The Last day of CPD52 at the UN
That’s a wrap, folks! The 52nd Session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) has officially come to a close and, despite what you may think, there’s a bit of a fresh breeze blowing in. The pro-life movement has really hit its stride and this is no time to stop, slow down, or compromise.
While the commission’s decision to totally circumvent negotiations this year in favour of a seemingly benign political declaration is frustrating, especially as it opens the door for more abortion-pushing policies through the inclusion of regional review conferences, it’s also really good news for pro-lifers. It’s “good,” because it means that we have managed to make all of those terms that were deliberately left out of the document – “abortion,” “sexual rights,” “reproductive health and rights” – so controversial that the commission refused to put them up for discussion, for fear that they would fail to produce an outcome document. The CPD has not been able to do so since 2016 and on this, the 25th anniversary of the Cairo conference, the pro-abortionists were neither willing to 1) produce a document without the inclusion, direct or indirect, of abortion and its affiliates or 2) have no document at all.
We may be outnumbered and it may feel like we sometimes have all the cards stacked against us, but we have power and the presence of pro-life groups here at the United Nations is changing policy, moving hearts, and saving lives.
One way that pro-life and pro-family groups are able to exercise their voice and make their message known is through the delivery of oral statements during the final plenary sessions. This year, 13 non-governmental organizations delivered a statement. Among them were five pro-life organizations – outnumbered, but strong. Campaign Life Coalition is honoured to have had the opportunity to defend life as one of those five, drawing attention to the fact that there remains no internationally recognised legal right to abortion and that it remains an extremely divisive issue among Member States.
Other pro-life groups focused on the dangers of comprehensive sexuality education, the negative side effects of contraception, and the importance of securing family-centered policy. Contrarily, groups like Advocates for Youth argued that, “access to comprehensive sex and health education is empowering [and that] when women, girls and sexual and gender minorities have the ability to exercise their right to make their own health decisions, not only are they empowered, but the whole community is uplifted.”
At the Cairo conference back in 1994, there was no consensus on abortion. There remains no consensus on abortion, and as long as we each continue to do our part, wherever we are and in whatever capacity we can, together, we will ensure that it remains controversial—until it is universally unthinkable.