Contraception is now a human right, according to the United Nations. In its latest annual report, the United Nations Population Fund (formerly known as the United Nations Fund for Population Activities and still labeled UNFPA) declares that “family planning is a human right,” and “must therefore be available to all who want it.” The report goes on to warn, however, that “clearly this right has not yet been extended to all.” LifeSite News noted that the report represents the first time a UN agency has declared contraception — under which such items as condoms and birth control pills would fall — a human right.
The Washington Post reported that the UN document “effectively declares that legal, cultural, and financial barriers to accessing contraception and other family planning measures are an infringement of women’s rights.” The Post added, however, that the report “isn’t binding and has no legal effect on national laws.”
While the report stopped short of including abortion under the “universal right” mantle, Brian Clowes of the Catholic organization Human Life International warned that such a demand is an inevitable next step, telling LifeSite News: “What is to stop the UNFPA from declaring that abortion is a basic ‘human right,’ as they have already attempted to do several times, especially in light of the relentless UN drive to legalize abortion all over the world?”
Even the report's title, By Choice, Not by Chance: Family Planning, Human Rights and Development, seems to leave open the option of abortion, and the report itself endorses the use of so-called “emergency” contraception in the form of the “morning after” pills that serve as abortifacients because they prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg.
The UNFPA document was released on the heels of Barack Obama's election victory, which UNFPA's executive director, Babatunde Osotimehin, applauded with a letter to UN Ambassador Susan Rice. “We were grateful to learn that we will have continued support and vision under [Obama's] leadership in ensuring that all women have access to quality and voluntary family planning and reproductive health care, an unalienable right and an imperative for the fulfillment of the potential of half the population of the world, both as citizens and as human beings,” declared the long-winded UN bureaucrat. “The health and rights of women and young people have proven to be pivotal and winning issues in [the] historic elections.”
Writing for the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), Susan Yoshihara noted that Osotimehin's reference to “an unalienable right” in the context of contraception “seems to be an attempt to tie the letter and UN soft law on the matter of sex to the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution’s foundation in the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
In fact, the “Mission and Vision” statement of the Center for Reproductive Rights, a hand-in-glove ally of UNFPA, suggests a more explicit connection, declaring that “reproductive freedom lies at the heart of the promise of human dignity, self-determination, and equality embodied in both the U.S. Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” The Center's vision projects an era “when that promise is enshrined in law in the United States and throughout the world. We envision a world where every woman is free to decide whether and when to have children; where every woman has access to the best reproductive healthcare available; where every woman can exercise her choices without coercion or discrimination. More simply put, we envision a world where every woman participates with full dignity as an equal member of society.”
On its website the Center for Reproductive Rights complains that “there’s something very wrong when we have to fight so hard to ensure that the fundamental human rights of half the population are not decimated by the results of a single election. President Obama now has a historic opportunity to guarantee reproductive rights for all women.... Women should never have to worry that a win for one candidate or another will determine whether or not they can get the full range of reproductive health care they need. Reproductive rights must be protected as fundamental, no more subject to change in an election than our bedrock rights of free speech and religious freedom.”
Without a doubt the Department of Health and Human Services' “contraception mandate,” against which more than 40 businesses and organizations have filed suit on religious grounds, is part of Obama's campaign to imprint the UN “vision” of contraception on America's moral fabric.
Austin Ruse, president of C-FAM, noted that the “suggestion that contraception is a human right” echoes nicely with the other lies the UN has served up over the years. “It is precisely such debasement of authentic human rights which puts people in the developing world in grave danger,” said Ruse. “Human rights are about freedom of religion, democratic self-determination, freedom of assembly, things that people all around the world agree with, and not something so controversial and divisive as a right to contraception.” While many people “may consider contraception to be acceptable,” suggested Ruse, “even they would doubt that it rises to a level of human rights.”