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Attempt to Use War in Ukraine to Broaden Access to Abortion 

by | Apr 11, 2022

By Marie Smith

The humanitarian crisis in Ukraine has brought governments and organizations together to save lives, relocate refugees and provide the necessities of life, especially food, to those who remain in Ukraine. Pro-abortion organizations, however, view the growing emergency as an opportunity to change sovereign laws restricting abortion, provide abortion-inducing drugs in humanitarian kits, establish free abortion, fund pro-abortion NGOs and block funding to groups working to help Ukrainian refugees if the organizations oppose abortion.

In a Call to Action, national and international pro-abortion organizations—including Amnesty International, the Center for Reproductive Rights, International Planned Parenthood Federation, and Women’s Link Worldwide—address policy makers across Europe and the world. Their message has one purpose—to advance access to abortion and the entire sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) agenda.

The groups make a number of demands. They want the European Union, donor governments and the broader international community to ensure that all humanitarian responses “prioritize the SRHR of all women and girls” beginning with reproductive health kits that include “mifepristone and misoprostol for medical abortion”.

The groups seek to overturn laws restricting abortion in countries which have welcomed Ukrainian refugees and call for “urgent political support, guidance and technical assistance to the Governments of Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia to facilitate the removal of legal and policy barriers that are impeding the provision of essential sexual and reproductive health care.”

They seek “cross-border access to sexual and reproductive health care where necessary to overcome national legal barriers and severe restrictions in transit and host countries”, with special emphasis on “swift and effective measures to facilitate and support urgent access to early medical abortion, through supporting cross-border and telemedical service-provision”.

Funding receives special attention as the groups seek financial and political support for themselves and for like-minded pro-abortion organizations while they demand that “financial assistance is not provided to anti SRHR and anti-equality organizations and actors in Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia or Ukraine.”

One wonders if this broad opposition to pro-life support includes denying financial support to faith-based organizations and churches which are providing much of the humanitarian aid and enjoy the trust of the Ukrainian people.

The organizations also address the Governments of Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia with a message that ignores national sovereignty and the right of each country to determine their own laws regarding the protection of unborn children and their mothers from the violence of abortion.

The demand is made that the Governments provide urgent financial assistance to “those gender equality, SRHR and women’s rights organizations who are providing frontline protection…and ensure this assistance includes coverage for the costs of…abortion care.” They also demand that Governments issue “policy guidance clarifying that sexual and reproductive health care, including emergency contraception, contraception and abortion care…is essential health care that should be provided free of charge and that health-care providers will be fully reimbursed… for the provision of this care to all those fleeing Ukraine.”

The obsession with the destruction of the lives of preborn children whose mothers have fled horrendous and dangerous conditions seeking peace and safety includes the demand that these Governments: “Ensure that medical abortion in early pregnancy is legal and accessible for all those fleeing Ukraine, including by removing barriers to abortion care and aligning national policies on abortion with WHO guidelines.” The WHO guidelines oppose restrictions on abortion, including those based on viability of the unborn child.  

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