Youth Blog

Youth Blog

“Unlocking” Gender Equality and Abortion Rights Through Technology? Pro-Abortion UN Side Event Panelists Couldn’t Take the Heat

CLC's Youth Delegation reports from the 67th Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations:

On Wednesday March 8th , CLC’s delegation of youth attended one of the most blatantly pro-abortion side evens at the UN CSW 67 titled “Unlocking the Future of Gender Equality and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Through Technology” hosted by Luxemburg, Nepal, Spain, Center for Reproductive Rights, and Fòs Feminista, all pro-abortion bodies. The focus of the event, as outlined in the title is abortion, also euphemistically referred to at the UN as “sexual and reproductive health and rights.” The moderator of the panel? Dr. Tlaleng-Mofokeng, United Nations' Special Rapporteur who opened the event in stating that she was an abortion provider who doubled as a “rebellious catholic” Our delegation, and other pro-life, UN allies, sat at microphone-equipped seats across the room, in preparation to challenge the panelists on their pro-abortion ideas and policies. It was certainly one of the first UN side events that our delegation attended with a central focus on promoting abortion.

Gender based violence has been brought up in almost every side event this week. Indira Gohiward, a delegate from Nepal mentioned that they have a zero-tolerance policy for gender-based violence. This can only be true if we are working to protect baby girls in the womb. The practice of terminating a pregnancy solely on the grounds of the genetic sex of the child values one sex over the other and is therefore a form of gender-based violence and discrimination. Shania F., one of our youth delegates, was able to go up to Indria after the event ended. She said the following “I’m from India where it is reported that 700,000 baby girls are aborted for the sole reason that they’re a baby girl. It has come to a point where a baby girl is killed every minute for being a baby girl. So, what are your thoughts on sex-selective abortions and how they are gender-based violence against women?” When right away she was interrupted by someone coming up to them saying that she had to go. CLC's Youth Coordinator Kim, who was recording Shania asking her question, quickly chimed in with “What are you doing to protect the baby girls that are being targeted and killed solely because they’re a baby girl?” She of course did not answer and continued to walk away.

Dana Northcraft, Director of Innovation and Partnerships at Expanding Medication Abortion Access (EMAA) Project mentioned the supposed “safety” of self-managed, chemical abortions, while misinforming participants that the treatment of ectopic pregnancy and other first-trimester ailments is the same as chemical abortion. CLC's Youth Coordinator Maeve sought to challenge Northcraft’s use of the term “safe”, by pointing out that chemical abortions, are never truly “safe”. Women can receive the abortion pill in the mail, and take the pills without any proper medical supervision. In fact, a 19-year-old woman died just last year, after severe hemorrhaging following her taking of the abortion pill. In January of 2022, Health Canada’s post-market surveillance program, for which submissions are made voluntarily, reported 43 adverse reactions, some resulting in near-death, from women using Mifegymiso. Three of these cases were ‘life threatening’ involving blood loss, septic shock and circulatory collapse. There were about a dozen cases of hemorrhaging that required blood transfusion. Not to mention, abortion kills developing fetuses in the womb. Maeve hoped to not only share the aforementioned points, but to further challenge the panelists by asking them how they plan to address the dangers of chemical, self-managed abortion, while simultaneously championing the expansion of chemical abortion access. Like other delegates, she was denied the opportunity to ask this question.

Jihan Jacob, Senior Legal Adviser from Asia Center for Reproductive Rights mentioned that “ART (antiretroviral therapy) and IVF have less stigma as modes of conception. It is difficult to access by the LGBT and low-income or people outside the cities. Despite the advances of science and technologies, laws have not been able to keep up.” Which prompted Shania to write the following question: “Most women who seek IVF and other ART have underlying health issues like PCOS and endometriosis which makes conception and carrying a Child to term difficult, how are we tackling these problems at their root as finding treatment of these conditions should be a priority as it effects 190 million women (endo) 116 million (PCOS) finding treatment for these conditions should be a priority as it forms the basis of SRHR” There is so much money to be made through IVF, so of course, the abortion industry pushes it onto vulnerable women that desperately want to have biological children instead of helping them treat their infertility issues.

Dana Northcraft is also the Founding Director of RHITES (Reproductive Health Initiative for Telehealth Equity and Solutions). She spoke about the overturning of Roe v Wade, and how abortion bans negatively impact women, claiming the overturning was “the reversal of the right to abortion”. She echoed that “medical abortions” are completely “safe” and should be easily accessible through medical programs like ‘telehealth’ and virtual medical care. When Northcraft mentioned abortion bans and pro-life laws, she stated that these laws hinder the medical care for women suffering from miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies. She said women can’t receive the medical care they need because of abortion bans. CLC youth delegate Shania N. thought it was necessary to speak to her after and clarify the difference between miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, and abortion. She pointed out that although a D&C procedure may be used to expel the baby after it has already died from a miscarriage, the purpose of using that procedure is not the same purpose of an abortion. She told her that an abortion is the direct and intentional killing of a preborn child in the womb and that when she’s speaking at a high-level event at the United Nations, it’s important to relay accurate information. Northcraft replied in stating that what “It’s not incorrect information, it’s just that we view it very differently.” There is no way to view it differently. These pro-abortion organizations are intentionally lying to women. There are no abortion bans or pro-life laws restricting abortion that result in less medical care for women who have miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies. Spreading this dangerous misinformation puts women's lives in danger.

Because of supposed time constraints, the panelists closed the event with final remarks, leaving no time for remarks or questions from CSOs. Most of us were able to speak with the panelists after the event ended. When they realized the resounding presence of pro-lifers in the room, they made quick attempts to exit the room.

The moderator of the panel, Dr. Tlaleng-Mofokeng, in an attempt to leave, was stopped by Kim, and asked if a “safe abortion is when only one person dies?” She was evidently taken aback, sighed and walked away.

We are noticing the continued language shift, here at the UN. The word “abortion” is being replaced with “voluntary interruption of pregnancy”, as an attempt to disguise the vile and deadly act we know it to be. Ana Jimenez de la Moz, advisor of the United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, claimed that “we need gender equality and reproductive healthcare through technology. Voluntary interruption of pregnancies allows women to exercise their right to public health for free. Technological innovation can help with greater autonomy for women when deciding what to do with their lives. Spain has a commitment to health and reproductive rights in its foreign policy and international cooperation.” Pre-born human beings cannot volunteer to be killed. It is so integral for us to make our pro-life presence known at the UN, so that it doesn’t turn into a giant echo chamber.

Josefina Sabate, Advocacy Officer at Casa FUSA from Argentina stated that “we promote comprehensive health of young people, and we defend the rights that we have already achieved. Voluntary interruption of pregnancies in Argentina happened in 2020 during Covid-19 amid social isolation and increased use of technology. Mifepristone was approved recently so we will be able to include that in the envelopes as well. We need networks for users and services.”

Throughout the duration of the week, SRHR continued to be a central pillar of the UN’s objectives. Our team of passionate youth delegates, in collaboration with other pro-life NGOs continue to make their voices heard and their presence known, in hopes of countering the harmful ideologies being promoted by both UN agencies and member states.