999 to 23.2 in 2009. Over the same period, Chile’s ratio decreased from 23.6 to 16.9.

The National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund is a recognized nongovernmental organization (NGO) in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Founded in 1968, National Right to Life, the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters, is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement, NRLC works through legislation and education to protect innocent human life from abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide and euthanasia.