Life Site News.com By Stefano Gennarini Mon., May 04, 2020
NEW YORK, (C-Fam) — Two competing draft resolutions emerged at the UN this week on the impact of COVID-19 on women. One of the main disputes in negotiations is over national prerogatives on abortion.
Both resolutions are based on a policy brief from UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, published just before Easter on “The impact of COVID-19 on Women.” The brief seeks to designate a list of priority policies to protect women from the pandemic, among them “sexual and reproductive health services.”
One resolution, sponsored by Algeria, China, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Zambia, recognizes national prerogatives when it comes to “sexual and reproductive health.”
The other, sponsored by Europeans, minimizes national prerogatives and gives the UN bureaucracy a broad sweeping mandate, even endorsing the UN Secretary General’s brief and a more explicitly pro-abortion guidance note from a UN human rights committee that declared abortion essential to the COVID-19 response.
The brief and both of the initial drafts of the resolutions specifically identify “sexual and reproductive health” as essential “health services” that should not be disrupted by COVID-19 health policy decisions. It is unclear if this same level of priority will be retained after the resolutions are discussed remotely by UN member states.
The term “sexual and reproductive health” is widely used to cluster abortion alongside more widely accepted maternal health and family planning health policies.
The Trump administration has spearheaded efforts to remove the term in UN policy and use less ambiguous terminology.